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I have seen a number of questions like:

"Do this work for me please" or without "please"

If such a question doesn't have a bounty, I can downvote it if I want or flag it for closing. But if it has a bounty, then it's protected.

Why?

To be clear, I have nothing against "do-it-for-me" questions in real life, but if it's not allowed on Stack Overflow without a bounty why is it allowed with it?

Update: And you can probably close / put on hold such a question after the bounty time is over..

Examples of such questions that I have flagged:

1 - was put on hold and deleted by TS

2 - was put on hold and deleted by TS

3 - flag was declined

4 - flag was declined

5 - flag was declined

6 - flag was declined

7 - flag was marked as helpful

8 - flag was declined

9 - flag was marked as helpful

10 - flag was declined

11 - flag was declined

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Probably something to do with the user placing the bounty losing the rep already and then not being able to assign it to new answers as the question is closed. Just spit-balling though, someone that actually truly knows will likely come along shortly. –  Fluffeh Oct 2 '13 at 12:13
    
@Fluffeh maybe - but not agree with it. Cause the idea is to have clean SO forum. And if you pay with reputation than you can post what you want? –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:14
    
Just went and played with a question, I can vote to close (though I didn't click confirm, but it popped up) and I can vote up and down. Are you sure you can't perform those actions? –  Fluffeh Oct 2 '13 at 12:17
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@Fluffeh You should have clicked to confirm... –  Bart Oct 2 '13 at 12:17
    
@Fluffeh I havent 3k on SO - so if I see such a question I can downvote - if on bounty question - but cannot flag off-topic on it –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:18
    
You can't do it, because of exactly where @Fluffeh said. The rep has been paid, so they system is designed to prevent the OP from losing the rep for no reason. The appropriate action is to flag for mod attention. The mod can cancel the bounty, refund the rep, and close the post. –  psubsee2003 Oct 2 '13 at 12:18
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How often do poor questions get a bounty on them? How many users that will post such a question will have enough reputation to post a bounty in the first place? –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 12:18
    
@Oded - do you want some examples? –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:18
    
@Bart I did click with the voting, then corrected it, but I wasn't going to cast a close vote on a question just to double-check. I assume that is when the action is rejected? –  Fluffeh Oct 2 '13 at 12:18
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@MikroDel - examples are always welcome. We value facts :) –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 12:20
    
@Oded stackoverflow.com/questions/19065751/… –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:21
    
So, why didn't you downvote that and add a comment? –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 12:22
    
downvoted already now also post a comment –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:22
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And this is one example. This is not normally a problem - if this were to become a big issue, then we would need to address it within the system. As it stands, flagging for moderator attention is the right thing to do. –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 12:23
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That's my point. It is something to be handled through moderator flags. –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 12:25

4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

You can still downvote a question with a bounty and should do so. If a question is something that obviously doesn't belong, you should also flag it for moderator attention (using Other and citing bounty abuse).

Moderators will be able to close & delete such a post (deletion would refund the lost reputation to the user offering the bounty).

Abusing bounties in this way is extremely rare - most people value their reps and the quality of questions on Stack Overflow and as such, though this happens on occasion, it is not something we feel needs to be automated - our human exception handlers can and should deal with these on a case-by-case basis.


Mad Scientist answered on How to prevent your question being closed? Just post a bounty on it:

If a question that should be closed receives a bounty, it means the moderation has failed already. The question was then open for at least 2 days, in which it should have been closed. For this reason this situation is relatively rare, most questions are closed earlier.

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Thanks - thats it =) –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:35
    
And now after the question is deleted someone may ask why the user has a Promoter badge when he has not offered any bounty yet. –  hims056 Oct 2 '13 at 12:36
    
@hims056 this badge should be "Bad question promoter" =) –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 12:38
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@hims056 - Unless we can prove bad faith in this case, I would tend to keep to the "badges are not revoked" rule. –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 12:41
    
@Oded - Correct. He didn't offer the bounty to get the badge. –  hims056 Oct 2 '13 at 12:43
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For your information about only one example - I will update my answer with 10 more –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 13:04
    
@MikroDel - by all means. By doing the work and proving that there is a problem, you are well on the way of making a change in how things work. Good job. –  Oded Oct 2 '13 at 13:06
    
@Oded - ok thanks =) I like to refactor ) Take a look at my updated question –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 13:09
    
Heh, "for this reason this situation is relatively rare" --- not that rare when there are 80k+ questions in the close vote queue. –  Juhana Oct 2 '13 at 14:56
    
@Juhana - I will take care about close queue after I fave 3k ) –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 20:12

Keep in mind that a bounty cannot be started until two days after the question was asked. So it's not like a user can post a crap question and quickly "protect" it by placing a bounty on it. If the question is not viable, it most likely would have been closed long before it become eligible for a bounty.

We cannot close 'featured' questions as readily as "normal" questions. Bounties are a contract with the participants who were promised a reward for the top answer. Bounties are paid up front and are non-refundable under most circumstances. We don't want to create a situation where promises are made (and the question 'featured') just to have it CLOSED through a slow accretion of votes because the problem wasn't egregious enough to close it quickly.

I think allowing closures during a bounty is more likely to be gamed in the other direction — get your answer with a promise of a bounty, and then get your question closed so you don't have to pay it.

