I decided to make this thread based on incidents I’ve been seeing lately -- I’ll try to keep it brief, but there’s several things I’d like to address.
Vote based on content, not on author
This is probably the single most important thing I’m going to be bringing up. I can absolutely guarantee that some people are getting votes because of who they are, rather than what they post. Please, please do not take who wrote a post into account when voting on it. If the post is of good quality, upvote it. If it’s of poor quality, downvote it.
Additionally, please try to give new users a chance when voting. I understand many new users are not the brightest or most mature people out there, but they can still post good answers. For example, this post. It was written by a very well-respected community member, so of course it was going to be a popular answer. However, I can say almost for certain that if a new user wrote that exact response, they would have gotten substantially fewer upvotes. While new users do need to gain a reputation, and as such any unclear answers may need to be pressed a bit harder, you shouldn’t deny them the upvote purely because they’re new to the site.
Don’t let other external factors decide your vote
While the author is an external factor, I felt that was big enough to merit its own section. By other factors, I mean things like upvoting purely because someone is about to reach a point goal, downvoting because you don’t like someone, upvoting because someone asked you to, and the like. All of these take away from the integrity and fairness of the voting system (especially the downvoting one), so please try to avoid them.
While we’re on the topic of downvotes, don’t take your points into consideration when upvoting or downvoting. Some people take points way too seriously, and refrain from upvoting because they’re scared the recipient is going to surpass them in points, or they choose not to downvote because they don’t want to lose their hard-earned two whole points. They’re Internet points that mean nothing to your life in the grand scheme. Grow up. (maybe I’m not the best person to be telling you that, but still…) Don’t be scared to lose two points from downvoting -- if you’re a good community member, you’ll be able to regain over triple that with a single upvote.
Don’t spam upvote / make dupe accounts to boost yourself
The fact that we need to talk about these is kind of ridiculous. Spam upvoting will be discovered sooner or later, and most dupe accounts will as well. Making a dupe account is completely pointless -- if you care that much about points, then you have the potential to be a good community member. Give helpful answers and make quality posts to gather points in no time -- a dupe account just helps to undermine your credibility. It will be found eventually, and you can be warned or even banned for a bit because of it (you won’t be punished if you link your duplicate account here). How much are your Internet points worth now? Nothing. You’re banned.
Spam upvoting is in much the same place. If your points start going up rapidly, people will notice and suspect. Also note that mods can see exactly who voted on every post and compare IP addresses, so denying you made a dupe and/or spam upvoted you or someone else just digs you into an even deeper hole.
That’s all I have to say at the present -- if anyone has something to add, please do so. This was fairly short, but I do hope people refrain from being so biased in their voting in the future. Thanks for reading.