I'm not convinced by the arguments for opposing/declining this feature request
Downvoting isn't a good tool to combine with bounties.
I don't disagree. But I don't see how it relates to this feature request which is about giving the bounty creator a button to not award the bounty to anyone.
More importantly, if you're opposed to using downvotes as a tool to decide the outcome of a bounty, then isn't it all the more reason to implement this feature request? After all, if you explicitly deny bounty creators the ability to not award bounty to anyone, the only means left for preventing bounty being awarded to anyone is to downvote the hell out of the new (i.e. posted after the bounty) answers.
Long ago, users were able to award the bounty to their own answer. It was effectively a "do not award it to anyone" feature because they didn't get the reputation back, but it also didn't give it to anyone else. It was not well-liked and we don't want to return to the endless drama that it can cause.
I can see how that could be contentious. But this feature request is very different from (re-)allowing the bounty creator to award the bounty to their own answer.
Remember, a bounty is really a payment for advertising.
I don't disagree, and the implementation of this feature request doesn't change that. The bounty would still be non-refundable and it would still function as a payment for advertising/attention.
you paid for the attention that your question received, not the explicit ability to decide its ultimate fate.
That's not entirely true
- If the bounty creator specifically decides to award the bounty to someone, then the bounty creator gets the final say on the recipient of the bounty, regardless of how the community voted. For example, they can award the bounty to the answer with the lowest score if they wish to do so.
- But if the bounty creator specifically decides not to award the bounty to anyone, then all of sudden they get no say in the matter at all and the community becomes to sole arbiter of the recipient of the bounty.
The criteria for when the bounty creator gets the final say or not just doesn't feel right to me.
Also, the fact that the awarded half-bounty is not attributed to the bounty creator doesn't change the fact the bounty creator is stripped of their ability to choose where the bounty goes.
It is possible that question got very much attention, but every asker is wrong, and every other user that upvoted any of the answers is wrong, and the only person who knows the truth is the brave bounty starter that downvotes all answers. But it's very unlikely.
Don't you see the double standard here? If the bounty creator chooses any answer, we let them do so without any opposition. But if the bounty creator is unwilling to choose any answer, then people complain about how the bounty creator doesn't know best, how the community knows better, and how the community should decide on the bounty recipient instead of the bounty creator.
The automatic awarding is fine if the bounty creator is absent or or if they neglect to take action. But if the bounty creator thinks that none of the answers satisfies their requirement/need, they should be free to not award the bounty to anyone.
Regarding the potential for abuse, I think the fact that bounties are non-refundable alone makes it a not very feasible venue for abuse.