I know how the system works; I find it annoying.

It seems clear that I am not the only one having issues with rewarding specific existing answers.

I regularly come upon excellent answers on StackOverflow, and I'd like to reward them with more than a simple uvpote.

There is a mechanism exactly suited for this on StackExchange: the bounties.

Great! Let's award a bounty!


One must wait 48 hours before being able to open a bounty on a question.


Oh well, let's setup a reminder...

Fast-forward 48h...

Alright, let's award this bounty! Just have to create it and...


One must wait 24 hours before being able to award a bounty (but less than 7 days).


Yes. Even when said bounty was created specifically with to Reward existing answer.

Let's setup another reminder then...

It takes me more effort to award a +50 bounty to an excellent answer than it takes me to actually earn those +50 in the first place. Quite ludicrous, isn't it?

Each time I wish to award a bounty to an excellent answer, I'm reminded that it's really a drag. And I seriously reconsider awarding the bounty.

So, here comes the question. Disregarding the actual time it would take between the awarder deciding to award +N to an answer, and the answerer actually receiving this +N (or actually, +2*N), and disregarding the additional attention that may be garnered from the question being featured, ...

Is the principle itself of awarding bounties to existing answers in one-click desirable or not?

Note: I am interested if anyone has a user-script for that...

2 Answers 2


As I see it, the "Reward existing answer" is kind of a "hack", not something that was meant to be part of the bounty system.

The original intent of the bounty system was to attract attention to questions that passed their "glory time" of activity, which is usually in the first few hours, until it's buried deep down the questions list.

At some point the team decided to add yet another bounty reason, not sure when exactly and why, but it surely different from the other reasons in that it's not meant to draw attention to the question.

This led to what you now describe, rightfully, as a problem and weird user experience, since this bounty reason is just a reason, text, without any real meaning, so it's bound to the other reasons rules of having to wait before it can be started and awarded.

Can this be made easier? Of course, it's all matter of time and efforts. My idea is to set up a separate mechanism for awarding existing answers, built upon the bounty mechanism but something that can be started and awarded in a totally independent way, e.g. "Donate Reputation" button next to each answer, limited to three each day etc.

  • 3
    I really like the idea of "Donate Reputation" button as long as it has some limit.
    – Rathony
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 10:14
  • @Rathony of course, same limits as bounty. (reputation wise) Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 10:18
  • @ShadowKeepsSocialDistance the 24 hour delay on awarding a bounty to an existing answer has really created a minor headache see here. Eric was very generous with his expertise and time created another (admittedly very valuable) answer to an already answered question. Now I shall reward it too with a bounty so as to not be unfair. It's a lot of administrative overhead that is totally unnecessary when all I wanted was to give a very quick hat tilt / thank you to Ronak.
    – stevec
    Commented May 8, 2020 at 10:51
  • 1
    @stevec I know and agree it's not optimal, I did write this: "This led to what you now describe, rightfully, as a problem and weird user experience". :) Commented May 8, 2020 at 12:40

I think that the reason you can't do this is the same reason why I can't accept my own answer for a few days after I ask the question: the question has a lot more attention (by which I mean it's displayed in a specific tab) before awarding the bounty, and you might just find a better answer on the way. Additionally, the extra attention will likely find the answerer with more upvotes to their answer, which rewards them even more, which is the whole point of exemplary-answer bounties, right? Not to mention the other problem with this, which is shoveling reputation from sock puppets into your main account.

Don't get me wrong, I wanted to award one of my own bounties instantly too, but this is something that we need.

  • I am afraid that you failed to read the paragraph atop the question itself (I know, the whole post is long winded). I explicitly do not ask for a reduced time, or less exposure, just one-click. If the system behind just schedules two cron-jobs to open the bounty after 48h and award the bounty to the answer I had selected after 24h or 7 days, that's all fine by me. I just want to avoid having to interact 3 times for 1 bounty. Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 20:46
  • 1
    @MatthieuM. So… you want to make the system automatically award the bounty? That's kind of like wanting the system to automatically accept your answer. You have to scroll past all of the answers that scored higher and so are probably better to find the answer that you originally had in mind. Allowing automatic awarding allows users to circumvent that, and takes away the chance that other answers might have had.
    – Nissa
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 21:33
  • Note that the specific case discussed here is to reward an existing answer, so the answer is known at the time it is decided to open a bounty already. Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 8:47

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