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Would it be possible to (or do you think there should be) place a grace period on the reversal / removal of a bounty, and (past the grace period) have a time limit on changing the description for the bounty?

For example:

Say I create a quesiton in Flex, and nobody's seen it for a week. I may hastily add a bounty with a reason like "To get seen". Whereas moments later I'll realize what I've just posted, and want to re-word it to something like "Increase exposure on the quesiton / incentive for answers." (more professioinal, a complete thought, sounds less like system-gaming.)


Some people are mis-understanding my suggestion. I am suggesting that only the person who has placed the bounty can see the bounty until it is locked in, but after that they are able to change the bounty description / reason within that extended grace period of editing. Complete reversal is locked in once the bounty is visible.

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2 Answers 2

I strongly disagree with any attempt to allow a bounty to be removed or reversed after it is placed. The whole point of a bounty (as I see it) is to offer an additional reward to a good answer and to draw more exposure to a question. Having the ability to remove a bounty defeats both of these purposes.

Consider a user that sees the bounty and invests a good amount of time writing a comprehensive and helpful answer - then after submitting their answer, they discover that the bounty was removed while they were writing their answer. That's not going to be a happy user. Also consider the "free" exposure your question will have if you can regain the reputation spent on the bounty. I forsee a lot of abuse of the so-called grace period.

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Note that my suggestion was only a five minute grace period on removing the bounty itself. After that you can only change the bounty message for the extended time. Questions shouldn't even show up in the bountied section until the bounty is finalized. –  cbroughton Nov 13 '11 at 21:50
@cbroughton: Ah, I see your point - don't forget that would also mean the bounty wouldn't show up anywhere - including on the question itself. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Nov 13 '11 at 23:32
Yup, only would show up on the question for the person who placed the bounty ; within the grace period. There, expanded question to include that. –  cbroughton Nov 13 '11 at 23:34

I would be in favor of a short grace period that allowed the user to change the reason for the bounty. The fact that a process is irreversible doesn't prevent simple mistakes.

However, once placed - the bounty should be locked. I don't like the idea of users being able to change their mind in the same amount of time that a question could be answered. Given that, the grace period to remove the bounty would be so small that it probably would not be useful at all.

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Re. your last 2 sentences, I think if the bounty only became 'active/visible' to all once the grace period was over that should solve the issue of answers responding to a bounty that was changing. –  George Duckett Nov 29 '12 at 8:35
@GeorgeDuckett Hmm, hadn't thought of that option. Worth considering if it was implemented. I still feel that people should just think twice about posting a bounty, but see the need to correct a mistake made when placing it (other than the bounty itself). –  Tim Post Nov 29 '12 at 11:42

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