This is the original question for which I attached a 100 rep bounty.

The only person to answer it, besides me, was Timo.

I wasn't entirely happy about his answer (which is why I answered the question myself), but his answers both qualify for the bounty, and there is no one else to award it to, since I cannot award the bounty to myself. Timo deserves the bounty, and I thought it would eventually be awarded to him.

The Electrical Engineering meta was not helpful. First they told us to just wait, now they're saying that I "screwed the pooch", by changing the accepted answer (this was after the bounty period expired).

I did not know that I was supposed to do anything with those little blue flags that had "100" on them. Then I saw the flags disappear and have since learned that this is how one awards bounty.

Can some responsible person in the Stack Exchange staff fix this please? and award the bounty to Timo according to the rules?

  • 5
    I told you in a comment on your EE meta post that you are supposed to award the bounty within 24 hours, and referred you to the help center that explains more. My comment was well before the 24-hour expiration. I don't see anyone saying "just to wait" anywhere on that meta post. If you read the help center article I linked and didn't understand what the "bounty award icon" it talks about is, you could have asked. – ff524 Jan 6 '16 at 18:50
  • @ff524 there was no little blue flag with "+100" on it to click. it had disappeared when the bounty ended and only after that had i understood that clicking on the little blue flag was the mechanism for awarding the bounty. it certainly was not clear, since i had not put a bounty on an question on the EE.SE forum before. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 22:43
  • If you are still around, you might have missed the bounty faq which has all the possilble details about bounties. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 7 '16 at 14:51

According to all of our logs:

The bounty was removed on Dec 27 '15 at 5:09.

At the time the bounty got removed, the auto-award script would have been run. At that time, the top answer had a score of 1, and was not accepted. You had removed the accepted status from it on Dec 27 '15 at 2:27 and re-added it again on Dec 27 '15 at 5:29 to immediately remove it (again).

The other answer was posted before the bounty period started, and was never eligible for an auto-award.

| improve this answer | |
  • as i recall, his answer had a score of 2. in addition, i did not change the accepted answer until after the bounty period ended. i had accepted his answer even though i was working on my own (which was not finalized until much later). third, everyone told me there was an additional grace period of 7 days and to just wait for it. that's what we did. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:08
  • the whole proceedure was confusing because nowhere did anything say that i award the bounty by clicking on one of the blue flags. it was only after they disappeared that i found out that this is what i was supposed to do. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:10
  • and there were 3 answers. one of mine (which was not eligible) and two of Timo's. and i know at least 1 of those answers had a score of 2 when the bounty expired. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:11
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    @robertbristow-johnson It didn't. I'm looking at the logs, and there was only ever one vote on that answer before the bounty expired. And it is very clear that you did change the accept status on it. In fact, there are five separate accept events on the answer from you apparently changing it back and forth (were you trying to accept other answers too and it was auto-unaccepting this one?). And the grace period is 24 hours, which is why the bounty actually gets removed after 8 days and not 7. – animuson Jan 6 '16 at 18:11
  • The other answer did have a score of 2, but as stated in my last paragraph, it was posted before the bounty period started and was not eligible for auto-awarding. – animuson Jan 6 '16 at 18:14
  • it is not as i recall at all. i do recall changing it back and forth, i was toggling it to make the system award his bounty. and it wasn't doing it. and no where is there any text or indication that i was supposed to click one of those blue flags to award the bounty. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:14
  • so you're saying that Timo's answer that was posted before the bounty period started had a sufficient score to be awarded, but because it was posted before, that doesn't count? where in the rules does it say that, to get the auto-award, the oldest answer with a score of 2 or more must not be too old?? – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:16
  • We do have a help center article about bounties. Noting "How is a bounty awarded? The bounty period lasts 7 days. Bounties must have a minimum duration of at least 1 day. After the bounty ends, there is a grace period of 24 hours to manually award the bounty. Simply click the bounty award icon next to each answer to permanently award your bounty to the answerer." If you weren't sure what that icon was, then maybe you should have asked before the bounty had already ended. – animuson Jan 6 '16 at 18:16
  • It says that directly in the text you quoted below: "If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period), the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with a minimum score of 2 will be awarded half the bounty amount." – animuson Jan 6 '16 at 18:17
  • okay, i see where you are reading that. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:18
  • i wish that you could recognize that i was trying to get Timo's answer awarded the bounty and manually give it to him. i had no idea that the blue flags needed to be clicked. i had no idea that Timo's oldest answer would be considered ineligible. the bounty expired at a time that surprized me. i tried to leave it in the correct state for that 24-hour grace period and am astonished that the auto-award script did not award the bounty. at least half of it. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:21
  • @robert like I said in my answer, this is too late. Even as SE employee, animuson can't give you back the bounty, just try to explain to you what you did wrong, so that you will learn from this. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 18:32
  • i know enough about computers, programming, and the like that a person of sufficient authority and with sufficient competence can certainly fix this. there is no physical reason they cannot. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:36
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    @robertbristow-johnson We don't do manual work like this in the database unless an actual error caused it. Doing it once creates a precedent, and then every time a user doesn't realize something or accidentally clicks something we're expected to go fix it for them. That's simply not something we can do. – animuson Jan 6 '16 at 18:41

TL;DR - it is your direct fault that the bounty was not awarded to Tim's answer. You should have either manually awarded it before the bounty was over (by clicking this "blue +100 flag" as you call it), or leave it accepted, thus causing it to be auto awarded when the bounty was over. By accepting your own answer, you nullified the auto award.

Now to explain why the bounty was not awarded automatically.

