I had a question with 100 bounty that had one answer - and it was a complete non-answer.

I was pretty shocked to see this answer got the bounty automatically. Is there a way to prevent this?


It is entirely possible to game the bounty system. Just wait for questions without answers that are about to expire, add some BS answer and have two sockpuppets upvote your answer.

  • To get auto-awarded, an answer must be upvoted... so it can't have been that much of a non-answer...
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 12 '16 at 21:58
  • For an answer to be automatically awarded a bounty, it must have a score of two or more. Unless it already has a score of three or more, you can prevent it by diwnvoting the answer, because that might bring it below the required score to get automatically awarded the bounty. Other than that, I'm afiad there isn't much you can do to prevent that. May 12 '16 at 23:18
  • @Catija it was asking for clarification, something more suitable for a comment.
    – adapt-dev
    May 12 '16 at 23:28
  • If that's really the case, how did it get a score of +2 and survive on the site without getting deleted as NAA? This one: stackoverflow.com/questions/36760859/… ?
    – Catija StaffMod
    May 12 '16 at 23:30
  • Vote fraud is taken pretty seriously, so if someone actually tries to game the system like that, it might not go too well for them. Unfortunately I don't think the bounties they managed to snag before getting caught could be reversed, though. That said, it looks like the answer here came way before the bounty expired.
    – Cascabel
    May 12 '16 at 23:40
  • @Jefromi: Mods can remove (and even refund) bounties if they really need to, and vote fraud is an excellent case for that to apply. May 13 '16 at 0:39
  • @adapt-dev: That answer in particular was a bit sketchy, but there's no reason to delete it: it does seem to contain a perfectly plausible suggestion sandwiched between two requests for clarification. But just because an answer contains a link, or a comment, or whatever, doesn't mean the whole thing should be deleted unless that's all it is. May 13 '16 at 0:42
  • @NathanTuggy I am a mod - I know where the menu option is to remove an ongoing bounty, but can't find one for already awarded bounties. It's possible I'm missing something, but I really thought mods didn't have that power. Maybe CMs do? Or do you know for a fact mods can do it?
    – Cascabel
    May 13 '16 at 1:11
  • @Jefromi: Hmm. I may be thinking of CMs, but perhaps the functionality is hidden somewhere. May 13 '16 at 1:15
  • @Jefromi - If a bountied answer is deleted, the bounty is removed from the recipient, but not refunded. There's no way to refund a bounty after it has been awarded or has expired. May 13 '16 at 4:08
  • Also, I see no indication of voting fraud involving the answer in question. Any question that has a late-stage bounty gets a lot of views, which can mean many votes for the questions and answers, if the answers even seem reasonable. I think that's all that happened here. If we do catch someone using puppets or voting rings to snipe bounties, we usually delete the answer to remove the bounty and suspend the user involved for a while (not to mention removing the puppets and invalidating any ring). That's not the case here, though. May 13 '16 at 4:12
  • @BradLarson I didn't claim there was fraud here. I said it was very easy though with the current auto-bounty.
    – adapt-dev
    May 13 '16 at 6:07
  • 1
    I think they should make it so that if the user who put the bounty on the question downvotes a certain answer, that answer is not eligible for being arwarded half the bounty automatically. May 13 '16 at 21:34

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