Probably everybody who is very active on SO has experienced cases of random, serial upvoting as the expression of thanks from a (usually newbie) user. The pattern is usually 5 or more upvotes on your latest answers.
The upvotes will be detected within 24 hours, and removed. (Or so I assume.) No harm done except maybe a minor irritation for people after one of the "rep cap" badges because they are shown a higher reputation than they actually have.
Still, I was thinking whether, in an attempt to channel the positive attitude into more productive areas, it would be worth showing a tooltip on the third upvote for the same person within time frame x:
Please use one upvote, a comment, or some quality content of your own, to say thank you
Large numbers of upvotes for the same user may become invalid as part of our spam detection mechanisms.
Does this make sense? Maybe it is too localized and rare, but it has happened to me three or four times in the last two weeks alone. You decide.
Clarification: I am not advocating putting up any kind of barrier on upvotes. The barrier is already there. I'm suggesting informing people of the barrier and the futility of their ten or so upvotes for a single person because those votes are likely to be revoked.
Update: @devinb makes the good point that "saying thanks" is not the only possible reason for serial upvoting, and the message wouldn't make sense then. The point still stands: Your votes aren't going to count, and when it comes to up voting (which is always some sort of positive behaviour, however misguided if done indiscriminately) I think it's fair to inform people of this.