I found a pretty cool question which justified a bounty. I didn't receive a correct answer and the bounty is about to expire. Instead of extending the bounty I MUST pick an answer or half a bounty will be given away on my behalf if the answer got 2 up votes even if it is incorrect or off topic.

I will lose all the bounty regardless of up votes and correctness which also makes no sense. If I found a solution and the community found it useful why not giving back at least the half of the reward?

It is my rep why can't I decide? I understand that other members of the community may find the answers useful but they have ways to reward answers: they can up vote or they can start their own bounty. It is unclear why their opinion matters if the bounty was mine.

The current bounty mechanism also prevents extending bounties regardless how many people saw the question and how many answers I received.

I could create a new bounty if I am not happy with the answer but it will be automatically given to an existing answer if other people found it useful and no other answer was received.

This question is not about how the bounty system work or what the FAQ says or what the current bounty is by design. It is about whether it is fair or logical to spend it on anything other than it was intended to reward.

I may disagree with the 2 up votes and since it is my rep, given up for a specific purpose it should be up to me if it is given away or not. Other members of the community should use their own reputation or the voting system to reward answers.

Extending the bounty and waiting for a better answer should be an option as well. Losing rep every time it is extended discourages rewarding answers and seems wrong.

Why it is not a duplicate of:

  • How does the bounty system work? – The question is not about how the system works rather than why.
  • Please do not auto select answers on bounty questions – This is not even a question. I am asking for a change, I want to know why the bounty system works in a certain way and what are the reasons why the alternative solution I would have used are not used.
  • Should we allow adding rep to bounties to extend their duration? – Extending the bounty duration would solve the issues I mentioned my question is about why it is not like that
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    Incorrect premise: you won't lose half the bounty amount through auto-awarding, you already did lose all of it, guaranteed, no take-backs. Jul 13, 2017 at 7:10
  • You get it back if there are no answers or no answers get two up votes right? Jul 13, 2017 at 7:36
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    @JenoLaszlo No, when you pay for an ad in the newspaper you pay upfront, they show the ad. That is it. If you don't sell anything, despite the ad, the newspaper isn't going to refund you. Bounties are just like that.
    – rene
    Jul 13, 2017 at 7:41
  • Your edit adds irrelevant commentary; furthermore, why are you complaining about downvotes? you have just as many downvotes as upvotes; a downvote gives you -2 rep, and an upvote gives you +10.
    – Gnemlock
    Jul 13, 2017 at 7:53
  • If the goal is to award good quality answers or raise awareness to questions then this system is broken. If no good answers were given then the bounty is lost and no one gained anything. It is actually worse than that because incorrect or misleading answers could be rewarded which may sidetrack a potentially useful process. Extending the bounty even by paying more would be a better solution or extending it based on the popularity (up votes or views) would be okay as well Jul 13, 2017 at 7:57
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    You're barking the wrong tree. "incorrect or misleading answers" is not a problem of the bounty system, it is a problem of users upvoting these answers.
    – Tom
    Jul 13, 2017 at 8:13
  • It also does raise awareness. There just isn't any guarantee that increased awareness will actually lead to a good answer.
    – Gnemlock
    Jul 13, 2017 at 8:36
  • Also note that your not giving away half the reputation, your giving away all the reputation. Answer or not, you won't get the reputation back
    – Gnemlock
    Jul 13, 2017 at 8:38
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    Nobody is forcing you to start a bounty. If you're worried so much that a wrong answer might get half of it, simply don't offer it to begin with. Jul 13, 2017 at 11:22
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    I feel your completely missing an important aspect. The second you post a bounty, it is not your reputation. That is why it is not necessarily your choice. If you do not like to relinquish these rights, do not post a bounty. That is how the mechanic works, and for most part, it does work.
    – Gnemlock
    Jul 18, 2017 at 6:13
  • When I post a bounty to achieve a certain goal or reward a certain behavior then the bounty should be spent according to my original intention and expectations even if it is not “mine” anymore. The only thing matters is whether the bounty achieved the expected outcome or not. Since I made the decision to post the bounty with a very specific out come in mine, the fate of the bounty should be decided by me even if I only have the option to lose it all or award an answer I am not happy with. Jul 18, 2017 at 6:56
  • No - that is where your expectation is incorrect. The bounty attracts attention. That is what it is for. No matter what you would like it to be for.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 18, 2017 at 7:35
  • Wrong. You ask questions to get answers not for attention. Attracting attention is a means to an end but ultimately the expectations is a correct answer. Drawing attention is just one of the possible reasons for a bounty. Other reasons could be: Authoritative reference needed, Canonical answer required, Improve details, etc, etc. Some of these reasons explicitly state the type of answer expected but regardless of the selection and the answer the bounty will be given away. Jul 18, 2017 at 9:30

1 Answer 1


Because the answer got 2 or more upvotes means at least 2 people found it is helpful.

That's why the 2 upvote criteria is there instead of 1 upvote or instead of award to first answer(with less than 2 score)

It is your rep? No when you put your bounty, it will show that the rep will be deducted immediately and can't be refunded(Mod's can but in rarest cases only).

  • it is my rep and it is my decision to reward good answers. People can up vote comment, etc but the rep I put up for a specific reason should be spent the way I intended. Jul 13, 2017 at 6:45
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    yes. when you offer bounty, it warn you 2 times that the rep will go away. If none of the answer helped you, some other people found answers helped them. that's why instead of awarding full bounty, half bounty is awarded. The other half is like a fine for not satisfying you. Jul 13, 2017 at 6:48
  • if people find answers useful they can up vote it or they can start their own bounty and spend it the way they see fit. Their options shouldn't really have an impact of the bounty I set. Jul 13, 2017 at 7:39
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    also punishing me for "being picky" seems weird as well. A high bounty is clearly an indication of the quality of the answer I expect which should be subjective and shouldn't be subject to public opinion. Imagine you ask people to recommend a car for you and you tell them that you will pay 10 dollars for the best suggestions. You get suggestions about motorcycles, boats and bicycles and expected to pay 5 dollars at the end because other people like bicycles a lot and found the suggestions useful. It is absurd. Jul 13, 2017 at 7:44
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    the example didn't match the situation brother. If they suggest a car, you are the only person going to use it. But Stack Exchange sites are used by entire community. That's why they implemented such a system. Jul 13, 2017 at 7:52
  • can you provide a link to the question we are talking about Jul 13, 2017 at 8:01
  • The community has a way to reward useful questions and answers already with bounties of their own and votes but they shouldn’t decide for me. I would prefer if awarding the bounty to the best answer would be totally up to me. Jul 13, 2017 at 8:16
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    @JenoLaszlo Well that's not how the bounty system works, no matter what you have lost all the reputation you offered for the bounty, and you we're told this would happen before you offered it as a bounty.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 13, 2017 at 11:20
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    @JenoLaszlo To add on to Ramhound's point: you permanently lose all the rep for the bounty the moment you post the bounty, not when you award it. It's already gone. You're not being "punished" at the time of awarding. The "punishment", the loss of rep, already occurred, the very moment you posted the bounty. The question now is only who receives it. Either you decide, explicitly, or the community decides in your absence, by picking the most "helpful" answer (since you didn't).
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 13, 2017 at 11:51
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    @JenoLaszlo - If you don't like how the bounty system works you shouldn't use it. It's an optional feature, which when used, can bring additional attention to your question. If you are not getting answers to your question, consider improvements to your question, there might be a reason answers are not being submitted.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 13, 2017 at 15:53

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