Note: This question is different from "How does the bounty system work?" in that it does not ask if a bounty can't be corrected, but why.

In the following question

How to load foreign image via POST request in browser?

I wanted to award the accepted answer with a bounty. I received the question whether I was sure, and hit "cancel". I reassured that I really wanted to assign the bounty, repeated the step and hit "ok" on that confirmation.

To my big surprise, the bounty wasn't awarded to answer at hand, but to one answer lower.

So the wrong answer received the bounty.

Not sure whether this is really a bug, or whether this was my fault. Since I can't undo, and repetition costs lots of time and reputation, it is impossible for me to debug this any further.

In general, isn't it a bit risky to make bounty assignment not undoable?

Shouldn't we allow for undo for about 1-5 minutes after awarding the bounty, the same way we do for questions and answers?

That would have lots of benefits, as described above. What are the reasons to go along a different route and making this a one-shot permanent action?

  • 2
    You can't change a bounty once awarded. Best guess is you clicked the wrong answer when reselecting. Commented May 24, 2015 at 23:35
  • possible duplicate of How does the bounty system work?
    – Mureinik
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 3:29
  • 4
    I checked the traffic logs and it looks like you did award the bounty to that answer. Sorry. :/
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 4:16
  • 1
    so did he click the wrong one, or was that an internal issue?
    – Tim
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 10:51
  • 3
    So are you asking for a 5 minute 'grace period' for awarding/unawarding bounties? Commented May 25, 2015 at 13:11
  • I doubt that it's actually "forbidden". More likely the developers didn't think there would ever be a need for something like that. It seems that you should make a feature request.
    – ale
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 13:18
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ: Thanks for the hint. I already tagged by question as "feature-request", but somebody removed that tag. I just added it again.
    – vog
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 13:20
  • 1
    @Tim Clicked the wrong one, by the looks of it.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 22:32
  • 1
    Related request on MSO: Provide a "grace period" to undo/retract bounty assignments (in case of misclicks)
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


Everybody makes mistakes, so most everything should be reversible. We allow changing votes in a period of time, and retracting close votes, so we should be able to change bounty decisions in some period of time.


I don't think that feature is actually necessary. I think one should double check, maybe triple check before awarding a bounty. When you do that, you can't accidentally click another answer, read the dialog and still get the wrong one.

I am also worried about complaining people that see the +500 flash on and off again.

I do want to propose to make the dialog a little clearer. Instead of:

Are you sure you want to award your bounty to this answer?

I would like to add the name to it:

Are you sure you want to award your bounty to the answer of [name]?

This gives an extra fail-safe to make sure you award the bounty to the right answer.

  • 7
    The "+500 flash on and off" is easily avoided by making the bounty only visible to others after the undo period passed.
    – vog
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 18:52
  • 3
    That may (subconsciously) start people thinking bounties should be awarded to people. How about [first line of answer] rather than [name]?
    – Tim
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 8:35
  • 4
    I agree @Tim, but you can't award it to the wrong user this way. If both answers start the same, it still could be ambiguous. Commented May 26, 2015 at 8:43

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