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Something weird just happened, I awarded myself the bounty for Create a tag homepage/FAQ

And now my wonderful 50 point bounty is totally gone, nowhere to see

My expected behavio[u]r was:

  • I started a bounty for a question that is not mine
  • I happened to answer this question
  • Award bounty button should not appear on my answers

There are 2 scenarios I can think of where chucking a bounty in the bin could happen:

  1. You want to stop the system from self-awarding a bounty to a new answer with 2 or more upvotes.
  2. You want to quickly move on to setting another bounty and do not want to wait 7 days.

I find neither super compelling.

Anyway what I consider a bug is that I performed an action on an item that resulted in information disappearing.

  • You can not tell I chose my answer as a bounty.
  • And as far as I can tell you can not tell I set a bounty.

A more accurate way of implementing this feature would be a discard bounty button where the start bounty is now. It would be less mysterious. Ofcourse once your bounty is set the rep is spent, I'm not suggesting changing that.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Now that accepting an answer and awarding the bounty are 2 distinct actions - possibly from different users as well, you can no longer award the bounty to your own answer.

This will take effect next build. The "+100" award button simply won't show beside your own answers.

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3  
If this is the case now, is there any way to "not award" a bounty anymore? I guess I can understand that the point is that people already put effort in, so bounty should be given even if none of the answers were helpful to the bounty poster, but figure to check anyway. –  Grace Note Jul 7 '11 at 20:34
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@Grace I don't; it leads to people answering every bounty question they can find with an answer just good enough to not get downvoted, so they can snap up bounties from questions too difficult/obscure to get a real answer –  Michael Mrozek Jul 7 '11 at 21:38
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Thirded (or seconded or firsted, I'm not sure what Grace and Michael are actually requesting). There should be an easily discoverable way of not awarding the bounty. Otherwise the most obvious way of not awarding a bounty to any of the answers is to create a puppet account and post a dummy answer. This is not good. –  Gilles Jul 7 '11 at 23:29
    
@Michael In the perspective of abusers, yes, it's a pretty bad change. I'm just taking it from the recent justifications for why deleted user bounties still exist, and similar implementations, which is to cater to all the users who aren't trying to abuse the system and are just trying to gun for the bounty with actual effort. –  Grace Note Jul 8 '11 at 13:00
    
Can the OP award your bounty to you if they've accepted your answer? –  Matisse VerDuyn Apr 19 '12 at 18:35
7  
Wow! This was done?! I will never, ever offer a bounty again. They've just become worthless. If I can't refuse to award it when nobody gave a good answer, I will not be offering them at all, ever. –  Omnifarious Jun 29 '12 at 3:15
3  
I just set a bounty as a test, and it appears that this is true. Thank whoever decided this for making bounties worse than useless. Now it's just a way to force myself to give a whole bunch of points to some answer, any answer, no matter if it's any good or not. –  Omnifarious Jun 29 '12 at 18:08
7  
I agree with the general consensus here - bad change. You should definitely be able to not award a bounty. –  Robin Winslow Sep 6 '12 at 19:39

If you create a bounty, and do not want to give it to someone else, you are free to create your own answer to the question, and then award the bounty to yourself.

The main reason you may want to do this is if you want to stop the system from self-awarding the bounty to a new answer with 2 or more votes.

This is [by-design]. It is for the scenarios where you figured out the answer to your question after offering a bounty, and none of the other answers adequately answer your question.

However, this will not award you any reputation. The reputation you poured into the bounty will disappear if you award the bounty to yourself.

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1  
I'm not following this wasn't even my question ... I was thinking, obviously the system is not going to allow me to do something this meaningless –  waffles Jun 25 '10 at 11:55
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@Waff I've attempted to incorporate your edits into my edit. The system will allow you to do this, because it is not, in fact, meaningless. Awarding the bounty to yourself means that you figured out the answer yourself and you don't want to recognize anyone else for their help. It doesn't matter if the question is someone else', when adding a bounty, you are claiming that you have the same problem which means you can recognize correct answers (or lack thereof) in whatever manner you choose. –  devinb Jun 25 '10 at 12:04
    
I expanded your answer a bit, hope you do not mind. –  waffles Jun 25 '10 at 12:26
    
As long as you're making it better. –  devinb Jun 25 '10 at 12:55
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Awww, why'd you edit out poof gone? It's my new favorite phrase. –  Randolpho Jun 25 '10 at 14:44
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This was true, once, but not anymore. –  Arjan Sep 4 '11 at 8:45

It would be hazardous to allow bounties to be awarded back to the requester. Consider that this would basically fully refund the bounty, meaning no net change in reputation. Subsequently, the requester can request a new bounty on the same question, putting it back in the Featured questions for another week. The lack of award not only mimicks the original system, but also helps prevent gaming the bounty system.

