Okay, I may as well mention straight off that the main reason I am asking this question is due to the upcoming reputation recalc.

It has always seemed silly to me how bounties affect privileges. After all, if rep is, as oft repeated, primarily a way of how much the system trusts you, bounties really shouldn't affect that. In terms of effects, this would lessen the pain from the rep recalc. One downside - this increase the number of bounties given out as users wouldn't be saving up their rep to gain privileges, so maybe it would be sensible to enforce a minimum reputation (500?) before you can post bounties.

PS. If people are worried about others gaming the system, the better way would probably be to make the extra reputation gained from bounties not count towards privileges, rather than removing privileges for posting bounties.

  • 1
    make reputation gained from answers not count towards privileges - What else would you make count towards privileges then?
    – fretje
    Mar 19, 2010 at 10:26
  • @fretje - I meant to make the extra reputation gained from bounties not count - updated now
    – Casebash
    Mar 19, 2010 at 10:28
  • 2
    Ow, Ok then, but that would make the "privilege assignment process" rather complex and not easily understandable. It would account for a lot of "why can't I do this while I have the rep for it" questions here on meta. Definitely with how the faq lists the privileges now.
    – fretje
    Mar 19, 2010 at 10:34
  • It is worth noting that the now [status-declined] increase in the weight of downvotes was [status-planed] for months. It seem that nothing is guaranteed around here until it actually happens. Mar 19, 2010 at 12:51
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    @freje: Simply showing your rep for the purposes of privileges in the FAQ would solve these problems
    – Casebash
    Mar 20, 2010 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


There is already a minimum rep to offer a bounty, I think it's 100. I guess we could increase it.

I can't think of any way we can disconnect bounties from reputation, so in all honesty this is unlikely to happen.

In general, this is by design -- bounties are for people who either

  • feel like they have an excess of reputation and can "afford" it
  • have an urgent need to get an answer and the normal process needs goosing

We also don't necessarily want to increase the number of bounties; they're valuable and worthwhile because they involve some sacrifice on both the side of the askers and the answerers.

  • I guess I wasn't clear that I consider increasing the number of bounties a disadvantage. As for the rep cost, well I could afford it - before the rules changed.
    – Casebash
    Mar 19, 2010 at 10:02
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    I don't like the idea of increasing the minimum rep required to offer a bounty (except perhaps to combat fraudulent behaviour, e.g. transferring rep between sock puppet accounts). If a user has a burning question and wants to put a bounty on it, he should be able to do so; it's more of a sacrifice for a low-rep user to do this than a high rep user, so it must be important.
    – Ether
    Mar 19, 2010 at 21:45

The system is very inconsistent.

On tex.se a user gamed the system with a socket puppet to get (amongst other things) the Mortarboard badge. His reputation gain was reversed, but he got to keep the badge. The support justified this with something along the lines "He gained the badge illegitimately, but while doing this he learned what reputation cap is and badges are to mark such learning steps".

It would only be fair if this would also apply to privileges. If users demonstrated that they are trustworthy enough to comment, close questions, see deleted posts etc. offering a bounty does not suddenly change them to make them less trustworthy.

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