In my opinion a bounty is a great way to revive a question but I'm just wondering whether displaying the reward value may sometimes cause any disservice to the question itself.

I've seen some high-value bounties attracting a fair share of "junk" answers for the sole purpose of collecting rep points. For non-bountied questions, down-voting is somewhat an effective deterrent, however depending on how much is at stake, taking a few hits may be well worth for some.

We need to educate these users of course, but do you not think that knowing that there's an extra prize to win is enough? It also adds an element of surprise which could be nice.

I appreciate that this would definitely encourage some people to provide the bare minimum value as a reward. Perhaps the reward value could be displayed to "established" users only? (e.g. above 3K rep points)

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    Does not higher bounties also invite additional scrutiny on new answers? Thereby those gunning for rep with low quality answers will probably lose rep, instead. – fbueckert Aug 20 at 14:46
  • That's a fair comment to make; I just think this "noise" could be avoided. Thanks for your input nonetheless. – customcommander Aug 20 at 14:48
  • I just looked at questions with a bounty on SO that are ending soon. I didn't observe the problem you describe here. Nor does your screenshot indicate that there are too many answers. – Luuklag Aug 20 at 15:00
  • Sorry this was only to show what an "anonymised bounty" would look like; nothing wrong with those bounties. I can remove the picture if that causes confusion. – customcommander Aug 20 at 15:01
  • Removed the screenshot as it is irrelevant. – customcommander Aug 20 at 15:08

Bounties are often posted on questions which did not get enough attention, either because they're not 'interesting' enough or 'hard' (at least to the users that viewed it). In both cases, they need to spend an above average effort to answer the question. I can't speak for everybody, but myself I'd like to know what reward I could (potentially) receive for that extra effort; otherwise, I'd rather answer two (or more) questions for which I need normal effort; in the end, that will make more people happier. Answering a bountied question is already a riskier business: the user who posted the bounty might choose not to award the bounty at all, or award it to a competing answer. I'd like to have as much certainty as I can get, and an unknown bounty amount is decreasing that certainty.

  • I'll accept this; seems quite an unpopular topic but I thought it was worth asking nonetheless. You're making good points though. Thanks for this. – customcommander Aug 20 at 15:18
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    Voting is different on Meta; voting may indicate agreement or disagreement with the proposed change rather than just the quality or usefulness of the post itself. Officially this should only be done on [feature-request]s, but it often carries over to posts which implicitly propose a change like yours. – Glorfindel Aug 20 at 15:28
  • There's also a predictable side-effort of masking the bounty points. If you don't know if the bounty is 50 or 400 until the end, the benefactor might just as well offer the minimum bounty, always. – Mari-Lou A Aug 22 at 6:16

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