I've offered a +500 bounty in this question, and it has not been awarded to any answer. However, I would like to offer another +50 bounty to award one answer, but the system only allows me to award +500.

It would be great if, in the case where the bounty is not awarded, the next one does not have to be doubled.

It happened to this question, too; if I try to start a bounty, here, the minimum is 100, even though nothing has been given.

  • 4
    This would run contrary to the reason this behaviour exists, so if this is really an issue I imagine the tweak should just take into account whether or not you have a stake in the game other than receiving a good answer.
    – Tim Stone
    Jul 11, 2013 at 23:31
  • Sorry I did not completely understand your comment, what do you mean by "the tweak should just take into account whether or not you have a stake in the game other than receiving a good answer"? Jul 11, 2013 at 23:41
  • 5
    This limitation was put into place because people would use the bounty to attract attention to earn up votes worth more reputation than the bounty they offered, so it probably doesn't need to be enforced in cases where the bounty poster can't earn more reputation (i.e. they didn't ask the question or answer). That wouldn't help in your case, though.
    – Tim Stone
    Jul 12, 2013 at 0:30
  • 1
    "happening with this question too" - not yet, 17 hours are tons of time. ;) Aug 13, 2013 at 12:11
  • Your last sentence is wrong. It's 100 only for you since you already suggested 50. I can start a 50 rep bounty just fine. :) Aug 15, 2013 at 8:23
  • Someone should put a bounty on this question
    – Cole Tobin
    Aug 15, 2013 at 8:24
  • @Cole very generous of you, lol! Aug 15, 2013 at 8:26
  • @Cole, did you get to see "offer 100 of my own reputation" as the default value when setting that 50 rep bounty?
    – Arjan
    Aug 15, 2013 at 9:05
  • @ColeJohnson, that was great! Thank you! For me the minimum would be 100... Aug 15, 2013 at 9:08
  • @Arjan no. It was 50. FWIW, I'm on the mobile site.
    – Cole Tobin
    Aug 15, 2013 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


I am against removing the automatic doubling of bounties. When original bounties are not awarded, I feel it would be especially counterproductive, for two reasons:

If an initial bounty did not attract any good answers, a new bounty should be for a larger amount, to work better towards attracting answers.

If you posted an answer, and did not get any good answers, we already have evidence that the question is either too complex, or otherwise too difficult to attract good answers. I never see a bounty question completely ignored; if I see a bounty that includes no answers, I still see a select group of users trying to work out a good, canonical answer, in the question comments. So people still put in the effort, but sometimes, a question is just simply too difficult to answer. Sometimes, the bounty still does not justify the required amount of effort or research to establish a good answer.

In such cases, doubling the next minimum bounty amount is not only more efficient, but it is more justified; If users still have trouble answering the question at 50 bounty, a good answer for the question is more likely to deserve the second bounty of 100. At the very least, you have to offer something else to generate traffic. Einstein's definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". At this point, posting the same bounty when the said bounty has already been posted unsuccessfully feels counterproductive. We have already established that the question is difficult to answer; we should be trying more to incite a good answer.

Doubling the required bounty is a feature partly intended to limit "bounty abuse".

As pointed out, in the comments, the feature of minimum bounty doubling actually aims to reduce system abuse by continuously posting bounties on a question. Long story short, a user could theoretically continuously bounty their question to ensure it is always under the spotlight, and unfairly game reputation.

It seems like the cases where the original reward was not awarded seems especially likely to fall under this case; especially if you include "not awarding the bounty" as cases where the original poster does not manually award a bounty, but an answer receives enough votes to automatically receive half.

  • 2
    Good answer, you convinced me. Did not understand the downvote though (not necessarily yours) since downvotes here are supposed to be for non relevant questions Jul 16, 2017 at 10:45

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