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I decided on poking around some profiles and I hit the Community user. I knew that Community was a background process but then I noticed that it had set some bounties. What criteria does Community follow to know what questions to set bounties on? Are these questions with a lot of views or upvotes or all of the above?

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2 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Community doesn't add bounties. Both of the bounties that are currently attributed to Community were actually added by a user who has since been deleted. When the user was deleted the bounty was transfered to Community's ownership.

If you look at one of the the bountied question's revision history, there's a discrepancy that points to this:

Normally, the Notice Added event is attributed to the same person as the Bounty Started event. It looks like the ownership of the Notice Added event was not transfered, so it is no longer attributed to anybody. The cause is probably related to Notice Added events being a somewhat unique type of event that was added relatively recently, while bounties just are considered a type of vote.

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And I here I was, thinking about how I could get Community to post up a bounty on my question. :) –  Yawus Jul 12 '12 at 17:08
    
@Yawus There have been some feature requests related to having Community add bounties automatically (one example), but I'm afraid that none have been implemented yet. :P –  Jeremy Banks Jul 12 '12 at 17:13
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@Yawus you can, just post a bounty and be deleted! –  Ben Brocka Jul 12 '12 at 17:57
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Just as a side note: While the Community User's profile calls him a background process, that's really just a simple explanation in the easiest possible terms.

All it technically is is a special user account that's used in places where we need a user id, but no user is actually responsible for whatever the thing in question is, maybe (as in this case) because a user doesn't exist anymore, or we need a pseuo-edit (a.k.a. bump), or the actual action was anonymous (as can happen for suggested edits). There's no "AI process" surfing on Stack Overflow. Just an id to fulfill a foreign key constraint, if you will.

He/she/it does get yelled at sometimes, though. But we still love him/her/it.

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Not everybody loves that credit stealing bot ;-) That aside, it also has its favorites...? –  Arjan Jul 12 '12 at 17:54
    
Does the community user also put bounties on things with enough "this was helpful" feedback or something? Although they don't show up on its profile page, I've seen +25 bounties from Community, which aren't possible to give normally, so...? –  minitech Aug 6 '12 at 14:07
    
@minitech The community user doesn't put bounties at all. See the accepted answer. –  balpha Aug 6 '12 at 14:49
    
I figured something might have changed. So there are no +25 bounties anywhere? (I have a screenshot somewhere to prove it! With tooltip!) –  minitech Aug 6 '12 at 14:51
    
Never mind, just being stupid... it was a 50 awarded automatically. –  minitech Aug 6 '12 at 14:59
    
@minitech Here is +25 bounty by community: stackoverflow.com/questions/20851629/… –  MariuszS Jan 11 at 19:31
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