The lack of a record is probably derived from the fact that there is no real change. I mean, the fact that a bounty was ever assigned to a question is never pointed out at all, but there is a [status-planned] feature request to circumvent this. So in line with that, since no bounty was awarded, there's nothing to mark on an answer. It's basically discarding the bounty.

If this lack of record is the bug, then highlight that as the issue instead of the ability to self-accept. Because I don't see the ability to self-accept being a problem. I agree that the lack of record is bad, but I don't see any harm in letting us self-accept. Nor do I see that converting the current process to some "discard bounty" option will technically fix this. All that does is change the name, you still need to have some method of recording that. And if that isn't recorded either, then there's no gain at all from getting rid of the ability to self-award.

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Afaik there used to be a visual queue for self accepted bounties. This is gone now so it is a bit of a regression –  waffles Jun 25 '10 at 12:44
    
@waffles It was only barely visible (and not FIFO). Even in the original system, we got quite a few questions about weird question behavior that was resultant from the fact that the questioners didn't realize they were looking at bounty questions. It's even less obvious now, of course, but removing the ability to self-accept, or simply renaming it, isn't going to change this lack of record. The way I see it, you're highlighting a very legitimate problem, but you're proposing a solution that doesn't address that problem in itself, just kinda masks it. –  Grace Note Jun 25 '10 at 12:49

Something should happen when you try to award a bounty to your self. Either a warning that the bounty will disappear or maybe it shouldn't be allowed at all?

Maybe it's not so bad to allow users to give themselves the bounty, if no one else deserves it and they don't want it to automatically be given to some one else. But should users be able to stop a bounty like that?

I think the best option would be to disallow giving yourself the bounty. It doesn't make much sense to award yourself with a bounty anyways.

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it does, if you want to make sure that NOBODY ELSE gets the bounty through an auto-award. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 25 '10 at 16:18
    
@Jeff Atwood: But that also opens up for people to be wicked, and keep the reward (bounty) from all the posters that put hard work into the answer they posted, even when the community accepts them. That doesn't seem right. –  googletorp Jun 25 '10 at 16:52
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That kind of malicious thought was already possible in the original bounty system, except a bit more in-your-face since their reward choice is visibly a self-reward. Not to mention, since it costs reputation to assign a bounty, and self-reward does not refund, then the person who assigned the bounty stands to lose a lot more, while the people who posted answers still get benefits from upvotes. I find it's much worse to allow the bounty to be auto-assigned where it may be ill-deserved, and letting people avoid that with self-award is a good idea. –  Grace Note Jun 25 '10 at 17:15
    
If the goal is to stop others from getting it, wouldn't it be a lot better to allow a cancel bounty option, instead of forcing people to post an answer and give it the bounty? –  googletorp Jun 25 '10 at 17:32
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how is that better? awarding to yourself is a visible act of narcisissm; allowing people to cancel the bounty (when they've already gotten answers, publicity, etc) would be an act of nihilism. Bad idea. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 25 '10 at 22:59
    
In other words, @googletorp, you paid to get a better answers. I see your logic -- hey, I found the answer myself, give me my money back. But you got what you paid for -- hopefully, heightened attention from everyone else. If you gave a good answer, it should -- in theory -- be up-voted and give you more rep than you lost in the bounty. The @waffles's point is -- hey I paid for someone else to get a good answer, they didn't, so I found it myself, answered it, and now I'd at least like to get back what I gave away to someone else. I still agree with @Jeff. –  M. Tibbits Jul 1 '11 at 3:27

While the "attack" Grace noted is a problem, I just experienced this and lost my bounty reputation altogether.

I added a bounty to the question: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2962070/better-jquery-scroll-to-plugin-than-scrollto/3589900

And then through my own research discovered there were no alternatives, so I made my own. Awarded the bounty to myself, and :O I don't get the bounty or my reputation back! This just makes me feel like poop, all that hard work, and it cost me 50 reputation!!!

A warning or strike system would be appreciated. Like a we'll let you off this time, but next time you'll lose your rep.

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Same here. I understand not awarding the full bounty to yourself as @googletorp mentioned, however it would make sense to return a partial bounty, particularly if your own answer receives more upvotes than the other answers. –  Greg Combs Apr 27 '11 at 17:28
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You didn't see "in any case, all reputation spent on bounty is lost forever"? –  Oleg V. Volkov Jul 7 '12 at 10:48
    
@OlegV.Volkov I believe that is a new addition, and was not present 2 years ago when I posted my experience. –  balupton Jul 9 '12 at 3:51
    
imo it's more about paying to promote a question rather than the act of offering a bounty for an acceptable answer. the bounty is purely there to encourage a better answer and assigning it should be seen as a separate event from the initial payment. perhaps it's the term "bounty" that invites a misconception of the system? –  jozxyqk Oct 22 '13 at 14:28

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