Sometimes OP will be so desperate (or so unfamiliar with the site) that s/he offers money (or at least says s/he does) in order to get an answer.

The one time I've seen someone act on it (not because it doesn't happen, probably, but because I don't stick around the post) was when the whole sentence regarding the monetary bounty was deleted.

I think outright deletion of an entire paragraph of a post (as was the case in the example above) is a drastic measure that we should agree is good practice before implementing.

Whenever I've encountered such a situation, I've flagged for moderator attention, but is this the way to go? Do the mods value such flags? Indeed, is there even anything against offering money written into the site policy (if not, I think there should be)?


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    $\begingroup$ I think even an ordinary community member with editing privileges would be justified in removing such a paragraph. The issue is whether it contributes to the content of the Question. We routinely remove salutations and other extraneous material from Questions. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Mar 6, 2016 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ Related. Honestly, if someone is stupid enough to believe that a random anonymous user on the Internet is going to give them money for solving a math question, they deserve what happens to them. $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2016 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ Related (to some extent): Monetizing SE bounties? and Integrate bitcoins with MSE. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2016 at 4:12
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    $\begingroup$ What if they mention Erdős Pál's check? Mwahahaha! $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2016 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


Deleting a paragraph of the post is the preferred behavior if the paragraph has nothing to do with mathematics, as is the case if it offers money. It's fairly common to remove paragraphs which contain nothing particularly objectionable, but which add nothing more than "please answer this" or similar sentiments.

I don't think it's unreasonable to flag in this case - it's not a common circumstance and it wouldn't be bad for a moderator to ask the user not to offer money. However, I would probably treat it more akin to a user defacing their posts: I usually rollback the post once and leave a comment, and if the same user does so again, I flag for moderator attention. Defacing posts is a similar problem, since ordinary users can repair the problem (i.e. edit out the offer/rollback the post), but the author will often continue the behavior (in which case, a moderator is better equipped).

Also, although the behavior is definitely discouraged, it's probably not productive to write anything into a prominent place saying it's disallowed - I don't think it's that common (I've never seen it) and having a meta post (like this one) about it should be sufficient.

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    $\begingroup$ it is not that common to see anyone go so far as to specify a question and offer money for just that question. There was an obnoxious guy on MO who hired people for financial mathematics jobs, he insisted on posting things about "algo" positions. Eventually they got him to stop, not sure what was done. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Mar 6, 2016 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ "However, I would probably treat it more akin to a user defacing their posts: I usually rollback the post once and leave a comment, and if the same user does so again, I flag for moderator attention." So... it's vandalism to /remove/ the offer? $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Mar 8, 2016 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck No; I mean that inserting such an offer is similar to vandalizing a post. It's certainly not vandalism to remove the offer. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2016 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ oh ok. that makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Mar 8, 2016 at 21:21

I think it depends on the question.

If it is an interesting and well-researched question form an unexperienced user, I might consider removing the notice, explaining in a comment why and adding a reputation bounty.

If not, then I'll just edit it out and keep an eye on it, and leave a comment. If they edit it in again, then I will flag the post.


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