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Why is it compulsory to award a bounty to an answer? I'm in a situation in which a bounty of mine has received only one (incorrect) answer, an hour before the deadline. What I see is compatible with the answerer having bet on their rather rushed answer being the only one and thereby getting the bounty. Awarding it encourages questionable behavior in cases such as this.

I understand that we obviously don't want users to set up a bounty in order to get good answers only to withdraw it later. A solution could be to lose the bounty anyway if you decide to make it vacant. This would disincentivize set-up-then-withdraw behavior.

An I missing something about how bounties work?

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    It's not compulsory, and all explained here: How does the bounty system work? – Cai Jun 4 '18 at 8:11
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    @Cai well, the wording is surely misleading, I agree with OP about it. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jun 4 '18 at 8:22
  • @ShadowWizard does it make sense for me to ask a question about the wording explicitly? I.e., is that the way to "file a bug report"? – Schiphol Jun 4 '18 at 8:25
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    @Schiphol yes, but it's kind of already requested here. Focus there is different, but the suggested new wording fits your case as well. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jun 4 '18 at 9:01
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You don't have to award a bounty if you don't think any of the answers are worthy. However, if you award no bounty, half of the bounty total will automatically be awarded to the highest-voted answer to the question, so long as that answer has a score of 2 or higher. Otherwise, no bounty is awarded at all.

Either way, you're not getting your reputation back. So it kinda already works exactly like you want it to.

  • Right, that's way more sensible than what I'd understood. Thanks. – Schiphol Jun 4 '18 at 8:11

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