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I know this happens. It is clearly stated. I want to know WHY. rep is not money. So SO has no need of it. Why is the rep just discarded after the time limit expires?

  • A traditional bounty is awarded. Until that time, it remains the property of awarder.
  • Why is it bad reputation to seek and answer? This is in affect what SO is saying by irrevocably subtracting the rep - Rep is subtracted for poor answers.

Therefore, I do not think that part of the current bounty system makes sense.

Sorry if this has been answered before. Please point me in the right direction. I want to know WHY.

If there is no good reason for this feature, I'd like to request that the bounty returns back to the originator once the time limit is reached.

This is not a dup. This question was closed as a dup, but the question was not answered in the linked posts: Bounty Question Not Answered and Reputation Points Lost

Unfortunately, people cannot read so well these days - or maybe they are just trigger happy.

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See this answer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21669/… –  waiwai933 Nov 16 '10 at 3:10
    
It still does not answer WHY they are subtracted regardless if there is even one answer. Does it? Am I missing something? –  d-_-b Nov 16 '10 at 3:32
    
Read paragraph 3 specifically. –  waiwai933 Nov 16 '10 at 3:57
    
That doesn't answer why. Why is by design. That answer is explaining the design, not why it was designed that way. Bill is explaining the design in his answer. It's missing the main point though. –  d-_-b Nov 16 '10 at 4:04

2 Answers 2

It's to prevent gaming of the bounty system. If I can place a bounty that I don't have to pay (by not accepting an answer), I might be tempted to just use the top answer without officially accepting it, keeping my reputation points.

If there were such an easily gamed hole in the bounty system, fewer people would be motivated to actually answer bounty questions. Since you lose the full amount of the bounty anyway, you have no motivation to not award it to the person who helps you the most.

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I understand. But what if there are NO answers? Or no twice upvoted answers? –  d-_-b Nov 16 '10 at 3:56
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@sims: I can't say for sure what the motivation is for that decision, but my guess is that it's to keep the person placing the bounty actively engaged. If you're risking some of your reputation, you're much more motivated to keep coming back and updating the question with additional information as you research the problem on your own. –  Bill the Lizard Nov 16 '10 at 4:10
    
That doesn't make much sense, as if you find the answer on your own, then why would you want award the bounty? Rather, you deserve it, as you found the answer to your question. I just think it's a bad design. –  d-_-b Nov 16 '10 at 4:21
    
@sims: I'm not talking about completely answering the question on your own, but providing feedback and additional information to others trying to answer it. –  Bill the Lizard Nov 16 '10 at 4:30

Think of it differently.

Putting a bounty on a question is like paying for extra exposure for that question for a week.

If you put an advertisement in the newspaper, for example, they would charge you a certain amount of money for that service. Okay, fair trade. Would you expect the money back at the end of the advertising period if no one bought your product?

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No. But then call it an advertisement - not a bounty. It's kind of misleading. To be honest, it's not worth the rep points, as SO is quite over crowded these days. Perhaps it's time to take a look at it again. –  d-_-b Nov 16 '10 at 5:18

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