• On smaller sites, some low quality questions may be downvoted but not closed
    • This also applies to in scope but low effort questions, such as "give me teh codez" on Stack Overflow
  • There is no threshold for a posts score in considering a bounty
  • A user can add a bounty to a heavily downvoted question which is at -14 at the time I write this
  • Negatively voted questions likely receive poor quality answers
  • Bountied questions cannot be voted to close except with moderator involvement


  • Prevent bounties from being offered on questions at -3 or worse score
  • Automatically remove bounties on questions which achieve -5 score


  • Questions not well received by the community will not be allowed to be highlighted for a week due to a bounty
  • Helps allow community to resolve "add a bounty to avoid close votes" problems
  • 2
    Not sure that an automatic rule like that would be more helpful than harmful. Imagine a question that had some issues originally (poor choice of words, lack of context) and got downvoted heavily. The author edits it into shape and wants to draw attention to the new version. Why prevent that? I don't think this scenario is less usual than the WorkPlace incident to which you linked. – user259867 Jul 22 '14 at 18:57
  • 2
    Editing the question itself already brings it near the top of the activity queue to be reviewed – user207928 Jul 22 '14 at 18:58
  • @RhysW On more active sites, that's several minutes of attention. Does not make a bounty redundant, if the question is a nontrivial one. – user259867 Jul 22 '14 at 19:06
  • 2
    On more active sites, the question is more likely to have been close voted before the bounty could be applied too. The issue seems to be that quiet sites get bad questions that qualify for the bounty period before being fully closed. The application of the bounty then forces the question to stay open, regardless of how fit it is for the site – user207928 Jul 22 '14 at 20:01
  • Related/alternative: Allow users to vote to close bountied questions – blahdiblah Jul 23 '14 at 17:35
  • I think this is a bad idea, because users may edit to improve downvoted questions and then offer a bounty on it to get better answers and upvotes. For example, this one of my questions (stackoverflow.com/questions/31093285/…) was at -13 and after I edited it and offered a bounty the score rose to -6. If questions with scores of <-3 can't have bounties offered, some users could get stuck in question bans without a way to get upvotes on their downvoted questions. – clickbait May 29 '17 at 22:13
  • Similar feature request: Forbid bounty for negative, or even zero-vote questions? – Martin Nov 21 '17 at 8:43

I think this is a bad idea. And your example illustrates why it's a bad idea...

That question was closed because it's overly focused on one company's dress codes and isn't something we can really help with - it should've been directed at the author's HR department, not us.

...But that's not why it was downvoted. How do I know? Because questions in that vein are asked every day and don't collect that many downvotes - indeed, some of them collect a fair number of upvotes!

The question got downvoted because the author comes across as an uptight jerk looking to make trouble for his coworker. The now-deleted comments attest to this as well.

Now, if folks want to downvote a question because they disagree with the author's position, that's their prerogative. But that alone isn't a good reason to close, nor to restrict the normal functionality available to askers. In particular, bounties exist to allow folks to promote particularly obscure or difficult questions - restricting them to questions that are popular or at best uncontroversial is in a sense restricting them to scenarios where they're not even needed.

In addition, This is much healthier points out that this would effectively damn anyone who bothered to fix an initially-bad question and attempted to use a bounty to seek redemption.

  • 2
    Does Stack Exchange want those questions highlighted on their sites? Regardless as to whether they are "closeable" or not? – enderland Jul 24 '14 at 20:31
  • Outside of egregious cases, SE the company isn't approving or rejecting anything here, @enderland. Even when I personally do some of the moderation here, I try to stick to the standards y'all have agreed on - if that allows a question I don't like, then so be it. – Shog9 Jul 24 '14 at 22:18

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