I see that not only myself, but other people have accidentally added bounties to the wrong question. Can we add the ability to cancel a bounty within the first few minutes of creating it? (Or perhaps 30 seconds if you feel 1 minute is too long)

  • 13
    How can you accidentally add a bounty in the first place? It takes several steps to add one, with a confirmation.
    – Bart
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:37
  • How on earth do you accidentally add a bounty to the wrong question???
    – Taryn
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:37
  • 6
    It also opens up the possibility of people constantly posting and then cancelling a bounty in the hopes of getting some views in the time that the bounty is up.
    – Servy
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:39
  • 1
    @bluefeet Stranger things have happened.
    – yannis
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:42
  • 4
    @Yannis Possibly after a few too many rounds of drinks I could understand the mistake.
    – Taryn
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:43
  • 1
    Also, I saw your flag on this question: stackoverflow.com/questions/19671738/… , but there isn't a bounty there. Did you want us to remove the bounty from this one: stackoverflow.com/questions/19454787/… instead? Oct 31, 2013 at 21:54
  • @BradLarson yes, you see how similar the two questions are? they are very easy to mix up.
    – chacham15
    Oct 31, 2013 at 22:50
  • @chacham15 - OK, I removed the bounty from the other one. You should be good to re-issue it now. Nov 1, 2013 at 0:25
  • @BradLarson thanks, but related to this question, how often does this kind of thing happen? am i the only careless one here? XD
    – chacham15
    Nov 1, 2013 at 0:43
  • 1
    @chacham15 Most people might not have two questions that look almost identical at first glance. :P Nov 1, 2013 at 2:22
  • I just created a bounty on the wrong question instead of mine (the two tabs had similar names despite the question not being a duplicate)... I would have appreciated the ability to cancel the bounty within the first 30s or 60s (no harm done). Mar 9, 2016 at 8:43
  • @Erwin anyway, you still can't start a bounty on your question, it's still not 48 hours old. (You should see a message "this question is eligible for bounty in [x] hours".) Mar 9, 2016 at 8:46
  • @ShadowWizard yes I saw that unfortunately... I flagged the question with the bounty, hopefully a moderator will cancel it. Mar 9, 2016 at 9:20
  • @Erwin you can also try pinging Brad on his answer below, he's a moderator on SO and it will be faster than handling the flag. Mar 9, 2016 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


If you just started the bounty, you can flag the question where you placed it with a custom flag. Describe why the bounty has been placed in error, and moderators can remove it and return the reputation.

This is pretty easy for us to handle, as long as the bounty hasn't yet been given to someone. However, we are hesitant to remove bounties after they've been around for a while, particularly if people have started writing answers on the bountied question.

  • 2
    I'd say the beginning of that first line should be a "If you have just started your bounty,..."? You wouldn't want users flagging to return it half-way through.
    – Bart
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:43
  • 3
    Agree with Bart - please don't refund bounties that've been active for a while, particularly if answers have been posted in response to it - that ends up looking like a bit of a tease to the folks hoping to gain it.
    – Shog9
    Oct 31, 2013 at 21:47
  • OK, tried to clarify that. Oct 31, 2013 at 21:52
  • @BradLarson yes, i literally realized the mistake the send it took me back to the question. i dont know how often this occurs but i have seen other questions asking about a similar problem and its obviously a mistake, the question already even has an answer and the comment is related to the other question.
    – chacham15
    Oct 31, 2013 at 22:54
  • @ShogDYIN'I just want to point out that even if nobody has posted an answer yet, if the bounty has been around for even an hour or two, some people who were drawn in might already have invested time into trying to solve the problem, and it's not fair to give them the old Gilda Radner "Never mind!" routine. Yeah, I can see how someone might not be paying attention and end up going through the whole process without noticing it's the wrong question. But if the retraction isn't immediate, then they should bear the consequences of their mistake rather than yanking back the string on other people.
    – Adi Inbar
    Nov 1, 2013 at 3:07
  • @AdiInbar that is what he was saying, but the question here isnt for an hour or so, its on the order of 30 seconds.
    – chacham15
    Nov 1, 2013 at 4:25
  • @chacham15 My comment wasn't addressed to the specific circumstances of your question, it was addressed to the topic that was being discussed in the comments. ShogDYIN' raised the point that it's unfair to allow bounties to be removed after people have answered, and I was adding that even if answers haven't been posted, some people who were attracted by the bounty may already be working on answers, so it can be unfair to retract a bounty even as early as an hour after it was offered. That wasn't intended to pertain directly to your question, that's why I addressed it to ShogDYIN'.
    – Adi Inbar
    Nov 1, 2013 at 4:35
  • @BradLarson I just created a bounty on the wrong question instead of mine (the two tabs had similar names despite the question not being a duplicate)... I flagged it for moderator attention. Any chance you can cancel it? A very small cancellation delay (e.g. 30s) would have allowed me to do it without bothering moderators. Mar 9, 2016 at 10:04
  • 1
    @ErwinMayer - Done. Can't speak to the delay feature request, but it might have been asked for before. There might be issues with potential exploits around that, though. Mar 9, 2016 at 16:05

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