Closing 'Featured' Questions
Automated processes aren't always perfect. If a poorly-asked question gets past the first two days, becomes 'protected' by a bounty, and absolutely can't wait to be closed after the seven days (max), simply 'flag' it for moderator attention. It's an exceptional situation that is easily handled by Moderators. That's why we call them "exception handlers."

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Not an answer to this question exactly, more a response to your examples...

There's no "Asks folks to do something for him" close reason. Why not? Because that would mean the vast majority of the questions on SO should be closed - including quite a few rather useful ones.

I think the problem you're suggesting is one involving the asker asking for an exceptional amount of effort, which can be a bit off-putting... But then again...

Why on earth would anyone offer a bounty if they didn't expect someone to do something to earn it?

I don't particularly like bounties; I don't blame you if you don't like them either. But like 'em or not, this was pretty much the exact reason for their creation:

Stack Overflow already works well for smaller, simpler questions. We’re hoping the new question bounty will improve answer quality on those tougher questions that aren’t so easy to answer. But they do require a bigger commitment from both the asker and the answerer — you must be willing to slice off a piece of your own reputation and bestow it upon the person who is best able to answer your question.

If you're gonna be shocked every time you see a "much effort required" question with a bounty on it, you're probably best off not looking at bountied questions.


Here's my take on the examples:

Two things I found very irritating while reviewing these:

  1. critical comments from folks who made no effort to understand the problem ("you question is not SO conform" is... not a very specific criticism. Can you point to an entry in /help that implies this? Perhaps a discussion on meta? Or just state what you find problematic in the question?).

  2. Flags that consist of little or nothing beyond ""Do it for me" question". What is that supposed to mean? I'm plenty familiar with questions from folks who've done little more than post an assignment or spec document into the question; none of these matched that pattern. If Stack Overflow can't be used to find solutions to specific programming problems, then what exactly is the point?

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hmmmm... there is nevertheless a difference between 1) "much effort required", which means for me efforts, lot of research, technical skills... (from the asker first and then from those who reply) and 2) here are my requirements, I'm a slacker, so here some bounty and do my job please. Your answer seems to me too simplistic. Don't you think? –  Chris Oct 2 '13 at 14:31
    
To be clear, what I mean is while what you say is right, there are some exceptions that should be handled. –  Chris Oct 2 '13 at 14:37
    
@Chris: simplistic? Did you look over those examples? Reading the discussions as they crop up is making me want to tear my hair out. Asking a straight-forward "How can I do X?" question shouldn't require a whole lot in the way of supporting data - explain the problem, be specific on where you're having trouble, and what results you're after. Trivial questions where the answer is easily found on Google (or especially on Stack Overflow) are a problem, but... They're not really represented here. –  Shog9 Oct 2 '13 at 16:34
    
First, thanks for the reply and I'm sorry but, due to translation and my English skills, I am not always sure to understand exactly" the meaning of all what I read. I don't think that the problem is *the trivial questions where the answer is easily found on Google (or especially on Stack Overflow), the problem is poor question (too broad, not clear..) that are protected by a bounty. If some of the questions given in example have been closed (and from what I see, some of the others could be closed too), it means that the OP question make sens. –  Chris Oct 2 '13 at 17:02
    
And again, while I think you are right in your answer, I think (maybe I'm wrong) that your last sentence in your answer (before the edit) is not appropriate. –  Chris Oct 2 '13 at 17:03
    
It's what's known as a rhetorical question, @Chris. Collecting answers to specific programming problems is the point of Stack Overflow - that's why I get so frustrated when I see questions that are specific, on-topic and answerable shut down. –  Shog9 Oct 2 '13 at 17:06
    
Do you mean generally that there are 2 kind of standrards for a good question on SO. First for normal question - we all know them. The second one - for questions with bounty? –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 17:14
    
OK I understand your point of view. Personally, I also make a difference between on-topic, specific questions with or without any efforts from the OP. –  Chris Oct 2 '13 at 17:15
    
@MikroDel: the bounties are irrelevant to me. Either a question is on-topic and answerable, or it's not. –  Shog9 Oct 2 '13 at 17:16
    
Thank you for you answers and time you invest to explain it all! –  MikroDel Oct 2 '13 at 17:17
    
"Effort" can be incredibly hard to judge, @Chris. I don't ask many questions, but I use an awful lot of them. If someone asks a simple question because they can't find an answer using Google, they're not putting a tremendous amount of effort in... But I'm putting far less in by using the answer to their question after I find it on Google. –  Shog9 Oct 2 '13 at 17:18
    
You are right, "Effort" can be incredibly hard to judge. It's why in lot of case, technical skills on the subject are necessary to try to judge them. I don't want to close all questions with bounty, but a question like the one I flagged this afternoon (which has been closed), making me want to tear my hair out, too. We can not all agree on everything. In any case, Thank you for your viewpoint developed here. –  Chris Oct 2 '13 at 17:37

The system prevents closing a question with a bounty on it so the user doesn't lose the rep. That being said, you can go through all the steps to close it but you actually can't close it which doesn't make much sense to me. I suggest that when a question has a bounty on it the close option is removed and just the flag option remains. Moderators have the ability to close a question with a bounty and refund any rep.

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