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See comment#3 here:

well it came to my mind, this actually can make for a great schema for "featuring" your questions for free :). Say user Joe registers a shill user Jill and brings both users to score 500+. Then Joe adds 500 bounty on his question, collects answers and at the end awards the bounty to Jill (who posts shill answer). Next time it will be Jill offering the bounty and bouncing those +500 back to Joe ... – Nas Banov

One might even go as far and have a chain of multiple users which have a bounty circling around. Is there a mechanism to detect or prevent this? One could suggest a small rep-fee for bounties, say 5-10%, which would at least make this kind of "advertisement" no longer free, but actually awarded "shill answers" should be suspicious anyway...

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What would be the point? Wouldn't the net of all the sock puppets reputation be the same even after passing bounty around? –  TheLQ Jul 9 '10 at 4:26
    
@Lord.Quackstar: as Nas Banov mentioned, this way questions could be put to the [featured] tab "for free", flawing the "no refunds"-mechanism –  Tobias Kienzler Jul 9 '10 at 4:56
    
This concern was addressed already way back when the new system was rolled out. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54306/… –  Grace Note Jul 9 '10 at 9:58
    
@Grace Note right you are –  Tobias Kienzler Jul 9 '10 at 10:09

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Our bounty on other question feature is being barely used, I counted 40 of them on Stack Overflow.

Additionally I am working on giving us a better audit trail, and tooltips are on the way in the deploy today.

With the additional public audit trail (on the way) this should be a non-issue, if people start abusing it we can easily determine this is the case.

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I guess the "bounty on other question" is just not that popular by now. Maybe it would help advertising this possibility by using a different color for such a bounty? –  Tobias Kienzler Jul 9 '10 at 4:59
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@Tobias, well a badge is on the way, that will help it out –  waffles Jul 9 '10 at 7:05

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