As we can see in the question revisions, the bounty was started at December 19, 2015 4:04 UTC and ended little more than 8 days later, on December 27, 2015 05:09 UTC:

Now let's take a look in the answers that existed when the bounty was over:

  • Your own answer that was posted a day before: is not eligible for bounty, being a self answer. (This part you seem to already know and understand, leaving here for sake of completeness)

  • First answer by Timo - was posted at December 17, 2015 which is before the bounty was started, hence not eligible for the auto bounty award. This is clearly stated in the rules you quoted yourself:

    the highest voted answer created after the bounty started...

    (You could still give it the bounty manually by clicking the +100 blue icon.)

  • Second answer by Timo which was posted at December 23 2015 - this one was indeed posted while the bounty was active, however as can be seen in Timo's reputation tab, at December 27, 2015 05:09 it had only one upvote:

    The second upvote was given at 17:11 which is 12 hours after the bounty already expired. Again, the rules from help center you quoted yourself contains:

    with a minimum score of 2

That's it. Hope now it's clear.

Worth to mention, this can't be "fixed". Even SE staff can't undo the bounty now that it is expired and give you the reputation back.

If you really care, just start a new bounty, this time giving it manually - 100 points are quite a lot, but after all it's just virtual internet points.

| improve this answer | |
  • @robertbristow-johnson so you read wrong rules, or read them wrongly. What rules exactly did you read? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 17:28
  • No idea what you mean. Again, what rules did you read? Please give link, and if indeed the rules are wrong or not clear, we can ask to fix/clarify them. Otherwise, I can try and explain what you missed in the rules. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 17:29
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    No idea why you can't accept your own mistake. Your problem. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 17:36
  • For the moderators or staff to tell us less than one day after the original bounty period expired to "just wait and the bounty will be awarded automatically according to the rules", and now, after we waited patiently to say "This can't be fixed. Even SE staff can't undo the bounty now that it is expired and give you the reputation back" is evidence of both irresponsibility or incompetence. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 17:46
  • @robert "If the bounty was started by the question owner, and the question owner accepts an answer posted during the bounty period, and the bounty expires without an explicit award then we assume the bounty owner liked the answer they accepted and award it the full bounty amount at the time of bounty expiration.". In case you unaccept the answer, you're no longer assumed to like it, otherwise why have you unaccepted it? These are the rules. The answer wasn't accepted by the end of the bounty period, so the bounty wasn't awarded in its full amount. Quite clear. – nicael Jan 6 '16 at 17:48
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    and then to tell me "No idea why you can't accept your own mistake." when there was no indication that the little blue flags with the bounty amount on them was anything other than an indicator. there was nothing anywhere that said that these were the controls that caused the bounty to be awarded. there was and is no explicit language that tells someone how they are supposed to award their bounty to an answer. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 17:49
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    @robert It's just the common sense. Why would you unnaccept the answer if you want the bounty to be awarded, and how is the system supposed to know the answer still suits you? That's just ridiculous. – nicael Jan 6 '16 at 17:50
  • @nicael, when the bounty period expired, Timo's answer was the accepted answer. nonetheless, according to the rules even if Timo's answer was not accepted, since his was the oldest answer with a score of 2 or more, he should have gotten at least half the bounty. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 17:50
  • @nicael, it's not common sense. the rules are not being followed, no matter how you put it. i have quoted the precise rule that is (or should be) controlling. i just want the rules to be applied. it;s not just ridiculous that i expect the rules to be followed. if the automatic mechanism was confused and not able to award the bounty according to the rules, then some responsible moderator or staff person should fix it. and the code should be fixed so that this doesn't happen again. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 18:00
  • @robert One of the answers had a score of two but was posted before you started the bounty, so it didn't qualify for the auto-award. Another was posted after the bounty was started, but has gotten only one upvote, so it didn't qualify too. Neither of answers were accepted by the time the bounty ended. What's unclear in the auto-awarding mechanism? – nicael Jan 6 '16 at 18:04
  • @robert I have made a major edit, please take a look. Hope now it is clear, sorry for the lack of details earlier. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 18:54

Answers posted after the bounty has been started are eligible to getting half of the bounty if the bounty is not awarded after the grace period and has a minimum score of 2. As one of the answers was posted before the bounty was started, the answer was exempt from the possibility of getting the half of the bounty:

If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period), the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with a minimum score of 2 will be awarded half the bounty amount. If two or more eligible answers have the same score (i.e., their scores are tied), the oldest answer is awarded the bounty. If there's no answer meeting those criteria, the bounty is not awarded to anyone.

Source: https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/bounty

| improve this answer | |

This is what the rules say:

"If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period), the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with a minimum score of 2 will be awarded half the bounty amount. If two or more eligible answers have the same score (i.e., their scores are tied), the oldest answer is awarded the bounty. If there's no answer meeting those criteria, the bounty is not awarded to anyone."

There are two answers of Timo's that had a score of 2 when the bounty period expired. as i recall, one of Timo's answers was the accepted answer when the period expired and i had since changed that to my own answer. but it still does not change the rules.

Please do not insult our intelligence and tell us the rules don't say what they clearly say.

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  • You are wrong.. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 17:37
  • @ShadowWizard how persuasive your unqualified (in more than one sense of the word) conclusion is. did i misquote the rules? is that how i am wrong? – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 17:40
  • Sorry I will edit my answer soon with more details. Busy with kids now.. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 17:56
  • have fun with your kids. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 17:56
  • but there is no answer that you can give that is consistent with the rules that can get to any other conclusion than at least half of the bounty gets awarded. THAT IS CLEAR IN THE RULES. – robert bristow-johnson Jan 6 '16 at 17:58
  • I did my best to explain in my answer now. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 '16 at 18:55

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