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Should the 24-hour timeout apply to bounties awarded for “exemplary answer”?

When I see an answer which is quite good and/or it saved me hours and hours of works, I like that I am able to reward the answerer with 'several upvotes' literally. Bounty system allows just that. There is even a predefined reason for this scenario: One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.

Now, after I put bounty on the question, I have to wait at least 24 hours although in this scenario the answer already exists and the bounty could be awarded the very minute if the system allowed it.

Would it be possible to allow awarding the bounty without the 24 hour delay if this reason was selected?

I don't really mind waiting one day, it just seems contradictory. System gives you an option to additionally award existing answers, but you still have to wait for them to be written (although they already are).

  • 10
    One of the reasons for the delay is to make it difficult to transfer large amounts of reputation between accounts. For example, it prevents a user with 15k reputation from splitting it into five 3k alts and closing questions en masse as some sort of insane ragequit.
    – Jeremy
    Jan 13, 2012 at 0:09
  • I have no idea how I missed the duplicate. Jan 13, 2012 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


As Jeremy points out the delay on the bounty means it's subjected to more public scrutiny for possible abuses than would otherwise occur if bounties were awarded near instantaneously.

Bounties are also limited in the number a user may have active at one time, which combined with the minimum time before awarding makes nefarious activity harder to execute still.

If there were a limit not on the minimum time before a bounty maybe awarded, but on the number of bounties which may be awarded/started in a given 24 hour period this would reduce the risk somewhat - a crazy rep transfer rage quit would still take significant time and effort to execute and probably be obvious enough to make automatic flagging possible.

That said the current system isn't too bad really - the question and answer get more exposure (which might make it an even better answer) and plenty of people see both your action and the answer from person you're awarding it to, which probably results in more upvotes for them too, so it's not with out benefits for everybody involved.

  • Ok, so the bottom line is that problems of such change would far outweigh its benefits. Accepted Jan 13, 2012 at 9:01
  • 2
    That is quite funky in terms of user-friendliness (user = person awarding a bounty). Abuse can be prevented in other ways. The number of open bounties could be decremented by one for the next 24h while allowing for immediately awarding the bounty
    – Lukas Eder
    Feb 28, 2012 at 13:57
  • @LukasEder - decrementing the available bounties for the next 24 hours still doesn't get the increased scrutiny that showing in the "featured" questions tab gets.
    – Flexo
    Mar 2, 2012 at 0:15
  • 1
    I understand your answer. But what keeps a Stack Exchange programmer from implementing the bounty system slightly differently? A question can still be "featured" even if that particular type of bounty is already awarded...? All these explanations are quite technical and based on the implementation status quo of how bounties are integrated in Stack Exchange. From a user perspective, having to wait 24h to award an immediate "well-done" bounty just for technical reasons is not user-friendly. Probably, bounties have other constraints that I'm oblivious of, but do I need to understand them?
    – Lukas Eder
    Mar 2, 2012 at 12:03

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