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From time to time I scan the bounty tab, and being the pessimist and grouch that I am, I generally find two or three awful questions that, in my opinion, deserve to be closed. But I can't even register a close vote because the bounty protects them.

A bad question is no better because its author has offered a bounty.

I've failed in the past to persuade that 5 close votes should close a question, even with a bounty, refunding the rep to the asker.

So, I've another idea. Don't allow bounties on negative-total-vote questions. This would at least stop the most egregious examples. If I were duke, I'd go further, and require a question to have attracted a net positive score before it can have a bounty, but I doubt I'd ever win that argument.

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Hm, poster asks bad question. Receives downvote. Poster is of the rare breed that manages to fix the question, it's now okay. Nobody views it because of the negative score. Poster places a bounty to overcome the negative score hindrance. Hypothetically, a case against the suggestion. – Daniel Fischer Apr 20 '12 at 14:19
Hypothetical registered, but I can't recall ever seeing a negative score on a good question on the bounty page. – Rosinante Apr 20 '12 at 14:19
from what you describe it looks like bounty can be (ab)used as a trick to make previously cast close votes expire in an "unintended" way. If that's the case, it would be fair to suspend vote expiration to compensate time taken by period when bounty is active – gnat Apr 20 '12 at 14:35
Is this actually a problem? Does it happen often enough that flagging a mod on a case-by-case basis is not enough? If an automated approach is necessary, perhaps an automated flag would be more appropriate than blocking the bounty? – hammar Apr 20 '12 at 16:26
I have no way of knowing if the diamonds feel oppressed with the work of flags in this area, since there's no feedback from the flags. Perhaps some of them will chime in? – Rosinante Apr 20 '12 at 19:31

This may be a good idea.

Especially for questions that have bounties that have gone on and off on a really crappy question -- revisions on really crappy question.

Although there can be other times where if a user gets a bunch of negative votes on a question, the only way for them to get views after they fix up the question is with a bounty.

So I would propose only implementing this if it gets more then X negative score. (the X to be determined later) and not just all negative questions.

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Um... you were the one putting bounties on that question half the time. – jadarnel27 Apr 20 '12 at 14:49
@jadarnel27 me and other people. – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Apr 20 '12 at 14:54
Which is why I said "half the time" – jadarnel27 Apr 20 '12 at 15:01

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