I've just found myself in the following situation:

I had a little over 100 reputation on CrossValidated and found a question that I wanted to award a bounty to. And so I did, however, this brought me below 50 reputation which left me unable to leave a comment on said question clarifying some points.

Arguably I should have:

  • left a comment with the bounty itself
  • not offered up this much reputation in the first place

However, prior to offering the bounty I did not even know that a reputation limit for comments existed at all, mainly because after accumulating enough reputation on one site, you're automatically awarded 100 on signing up to any other which makes it very easy to forget about the reputation limit because you never encounter it again.

So, I think it would be sensible to either:

  • outright forbid users from offering a bounty higher than their reputation - 50
  • warn them about it if they try
  • 2
    Similar questions have been asked before - though my google-fu is failing me right now :\
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 12, 2021 at 11:58
  • 1
    @Tetsujin is referring to requests like this one. Very related, but asking only for a warning, not outright forbidding a bounty in such case, so not exactly duplicate. Jan 12, 2021 at 12:00
  • @ShadowWizardisVaccinating: Almost looks like a duplicate to me, I didn't find that one, my bad.
    – Peter
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:02
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    @ShadowWizardisVaccinating: But since that one is ten years old it's unlikely this will be implement anyways...
    – Peter
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:03
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    For what it's worth, I've always felt it a bit punishing when you struggle with rep/privileges on a site you don't visit much, especially when you're used to full rights on your main ones. I can see the reasoning behind this - "Just because you're good at nuclear physics doesn't makes you automatically good at knitting " but it's frustrating nonetheless ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:07
  • Time isn't a factor for me. @Peter. Only the content. But you're correct, either way it's just one of thousands of feature requests that will most likely never be done. Jan 12, 2021 at 12:07
  • @Tetsujin one can reach 100 rep on a single site without association bonus. :) Jan 12, 2021 at 12:08
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    @ShadowWizardisVaccinating - sorry, I didn't mean to drag this completely off-topic, but I meant things like 'real' close votes, delete votes, edit rights. bounties; a million things you just get used to being able to do whenever appropriate, that you suddenly can't because you're relatively 'new' to one stack, even with a network rep in the 100+k zone.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:11
  • @Tetsujin: I think it makes sense that stuff like close votes should be linked to per site reputation because they should be reserved for users with demonstrated domain expertise. Bounties however might as well be possible cross-site but then again that would make the system kinda confusing (i.e. should I be able to pick which account to deduct the reputation from?).
    – Peter
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:17
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    It’s to easily abused. Bounties are already abused
    – Ramhound
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:37
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    "outright forbid users from offering a bounty higher than their reputation - 50" I'm not sure this is really useful. Perhaps a user doesn't care about commenting. In fact, if they tend to post questions and put bounties on them, they don't really need the comment privilege (they can comment on their own questions and answers to those). "warn them about it if they try" probably just widen this to warn for any privilege they'd lose. I don't think commenting is exceptional here - losing the downvote privilege or close voting might also be undesirable.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:56
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    How about not letting people give away their association bonus as a bounty at all? Given that the bonus is meant to boost you past initial new user restrictions and is tied to your account in a way that will keep awarding it, even if you were to delete all your profiles and recreate them using the same account.... Allowing it to be given away at all seems contradictory to its purpose.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jan 12, 2021 at 14:04
  • Very related feature request: Comment on posts that you have an open bounty on, despite reputation. See also the linked posts there.
    – 41686d6564
    Jan 14, 2021 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


I consider that the association bonus is long past the point that it should be removed from the system. When the 2nd and 3rd site was created it was an easy to code hack that allowed trusted user in StackOverflow to fully take part in the new sites.

Personally I would like to see system level badges being used to allow commenting. So if someone has every got enough rep on any site they can comment on all sites they join. Likewise for seeing up/down vote totals.


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