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It happened to me a number of times in quite a succession. People post a bounty, I make a good faith attempt at answering the question, but the person asking it disappears for the whole time, never posting any comments, never voting on the answer and never awarding the bounty to anyone, even though I answer the question in the first couple of days, and specifically target the questions in the tag I'm an expert in (so, not just a random pick-in-the-sky answer just to get some free points).

Perhaps there should be some penalty for people posting a bounty and then not awarding it without any explanation by completely failing to engage in any of the answers? E.g., no comment, no vote, no accept, no award, on any answer, automatically gets you a big minus?

2 Answers 2

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I don't think there should be any penalty for not rewarding your bounty because a bounty is primarily meant for the bounty starter to get some more views, and visibility.

The actual reward part is the incentive for other users

If your answer is good and gets a score of two or more, it might automatically get half bounty when it expires, in case it's the highest scored answer among those meeting the criteria.

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  • crappy questions that cannot be answered rarely get upvotes on the answers, especially if the asker just disappears without confirming anything.
    – cnst
    Nov 16, 2015 at 7:30
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    So don't answer, @cnst - nobody is forcing you Nov 16, 2015 at 7:55
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    @cnst: If you don't get upvotes on an answer to a bountied question, that's a pretty good sign that the question wasn't worth answering to begin with... and SE is working exactly as intended by removing any incentive to repeat that waste of your time. Nov 16, 2015 at 7:56
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I don't think there should be any penalty for the person who is posting a bounty. The person who starts a bounty already gives away part of his reputation when he puts a bounty. If he is parting with his reputations then he must be seriously wanting to highlight the question or want an answer. So, it must be assumed that the bounty owner has started a bounty in genuine sense.

Also, there can be unavoidable circumstances with all. Same can be true for bounty owner as well, thereby not allowing him/her to either log into the site or look at answers/comments. Stack Exchange and most of the websites doesn't force its users to login everyday. So, removing his reputation on the basis of ignoring a question/answer is not justified according to me.

Finally, and most importantly, the bounty is done just to highlight a question and seek attention/good answers. If the answer is good it will automatically get good scores. Winning a Bounty should be a thought of as a bonus on that answer.

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