Earlier today I ran across this question which does not seem like a fit for StackOverflow and I would vote to close it as not constructive, however there is an open bounty on this question and it will not let the question be closed.

I have read How does the bounty system work and saw the explanation that mods can close it:

Why can't I vote to close or migrate a bounty question?

Bounty questions cannot be closed.

However, diamond moderators can refund bounties, which would then allow it to be closed, migrated, or deleted. (source)

I flagged it for moderator attention but obviously this question had the 4 votes prior to the bounty starting. Maybe it is just me, but it seems like a waste of the mods time to be flagging something that probably should not have had a bounty on in the first place.

I know there is probably no way to prevent bounties on questions with multiple votes to close, but maybe a notification can be presented to the user placing the bounty that the question has close votes?

  • 1
    FWIW the question was closed & deleted an hour after you posted this question.
    – slugster
    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:28
  • 4
    I once flagged a bountied puzzle question, but a moderator felt differently. Now I don't even dare to vote to close ;-)
    – Arjan
    Jul 22, 2012 at 10:16
  • @slugster I believe it was closed after I flagged it for mod attention.
    – Taryn
    Jul 22, 2012 at 13:16
  • @bluefeet: And I believe that it would have been closed if the bounty would not have been placed on it even before you would have been practicable able to place your close-vote on that question. Also please consider that the motivation of placing a bounty is subjective. If you are concerned about the moderators time, please do not needlessly place a flag but respect the community choices incl. placing a bounty (yes I normally dislike it as well but that bountied questions can't be closed is just a side-effect. this might be changed in the future).
    – hakre
    Jul 23, 2012 at 10:34
  • possible duplicate of How can we close questions with bounties? Nov 19, 2012 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


The question is four years old. While you are correct that the question is not a fit for StackOverflow today, the rules about what types of questions are off-topic have changed over the years. I'm not sure what the right thing to do is in this specific case, but I wouldn't focus too much time or worry on questions that old, even if they would be closed immediately were they asked today.

  • 10
    > I wouldn't focus too much time or worry on questions that old, even if they would be closed immediately were they asked today — no, normally, these should be closed and possibly even deleted. Pretending we didn't see them and keeping them just because they're old is not the preferred way to handle that situation.
    – slhck
    Jul 22, 2012 at 2:44
  • @slhck Understood, but obviously some user thought it would be great to prevent that by awarding a bounty, otherwise it would have already been closed... <shrug>
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 22, 2012 at 2:48
  • It probably just slipped under the radar until now.
    – slhck
    Jul 22, 2012 at 2:50
  • 1
    @slhck yes, I should have been clearer - for a 4-year-old, should-be-closed-already question that someone put a bounty on, let the bounty run its course. It will get closed eventually even if right now system policy prevents it.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 22, 2012 at 2:58
  • There is no "already", those 4 close-votes were crowd-sourced not over the years the question exists but within minutes. The bounty was placed there to give the next vote at least a week decision time.
    – hakre
    Jul 22, 2012 at 7:39
  • 1
    @hakre not sure I understand. What about this specific off-topic question makes you think the community should think about it for a week, when many other similar questions are closed every day?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 22, 2012 at 12:07
  • @AaronBertrand I get that off-topic question definitions have changed over the years but my thing is it was a high rep user (46k) who posted a bounty on a clearly now off-topic question with already 4 votes to close. It seems backwards to me to put a bounty on something off-topic and votes to close.
    – Taryn
    Jul 22, 2012 at 13:21
  • @bluefeet Yes, I don't understand it either. Maybe hakre will let us know his motivation. You certainly spoiled his party by posting about the question here, which I'm pretty sure is a good thing. I don't think we want to encourage people to have off-topic junk become magically on-topic just because there's a bounty system to be abused.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 22, 2012 at 13:30
  • Great answers for a simple and straight forward question. I wanted to reward one while seeing the opportunity that the awareness was gathered by the close-votes could be added more with a bounty. I don't think it is eligible for deletion which is an actual problem that it was deleted IMHO.
    – hakre
    Jul 22, 2012 at 20:36

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