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This question already has an answer here:

In User signing up to many stackexchange sites and offering the association bonus as a bounty a case is being discussed about a user that got 200 reputation in one of the Stack Exchange sites and hence he gets the association bonus whenever they sign up in a new one. Then, they have a reputation of 101 points and they offer a 100 bounty to some question.

As of writing, this has been done in over 100 sites, and in most of them they just joined today and their first action was offering such bounty. Sometimes, also a comment was written down. Nothing else in most of the cases.

A bounty has a big impact: it attracts a lot of traffic, which in a sense is "taken" from others in the front page. Thus, placing one is a big action towards the site.

While the purpose of these bounties can be OK and offered to questions that are worthy, this very specific case has showed that the system can be a bit perverted and a non-experienced user can have a big impact on a site (or multiple ones).

Currently, the privilege to set bounties is set to 75 reputation points in all sites (beta and graduated). This means that you have this privilege if you ever when signing up in a site if you ever got 200 in any other site. That is, if you are granted the association bonus.

For this, I suggest raising the reputation for the bounty privilege to something that involves having been somehow active in the site, for example 125, to the same level of the privilege of voting down.

marked as duplicate by yannis, Ward - Reinstate Monica, M.A.R., Nathan Tuggy, Glorfindel Sep 5 '17 at 18:55

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    I don't know that we need to put a system in place for something that has happened once in 9 years. – Oded Sep 5 '17 at 11:47
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    @Oded but it can happen again. And again. Users will see this and adopt this behavior. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Sep 5 '17 at 11:51
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    When it becomes an actual problem and not an isolated case, @ShaWizDowArd. People don't rage quit every day. And those that do - don't do this. – Oded Sep 5 '17 at 11:52
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    "offered to questions that are worthy" - Individual users are free to decide where they want to spent their reputation, thus they decide which question is worthy. And I still don't see why people start to make such a big problem out of one user who created some bounties. It doesn't look like the user targeted specific questions to boost the rep for their friends (who answered) and or off-topic questions to prevent them to be closed. So what problem do you try to fix here? – Tom Sep 5 '17 at 12:03
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    @Tom while I generally agree, there is a chance to choose poor questions, and by this promote bad questions and harm the site. It happened with that user, and such a bounty was aborted by a moderator. While not done on purpose, this is a good point in favor of this request. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Sep 5 '17 at 12:11
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    @ShaWizDowArd A question cannot be bountied the first couple of days. If the community hasn't handled it till then, how "poor" and "harmful to the site" can it be? – yannis Sep 5 '17 at 12:31
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    How can we (the community) police which questions receive a bounty, without attempting to police, all sorts of similar behavior in addition to that? Who are we to say as a community, that a specific user selected the incorrect answer, when they awarded a bounty for answering a question. – Ramhound Sep 5 '17 at 12:47
  • Closely related: Don't let the association bonus be given away as bounties – ale Sep 5 '17 at 14:33
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    @yannis on smaller sites, bad questions can stick for long time. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Sep 5 '17 at 14:36
  • More often than not, I see new users posted a question and put a bounty on their own question with their association bonus rep. Let's say the question is not that brilliant that it doesn't attract upvote at all, but is on-topic nevertheless. Do you want the bounty to be prevented also? – Meta Andrew T. Sep 5 '17 at 14:52
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    @ShaWizDowArd Sure. Still, abusing the association bonus like this is extremely rare, and the impact on the site is negligible. A poor question may get a little bit more attention than it should. So what? I find the fact that the association bonus allows upvoting far more concerning than this. You can do a lot more damage to a site by skewing voting than you can by sticking a poor question to the featured list for maximum a week. – yannis Sep 5 '17 at 15:06
  • @yannis oh but... these upvotes you mention are used to feed a business that brings about 100K clicks a day (as far as I can tell that's about as much or even more clicks a day than at whole Stack Overflow). It's too much of a cash cow to consider the harm these cause, especially because system is tweaked to spare Stack Overflow of that harm – gnat Sep 5 '17 at 15:23
  • @gnat: 100k? I'm seeing a bunch of double- and triple-digit numbers that probably add up to around 10k at most. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 5 '17 at 18:38
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    @NathanTuggy not peanuts, more like apples and oranges. This data is about clicks through sidebar, not site visits. For comparison with SO you'd pick something like their new questions (8K a day, vast majority of which are probably well under 5-10 clicks). Though have to admit I was impressed to see that HNQ get over 5% of total SO visits, I expected lower impact (for whole SE network it should be lower, like 2%, maybe 3 but still) – gnat Sep 6 '17 at 8:05
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    @fedorqui FWIW matters of leveraging HNQ were discussed a while ago at CB.SE: How can I get people to join a site and not simply glance and pass it by? (that's for smaller sites - at Stack Overflow HNQ feature is effectively disabled meaning the impact will be negligible no matter how you try) – gnat Sep 6 '17 at 8:37
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Meh.

It's their reputation, they can spend it however they like. If they happen to bounty a poor question, then the real problem is that the question was neither improved nor closed for over 48 hours.

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    Even with an active bounty that question can be closed. It just will take a moderator to do so. Might also involve returning the bounty offered. As pointed out before, after a couple times of a bounty being offered to a bad question that should be closed, that likely will result in the moderator acting to prevent that user from offering more bounties for awhile. – Ramhound Sep 5 '17 at 20:38

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