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I was looking at this question today: AutoMapper vs ValueInjecter

The user omu placed a ton of 50 point bounties on this question and garnered a whole bunch of "my answer got lots of attention" rep.

I think the system should simply protect itself against this kind of behavior.

  • Should there be an upper limit on the number of bounties one is allowed to place on a question?

  • If so, what should the limit be?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but he spent 350 rep on bounties, and got 66*5=330 bounty back in upvotes, meaning overall, he lost rep. –  Nightfirecat Sep 8 '11 at 7:46
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the issue is less about the rep gained, its more about the unfair amount of attention the question got. –  waffles Sep 8 '11 at 7:49
    
also ... he got 62*10 rep which adds up to a bit more ... the question answerer placed the bounty –  waffles Sep 8 '11 at 7:51
    
Oh, you're right - my bad. I had assumed that it was the question- asker who had placed the bounties. –  Nightfirecat Sep 8 '11 at 19:39
    
See also "Abusing" bounties for unlimited profit. –  Hendrik Vogt Sep 9 '11 at 11:51

4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I haven't thought this out fully, but in the example given, it feels that maybe this would be discouraged by cranking up the minimum rep as you add more bounties on the same question. So the second bounty by the same user on the same question has a min rep of, say, 200. And so on...

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This sounds like the perfect solution without adding yet another limit on bountying. –  Pëkka Sep 8 '11 at 7:28
    
@yoda good point –  Pëkka Sep 8 '11 at 8:00
    
@yoda, why can't a single bounty be devided between more then one answer –  Ian Ringrose Sep 8 '11 at 8:17
    
the bounty system was never meant to be a superupvote system, that is a separate feature request @yoda –  waffles Sep 8 '11 at 9:13
    
@yoda I am not categorically against allowing people to split up bounties, that way we could reward editors as well, the trouble is, it gets complicated real fast. But starting another bounty and waiting a day just to reward an existing answer seems like a real odd workflow –  waffles Sep 8 '11 at 9:34

As another crazy idea.... if you add a bounty, maybe your own answers shouldn't be rep-awarding during the period the bounty is in effect. The question would still be rep-awarding (no matter who posts it), as would the other answers by other users.

This would seems to avoid the "add a bounty so my own answer gets some upvote love" scenario. Again, just an idea and I haven't thought it through fully.

But if you already have an answer, then adding a bounty would largely have two legitimate uses:

  • to solicit an additional answer
  • to award another existing very good answer (a "tip")

In both legitimate cases, your own existing answer(s) don't seem to be the goal.

(I originally thought "CW", but that seems overkill)

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Sounds good as well, but is more vulnerable to cheating (e.g. using a sock puppet) than your other suggestion. –  Pëkka Sep 8 '11 at 7:43
    
@Eat, how many people have sock puppets with enough rep to offer bounties? –  Ian Ringrose Sep 8 '11 at 8:16
    
@Ian I don't know - I'm sure the number is not zero, though. The team might have a rough idea –  Pëkka Sep 8 '11 at 8:17

I don't see a question getting too much attention as being a problem.

If he wants to spend his rep that way, then more power to him. What else is he going to spend it on?

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I see the problem, but disagree that there should be an upper limit.

I saw a proposal on Meta the other day suggesting that 50 point bounties not be listed on the "featured" page any more. I am in favour of implementing that - maybe extend it to 100 bounties as well?

That would sort the issue - having to post a 150 point bounty would make this kind of attention-whoring unattractive.

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I saw that ... the 50 point bounties are a separate problem imho. agree we should address that in some way. –  waffles Sep 8 '11 at 7:23
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if you aren't going to let the bounty be advertised (and keep in mind that it must already be at least a few days old to add a bounty), you might just as well change the min-rep –  Marc Gravell Sep 8 '11 at 7:23
    
@Marc the argument in the suggestion was that 50 point bounties are often used to "tip" an especially good answer –  Pëkka Sep 8 '11 at 7:24
    
@Eat in this case, "tip answers that support my product" would be a better view... –  Marc Gravell Sep 8 '11 at 7:25

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