Posted my first bounty question, so I was curious how answering your own bounty question works as I noticed you could game the system with it (yes I have the mindset of wondering if anything I use can be abused and how).

Anyways, came here, searched, and found Lost reputation after answering my own question with bounty

Reading the comments on the accepted answer, I believe I have a solution to the problem.

Providing the situation, where you do answer your own bounty question, would it not be reasonable to simply refund your reputation in the chance your answer has the highest votes (minimum of +2)?

I feel that if you posted a bounty, and were able to answer it yourself, and prove to the community you had the best answer (by having most votes and over +2), you should be entitled to a reputation refund.

This not only prevents the regret or desire to stop trying to answer your own problem, and remove any reluctance in posting a bounty on a question you are still researching an answer too.

That, and it keeps with the spirit of Stack Overflow, where the community "moderates" itself. No one is refunded unless they prove to the community they successfully answered their question.

Is this a feature that would be acceptable to the SO owners? If not, why?

2 Answers 2


Not really.

Placing a bounty on your question "buys" you a few additional benefits. It gives your question a lot of added exposure by placing it on the 'Featured' tab. That extra exposure (plus the appeal of the bounty itself) gives your question a lot of extra appeal. In theory, people will be willing to put a lot more effort into answering your question with a bounty.

None of that effort and exposure can be "returned" so the bounty should be non-refundable. The parties involved don't care that you were able to answer your own question. They have a right to (potentially) receive the rewards for their efforts. Not have it "returned" to you, after the fact.

  • 3
    Good point about it "buying" you the exposure. Best answer received, so marking it accepted. Commented Dec 17, 2009 at 1:19

This is not a problem. Please post several questions where this has happened, and where the bounty would have been refunded.

Secondly, we have enough bounty ("featured") questions on the site as it is - I don't see a need or reason to encourage people to post bounties, or lower the cost of a bounty.

Lastly, it may lead to gaming the system, wherein the OP collects all the good bits from other answers into their own answer, bumps it a few times to get the necessary votes, and then obtains both the featured listing and the rep refund.

So, in short, it's not a problem, it would result in greater noise in the featured tab, and would lead to an exploitable hole in the basic feature.

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