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When I joined Stack Overflow I asked this question. Later on I placed bounty on the question. Unfortunatelly the answer which got the highest upvotes is not answer to my question. My question wasn't probably well explained but how can I avoid that answer which doesn't help me gets half of the bounty?

Moreover if I start new bounty what happens if I don't accept any other answer? Will be the incorrect answer again awarded with half of the new bounty?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Regarding your first question - the only option as far as I know is to manually award the bounty to some other answer, perhaps one which was the most helpful, even if it isn't the correct answer.

Regarding your second question - from the official explanation:

If you do not award the bounty during the period, half the reward will be automatically be awarded to the top voted answer posted after the bounty start provided it has a score of at least 2. If no new answer matches this requirement, no reputation is awarded at all.

So no old answer can ever receive a new bounty when that bounty expires.

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The bounty system is how it is to prevent people grabbing attention and then not paying up once they get an answer but unfortunately this means the topic op gets the raw end of the stick since SO ignored how such systems work irl and decided no matter what even if no reply of any kind is given you would still lose all the rep you put up for the bounty.

The only way to avoid losing half of the bounty to the wrong answer I suppose might be to flag it or try and get the community to band together to change the rules of the bounty system.

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Seems someone doesn't like my idea of changing the bounty system to have down voted me in less than 5min – Myzifer Jan 6 '11 at 8:58
+1 for recognizing that the bounty system is not perfect and might benefit from being changed. It would be best if you could get some of your bounty rep back (half?) if you don't get any good answers, meaning you paid half for the publicity, and half for a good answer. (That could be abused, but something could be designed to ward that off.) – A.M. Jul 17 '13 at 20:49
I'd say at least 90% and have it as a 10% ad fee or full reduction for anybody under 500-1000 rep. Unless you're thinking of a half upfront half when job finished style of bounty? – Myzifer Jul 25 '13 at 14:58
Yes, as long as some portion of the bounty cost is a permanent ad fee, then there shouldn't be any abuse of the advertising aspect. There could still be abuse of the not-paying-even-for-a-good-answer variety, though, so you should probably have an auto-amount for answerers so that they don't get nothing for a good answer (if the questioner is trying to take advantage of others that way), and 10% might not be enough. Then again...once any system in place for a while and people know how it works, then taking advantage of others is less likely, so +1. :) – A.M. Jul 25 '13 at 21:25
No matter what the split, though, I do think any situation where rep just disappears should be avoided. That is just a waste of what could be fuel for encouraging positive site activity. Split it amongst the answerers depending on votes. Refund some of it. Even sprinkle a little of it on people who just read the question. ...just do something with it! – A.M. Jul 25 '13 at 21:28

A possible workaround is:

  1. Find a solution to the problem yourself
  2. Post the solution as an answer to your own question
  3. Accept your own answer

Because you now have an accepted answer (that was posted after the bounty was offered), the automatic half-bounty award is disabled, and nobody gets the bounty.

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