I was struck with an interesting thought today as I added a bounty to a question on SE Linux.

I found myself thinking: "I really need this answer, I wish I could have put on a bounty earlier..." Then I realized that because you can edit your own questions. Why not have a series of questions that are well formed and worded but obscure and unlikely to be given much attention and then when I do have a question that I want to put an immediate bounty on convert one of my ready reserve questions?

I'm sure this behavior wouldn't be encouraged on any SE site. but are there any counter-measures against it?

  • 7
    I am pretty sure this is a low priority problem...
    – Johnny D
    Jan 3 '13 at 21:03
  • Also don't confuse SE with support forums. That post of yours really would be better on that product's help section if you don't have an error message or some concrete problem. (It's also missing a potentially critical part: your config file, since that appears to be the only thing you did yourself.)
    – Mat
    Jan 3 '13 at 21:11
  • I'm so lost, I have no idea what to make of that paragraph... Can someone explain it?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 4 '13 at 9:06
  • 2
    @animuson questions have to reach a certain age before being bountied. If one has a truly urgent problem, one might not be willing to wait for that to happen; therefore, one might keep a stock of uninteresting old-enough-to-be-bountied questions, ready to be edited-and-bountied when a truly urgent problem presents.
    – AakashM
    Jan 4 '13 at 9:39

You could start carefully writing questions that were unanswerable enough to go unnoticed, yet sensible enough to not get closed; a near impossible balance. You would then add each meticulously crafted question to your pool of throwaways, hoping some day in the future to be able to deface it with unrelated content.

Or you could wait 2 days. The payoff to effort ratio of this nefarious scheme is pretty low, so I don't think this is going to be a significant problem at any point in the future.


convert one of my ready reserve questions?

This would presumably involve drastically changing the content (from whatever obscure content it had before, to the new problem), which might well invite flags and moderator action. I don't think there are any automated detection or counter-measures, so you might get away with it, if no one notices. Someone probably would, though.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .