I just encountered this question, which is very cute and funny and has nothing to do with programming. I tried voting to close, but was informed by the system that I can't do that when there's a bounty on the question. So, since there's a seven-day bounty, this will remain open for at least a week.

I really don't care what happens to the bounty rep, I just want to be able to close questions that are thoroughly inappropriate although not offensive.


3 Answers 3


Flag it for moderator attention. I agree that setting up a bounty should not prevent a question from being closed. All I can say for that, though, is the fact that the question remained open long enough for a bounty to get posted should say that the community felt it was worthy of being open in the first place.

  • 83
    ...or that it coasted beneath the radar long enough :)
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 11:24
  • 19
    I respectfully disagree with the last statement. Often enough a question won't receive any answers because it is pretty bad but perhaps nobody though it is absolutely terrible. Once a bounty is posted there's a "sharks' frenzy" to provide some kind of answer. In the process, which draws [more] eyes to the question, the problems with it (and why it received no pre-bounty answers) become apparent. To make an analogy: you can post obscure hoaxes on Wikipedia and they can last for years, until someone pays close attention to the page... Just because it's up for a while doesn't mean much. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 13:09
  • I'm reposting this so its easy to see. You can click close, go through all the motions, and only then find out that you can't close it.
    – William
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 15:46
  • 6
    Too add to what @Fizz said, I have encountered cases where the off-topicness became clear only after a while, based upon what the asker gradually stated in the comments. Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 10:58
  • 1
    What if the question is asked by a moderator?
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 7:23

The moderators have a menu to remove / refund the bounty, so this is no longer an issue. Flag such things for moderator attention as the moderators have all the tools necessary to deal with this now.

  • 6
    But why should the mod just believe me? Since we can't vote, we can't pile the complete jury verdict?
    – Rosinante
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 1:28
  • 22
    You can click close, go through all the motions, and only then find out that you can't close it. Could you at least change the "This question has an open bounty and cannot be closed." to add something like "consider flagging it for moderator attention." Alternatively remove closing across the board and make flagging for a moderator the default way to close a question.
    – dlamblin
    Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 5:30
  • I believe you mean diamond moderators not regular moderators according to this post
    – William
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 22:31
  • I flagged this question with the following message: Does the fact that a question has an open bounty allow the question to be off-topic? I believe it should not be the case. This question should be closed as it is not about programming, but about the use of a third party service, but can't be close because of the bounty which IMO is a non-sense. Please close this question as it does NOT follow SO rules. Thank you. - my flag was reported as "helpful", but the question is still open. Why?
    – MrUpsidown
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 10:04

You can still flag for moderator attention if it is off-topic. Moderators can and do refund bounties (albeit rarely). I did that just this morning, to move something to SU.

  • What if a moderator asked the question? I want to vote a question on Travel as off-topic, but it was asked by a moderator, massively downvoted, but has been under constantly renewed bounties for three weeks.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 7:24
  • 1
    @gerrit are you referring to the covid-19 one? Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 7:36
  • Yes. I posted about it on Travel Meta. Perhaps opinions differ, but right now the community can't even discuss it except possibly in a dedicated meta question, which isn't really what meta is for.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 7:55
  • 1
    @gerrit on the contrary, I think that's an entirely valid question for the site-specific meta (I see you've already posted it there); I've commented on the post (♦ privilege) to make sure the OP sees it Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 8:49

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