In this chat discussion, a user wanted to "make up for past doings" by handing out bounties to a certain user.

I'd like to make up for my past doings and was wondering if it is OK within gaming.stackoverflow to award all of my rep via bounty to Sorean?

In this case, the rep in question was trivial (a fact that I realized later), but I was wondering what the policy is on awarding large amounts of rep (for some definition of large) to a single user.

After all, we're about posts not users.

Mods have access to /admin/accepted-bounties , which indicates that there probably is something such as "bounty abuse", though, as agent86 noted, that's probably to catch socks.

So, what limits are there on "transferring rep" to a user?

Note to self: Update What is a vote fraud? later

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    Let's not stretch the story. I awarded a single bounty to a user because I had essentially stolen rep from him. Not bounties plural. – ediblecode Jun 4 '12 at 14:34
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    "gaming.stackoverflow" ಠ_ಠ – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 4 '12 at 14:34
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    @danRhul: I'm not stretching it. In this case, the rep in question was trivial, but I was wondering what the policy is on awarding large amounts of rep to a single user. This is not about your specific case, IMO your case was perfectly OK. This is about general policy. – Manishearth Jun 4 '12 at 14:35
  • @TimManishEarth Fair enough, I misunderstood – ediblecode Jun 4 '12 at 14:36

Bounties are like votes; you're supposed to be awarding the points to the exceptional post, not the user. If it appears someone is repeatedly using bounties to give reputation to the same user on posts that do not appear to deserve it, that's probably an abuse.

However mods don't have as good of tools for "bounty fraud" and I'm not familiar with it happening particularly often, but as always if you see something that's really not right, raise an "Other" moderator flag and let them know what's up. As a mod, if there's something that really isn't right, one of the community team should be your first contact. I'm sure devs could reverse/invalidate bounties, but I'm not sure if there's a built in system for that or if it's been done in the past.

As I recall, part of the reason bounties can't immediately be given (even for Reward Existing Answer) is that it makes it too easy to transfer rep; which you're not supposed to do of course.

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    If this applies to Meta as well, I am probably in for a 2-year ban. I've awarded bounties for "most sycophantic answer", "cool answer with unrelated pikshurz".... – Pekka Jun 4 '12 at 15:01
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    @Pekka On Meta "most sycophantic answer" and "cool answer with unrelated pikshurz" are exceptional posts, so I'm sure you won't get in trouble. – yannis Jun 4 '12 at 15:03
  • @Pekka depends on the intent of course :P – Ben Brocka Jun 4 '12 at 15:04
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    @Yannis good point! Ben - intent? Malicious. Deeply, deeply malicious. :) – Pekka Jun 4 '12 at 15:05

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