I just went over to the Featured tab and clicked a question I thought I could answer, to see this:

One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.

Guess I'm not going to get that bounty.

If I understand correctly, the purpose of the Featured page is to highlight questions so that they are more likely to be answered, which is what the bountier is "paying for". In this case, however, none of that is needed. This subset of bounties should be removed from the Featured tab so the focus can go to the ones that need it.

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    No objections. Might also encourage people to award those bounties sooner, since their questions wouldn't get extra attention for offering one – Ben Brocka Jun 27 '12 at 22:47
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    SO has 309 open bounties right now. This seems like an easy way to filter a few out. – Dennis Jun 28 '12 at 2:05

Just because it's a "reward existing answer" bounty doesn't necessarily mean that you can't answer the question. In my opinion, it just raises the standards. They've already indicated that one of the answers there meets the standards they see fit for the answer to be considered "exemplary." So, if you have the means to provide a better, more comprehensive answer than exists, it would only make sense that your answer would be awarded the bounty, or possibly that they'd start another bounty. If that's not the case, then I honestly believe they're using the bounty reason incorrectly.

This also opens the door for reputation transfers. Users could use this bounty reason to silently pass reputation to others without the question appearing anywhere as a special case, only making it harder to detect users who are abusing the system.

  • I agree it's possible. Is it likely? Does it serve a useful purpose? Would it not be misleading? As for abuse, that seems like a perfect case for automated checks. On SO at least I think there are so many bounties that it's not that hard to hide amongst them anyways. Another thought, are there any cases where "passing reputation to others" is bad when there isn't something else bad (sock puppeting, voting rings, etc.) going on? – Matthew Read Jun 27 '12 at 22:36
  • The bounty reason itself is already sketchy enough, we don't need to encourage its misuse by hiding them from the featured tab. – animuson Jun 28 '12 at 2:08
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    How is it sketchy? Are there actual instances of abuse? – Matthew Read Jun 28 '12 at 5:24

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