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Today I found a question on Stack Overflow where a user offered a bounty on a question, and their account was banned or removed, leaving the bounty open, and being offered by the community user:

Community Bounty

I am assuimg that this behavior is due to the account removal. In what scenerios can the Community user offer a bounty?

  • I guess it can also happen when an anonymous user places a bounty. Strange though that the bounty wasn't retracted. – Patrick Hofman Dec 1 '16 at 14:55
  • @PatrickHofman what do you mean an anonymous user? Do you mean a user who has disassociated themselves with the question? – JAL Dec 1 '16 at 14:56
  • No, unregistered users. Users without an account. They can suggest edits too, so what if they would earn enough reputation from that? – Patrick Hofman Dec 1 '16 at 14:56
  • @PatrickHofman Oh, I never even considered that an unregistered user would be around long enough to get enough rep to offer a bounty. – JAL Dec 1 '16 at 14:57
  • On some sites they can also ask questions or post answers, so it can go quite quick. – Patrick Hofman Dec 1 '16 at 15:01
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    Unregistered accounts are still accounts, it's just the only thing tying people to them are browser cookies. They occupy the same spots in the database as regular accounts, it's just email and auth tokens are missing. – Tim Post Dec 1 '16 at 15:07
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It happens whenever the user that initially gave the reputation for the bounty no longer exists. Since the rep is deducted at the time the bounty is placed, the community user can simply be the user shown as awarding it.

This differs from how we attribute posts to departed users in the form of UserXXXX (where XXXX is their former user ID). Because it's not them awarding the rep any longer, it's the community user. Had the user themselves stuck around longer, they might have awarded it differently.

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