At EL&U, a bounty was placed on a question I had previously posted an answer to. My answer, if I recall correctly, had already received four upvotes. There was one other answer which received neither upvotes nor downvotes.
The OP started a bounty of 50 reputation points, soon after he opened another bounty worth 100 rep points on a different question. As a result of poor contributions, the OP is currently suspended and consequently he is unable to award the bounty personally to any one answer. This is not a problem for the second bounty because the highest scoring answer posted after the bounty will automatically earn the reputation points as the bounty rules state:
24 hours after the end of the bounty period, if the bounty starter has not manually awarded the bounty, the bounty may be awarded automatically.
If the bounty starter accepted an answer during the bounty period, that answer is awarded the bounty. Answers accepted before the bounty period are not eligible to be awarded the bounty automatically.
Otherwise, if there are eligible answers, the highest scoring is awarded half the bounty amount. The criteria for an answer to be eligible are:
- The answer must have been given after the bounty was started
- The answer must have a score of at least +2
- The answer must not have been written by the bounty starter
In the meantime on the first bounty, six new answers were posted, none of them gained more than one upvote, whereas my answer gained two upvotes and one downvote. It is still the highest scoring answer, a magnificent five upvotes (six if you ignore the downvote). I get that the OP didn't award my answer, if he had he wouldn't have placed a bounty in the first place, but why wasn't I awarded the 25 points? I also edited my answer after the bounty, which must count for something, and I received 2 upvotes after those edits.
I would also like to point out the unfairness concerning the second bounty. The highest upvoted answer by Roald van Doorn will NOT earn any rep points despite being upvoted ten times, because his answer was posted before the bounty. The second highest upvoted answers are tied at five.
- I believe a suspended OP should be allowed to award the most helpful/informative/accurate etc. answer.
- Failing that the highest upvoted answer deserves at least half the bounty.
As far as I'm aware, this situation is quite unique to Stack, and I would be interested to hear what other people's opinions are on this matter.
The second bounty of 50 points, as stipulated by the rules, has been awarded to the second highest scored answer which gained a respectable five upvotes. The top answer, which reaped ten upvotes was nevertheless ignored. This situation strikes me as being neither fair nor rational.