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While working on the Android tag on the main site, I came across this question in the bounty tab.

The OP has offered a +50 bounty, and says:

Please need winners help. Winner should help me till i accomplish my goal

This sounds like he is using the bounty to turn reputation into currency, as in:

I have this problem, which is only loosely related to programming itself, but if you provide me support tailored to my localized case until I achieve my goal, I will give you 50 reputation as payment.

How should one handle such a situation? Should it be closed? Or flagged for moderator attention? Or this kind of use of reputation acceptable, and the question should be left as is?

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3  
Was that all he said ? if so, I'd definitely downvote and flag –  Anders Metnik Sep 27 '12 at 12:17
    
@AndersMetnik Yup. That's a direct quote from his question (the first one. The second one is my interpretation) –  Raghav Sood Sep 27 '12 at 12:18
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If someone wants that much help, they should try offering real currency. 50 reputation points is hardly worth my time to read the question. –  Al E. Sep 27 '12 at 13:18
1  
For the record, the question is now closed and the bounty refunded. –  Shawn Chin Sep 27 '12 at 15:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you think the question is off-topic, you can vote to close after the bounty expires or flag it. It shouldn't matter if there's a bounty on it or not, or what message the bounty was tagged with.

If it is on topic, then the bounty is doing what it should -- provide extra motivation to answerers and more visibility to the question.

Of course, visibility is a double-edged sword; good questions attract answers and upvotes, bad ones attract unnecessary attention and downvotes. (and ill-adviced bounty messages may lead to an appearance on meta which will drive in an even bigger crowd. I don't see this going too well for the post. 14 downvotes and counting.)

"Please need winners help. Winner should help me till i accomplish my goal"

It is the OP's prerogative to award the bounty as he/she see fit, and the person who ends up with the bounty is not obliged to do any more than post the answer. Either way, the OP will lose the rep pledged on the bounty. While I'm not too keen either on the way the message was written, I don't think there's a problem here.

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Though questions with a bounty can not be closed for the duration of the bounty. A mod would have to manually undo the bounty first AFAIK. –  Bart Sep 27 '12 at 12:25
    
Good point. Answer updated. –  Shawn Chin Sep 27 '12 at 12:29

You are under no obligation to answer this question or answer any subsequent questions the OP may have. If you do answer this question then you are under no obligation to follow it up.

The awarding of the bounty will happen automatically (assuming there is a qualifying answer) whether the OP wants it or not.

If the OP keeps modifying/extending the one question, then that should be flagged for moderator attention as that is abuse of the system.

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As the OP clearly says Winner should help me till i accomplish my goal, it means he intends to edit, ask you for more and more information if he is unable to complete the steps you give. And as the OP says he couldn't follow the official documentation, he is likely to modify his question as you offer help. –  Raghav Sood Sep 27 '12 at 12:22
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@RaghavSood - There's nothing he can do to you if you don't keep helping. –  ChrisF Sep 27 '12 at 12:23

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