Contrary to Etiquette on asking for donations of reputation to set a bounty, what's the norm or standard on asking other users to post a bounty on some question (which does NOT have to be your own) with an exceptional number of views that interests many affected users?
Assume that the querer lacks sufficient reputation to place a bounty himself.

For example, I cite How to exclude notifications for all junk email? (Outook 2013). A Google search for 'outlook notification junk mail' validates the enduring pandemic grievance at this problem and the lack of any solution still, after at least 2 years.
I'd place a bounty myself, but alas, I'm unversed in computer science;
so I'm unlikely to amass sufficient reputation on SuperUser anytime soon.

Please be assured that I apologise for any offense caused by question; I only want to act with the finest decorum and scrupulousity.

  • If you are good in the field, it shouldn't take over a week to earn 200 rep yourself, which is a decent bounty. Mar 13, 2015 at 12:42
  • @ghosts_in_the_code Alas, I'm but an amateur at tech and unversed in computer science.
    – user226001
    Mar 13, 2015 at 20:04
  • Let's reverse the question: is there anything in the rules making you think it's unethical?
    – Mast
    Mar 13, 2015 at 22:16
  • @Mast No, but I thought to verify this first.
    – user226001
    Mar 15, 2015 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


Ethical? Well, there's nothing really unethical about it. As long as you're not begging someone to just award a bounty to you, and you're legitimately asking someone to contribute a bounty to advertise a question and potentially get an answer, there's nothing wrong with asking someone. Just keep in mind that asking friends or other users whom you have close ties with may be seen as targeted voting.

The real problem is going to be where you're asking. Posting comments on a question asking people to place bounties is blatant noise and doesn't belong in the comments, so those will obviously be deleted. It might be acceptable to ask about it in a chat room related to the topic, but I don't imagine a lot of chat room users would be very accepting of someone apparently begging for a bounty.

Your best bet is just gaining the necessary reputation to put a bounty on it yourself, rather than depending on other users to contribute their own reputation. I can't really think of any good, legitimate ways of asking for a bounty to be placed on a question that wouldn't look suspicious or just be annoying.

Fun note: Some sites occasionally gather high-reputation users to run "bounty drives", and take suggestions from the community for which questions should receive bounties on them to attract answers. You can usually find such discussions on their per-site Meta. I know Arqade has done them before - I'm not sure what other sites have.

  • It's all about the delivery. Having a decent conversation in chat about a question and finishing the question with 'somebody should put a bounty on it, it's a great question' is very different from starting with 'look at this question and please but a bounty on it'.
    – Mast
    Mar 15, 2015 at 13:18

I wouldn't. Asking someone else to give up a large sum of reputation seems a little pushy to me, and even though I'm sure some users would be more than happy to, I suspect most would find it a little rude.

But that said, I know it's frustrating to need an answer and not be able to get it.

There's another question, What should I do when a user stops responding to me in comment?, which has a few answers that discuss alternatives to bounty placement, including asking for help in a chat room. That's probably not a bad place to start. I would start off there with asking whether it's appropriate to ask for help on a question in there, but I suspect as long as you're polite, nobody will take issue.

You might also be able to ask more broadly in a chat room how to bring more attention to the answer without a bounty. Some sites look at that differently, and users in the room will likely know their sites culture pretty well.

Another solution might be just working to get the reputation yourself. There are lots of ways to gain reputation, the easiest (not to understate the importance, of course) of which being to make suggested edits. If you can clean up some questions and answers, you can get enough rep to post a bounty of your own. Obviously, also, you can check around for unanswered questions that you can help with.

I haven't looked at the question you linked to yet, but in some cases, you may find that there's enough worth editing on it that it'll get bumped to the front page, and that might get it an answer indirectly. That shouldn't be relied upon, and definitely don't make edits with that goal in mind, but it could be a nice plus if you, again, can find enough problems to make it worth editing substantially. That'll also have the advantage of making potential answerers more keen to help.

  • 1
    I agree on the editing part. Sometimes a question was just poorly asked and did not get any attention the first time, improving it will certainly help everyone. If you face the same problem, it should be easy to include other helpful information, extending the original query. Mar 13, 2015 at 21:03

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