Suppose someone post a problem statement question so no attempts on the problem and it also happens that no one flag the question neither so it won't be on hold nor closed and somebody else (could be the same user that asked) put a bounty of +50 or +100,...

I notice you still have the option to flag the question, the thing is that would the question always remain as it is? or can be put [on hold] and perhaps the [closed] and hence no one can answer the question anymore?

for example like this question Maximizing the ratio of inner products

  • $\begingroup$ Once the bounty expires, the question can be closed. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Mar 13, 2019 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ If the bountied question should really be closed, then mods can remove (or technically, refund) the bounty and close the question immediately. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Mar 13, 2019 at 5:00
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ If you flag a question with a bounty, the entire Universe collapses in on itself, and we all die. Don't do it! $\endgroup$ Mar 13, 2019 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson hmm.. someone has been watching a lot of Hawking videos.. :) $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Mar 13, 2019 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


Questions with a bounty cannot be put on hold. However, moderators can cancel a bounty. (Then, it can be put on hold.)

Yet, usually, we don't cancel bounties. This means, that trying to put on hold a question with a bounty should be reserved for exceptional cases. If there is some actual problem, don't hesitate to bring it up; what I want to discourage though is that standard "lack of context" closures and alike get flagged up.

Note that there is a minimal delay between asking and placing a bounty. Thus, a question that has a bounty at least was initially not considered as close-worthy. Of course, it might have just fallen through the cracks but still there is some initial filter.

  • $\begingroup$ if moderators cancel the bounty, do you give back to the owner ? $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Mar 13, 2019 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ -I want to discourage though is that standard "lack of context" closures and alike get flagged up-. you mean that one should flag in the case I mentioned before? $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Mar 13, 2019 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, if a bounty gets canceled the points are given back. (There is no choice.) // No, I mean that one should not flag in this case. Only extremely bad or otherwise directly problematic questions should be flagged if they have a bounty on them. I agree that one might close the question you mentioned, but it's not urgent enough. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Mar 14, 2019 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ only because of a bounty, psq questions are fine (one should not flag) though that is against the rules of this site. no? $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Mar 14, 2019 at 23:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ They are not fine. There are several things to balance tough. A PSQ that is otherwise not overly problematic can stay open as long as there is a good-faith bounty on it. (Of course we'll act against cases that seem like abuse or trolling.) $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Mar 14, 2019 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean with not overly problematic? good-faith bounty on it? and what are cases that seem like abuse or trolling? . $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Mar 14, 2019 at 23:56

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