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This user has a lot of communities joined today and 1 rep

They seem to be methodically signing up to sites and then offering the 100 rep association bonus as a bounty.

Is this a problem? Should the number of concurrent bounties offered across sites be limited? Personally I doubt that anyone can be such a polymath as to be picking worthy bounty candidates and potentially evaluating answers for such a wide range of sites *

*more than 100 - including topics as diverse as Chinese, Electrical Engineering, Quantitative Finance, SharePoint, Computational Science, Cryptography, Lego, Biblical Hermeneutics, Islam, Homebrewing, Martial Arts.

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    wonder what happens if this user deletes account at one of the "bountied" sites and joins it again a bit later. I've read somewhere that system simply checks some database flag in network profile and awards bonus rep if flag value is true (like "yeah we already know this user is trusted enough for 100 repz"). If bonus is awarded again in cases like that, this would open some interesting possibilities for abuse... – gnat Sep 5 '17 at 6:44
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    How to abuse the Association Bonus – iBug Sep 5 '17 at 12:16
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    I'm less concerned about the bounties than I am about the scores of unhelpful and misleading comments this particular person has been flooding various sites with for the past day. Suspended while I slog through that mess. – Shog9 Sep 6 '17 at 0:03
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Note: this specific user turned out to cause harm on purpose by starting bounties on downvoted questions and awarding it to bad answers. The below applies to a more general case.


This is fine, in my opinion, in case the user decided to leave Stack Exchange, and instead of just going and never visiting again, or rage quitting, they decide to "donate" all their reputation first in the form of bounties.

While they might choose questions randomly, I can't see any harm in that as long as they don't pick bad/downvoted answers on purpose, and as long as it's not on the same user's questions, it's not a fraud as well.

If anything, such scenario is actually good for Stack Exchange. There is no need to limit amount of active bounties across the network, as this is quite easy to detect and if done in abusive way (e.g. using the bounty to give reputation to sock puppet accounts) can be handled by a CM. This specific case proves it: the harmful behavior was detected, and Community Manager suspended the user network-wide for the time being.

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    If they subsequently delete their accounts after the bounties have run their course I presume any bounty rep will be undone so that's potentially quite disruptive to any recipients. – Martin Smith Sep 4 '17 at 22:22
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    @Martin in such case the bounty is transferred to Community user, as far as I know the bounty and reputation award are not lost. – Shadow Sep 4 '17 at 22:23
  • Ah OK that does limit the impact then, – Martin Smith Sep 4 '17 at 22:26
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    There is a problem if the user is offering bounties on sites that he/she are unfamiliar with. Can he/she decide which questions to bounty, or just random questions get a bounty? – Unitato Sep 5 '17 at 0:45
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    @Ramhound - Not being familiar with the subject matter may hamper picking the right answer though. e.g. If they don't speak Chinese they may struggle to evaluate answers to - What is the right spelling, 乌兹别克 or 乌孜别克? and similarly statistical knowledge for Degrees of freedom of χ2χ2 in Hosmer-Lemeshow test – Martin Smith Sep 5 '17 at 6:22
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    @Uni the purpose of bounty is to draw attention to the question and have answers posted. Picking the best answer when there are several is quite minor, and I'm pretty sure the user who is quitting won't bother doing it, and let the bounty be auto awarded anyway. – Shadow Sep 5 '17 at 6:50
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    @Martin see my comment reply above. – Shadow Sep 5 '17 at 6:50
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    FWIW at least at one of the sites their bounty was considered harmful and was undone by a moderator – gnat Sep 5 '17 at 8:06
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    @ShaWizDowArd this can't be done "on purpose" in a way you mean, at least not at 50+ unfamiliar sites. User who just joined just doesn't know enough to "correctly" pick harmful questions for bounties. What is happening is bountying questions without "minimal understanding" which naturally carries a risk of doing it inappropriately. That's quite similar to more typical abuse of bonus reputation when careless passers-by indiscriminately upvote "entertaining" stuff in HNQ – gnat Sep 5 '17 at 8:24
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    Or we could rise the privilege to offer bounties to something above the initial 101 rep, just to be sure the user has had some interaction with the site. – fedorqui Sep 5 '17 at 8:46
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    @fedorqui that's not a bad idea actually. 125 rep (same as downvote) sounds reasonable. Worthy of a feature request! :-) – Shadow Sep 5 '17 at 8:56
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    So far they have bothered to award two of them rather than waiting for the auto award and they are both answers which the relevant site communities had left on zero points. unix.stackexchange.com/a/390434/96703 and worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/90966/16299 – Martin Smith Sep 5 '17 at 17:15
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    @Martin I see. One is now at -3. – Shadow Sep 5 '17 at 23:03
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    @Martin I've alerted Shog in the Tavern, he's now dealing with this user personally. – Shadow Sep 5 '17 at 23:24

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