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I found only one instance where this shouldn't be allowed:

  • If you wanna do this twice (to set a bounty again on the same question).

Also, from this answer (by 40 votes):

"Abuse potential aside, it gives users an incentive to delete perfectly good questions."

But I think this is not really a problem because you can delete the good question (had a bounty), so you can get your points back and then repost again the good question but this time, to leave it as it is.

Also from this question (mod quid's comment):

"the point why it is not refunded is that somebody could for example put a bounty on an essentially unanswerable question all the time if it were different. The main point is added visibility. For this to stay effective they must be limited. So they "cost" something no matter what."

mod quid says: they must be limited and yes, I agree with mod quid's piece of comment. But I also think, what's the difference between one or another question? I did already 'set/paid an space' for my question with bounty, it didn't work. Now I'd like my points back because I have another question.


I think one should be permitted because what if one is limited on points and have different questions (from different courses). So one may want to now spend their points on a new question.

And it does not seems fair to loose your points just because no one answered the bounty question.

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    $\begingroup$ Bounties increase visibility and therefore by necessity takes away visibility from other questions. Imagine if unanswered bounties don't cost rep, then someone can just keep setting +500 bounties on unanswerable questions, cluttering up space on the front page at no loss of rep to themselves. This is one example of potential abuse the current system seeks to prevent. $\endgroup$ – YiFan Nov 9 at 0:17
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    $\begingroup$ There are some related discussions on Meta Stack Exchange, such as: Why aren't bounties refunded if they are not awarded? or Should bounty be returned if there is NO answer at all? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 9 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan "Imagine if unanswered bounties don't cost rep, then someone can just keep setting +500 bounties on unanswerable questions" No. This wouldn't be permitted if it's to the same question. This is what my first bullet is about. You're right that this would be seen as an abuse to the system. $\endgroup$ – Isabella Nov 9 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Isabella Nov 9 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Isabella I did not say it were the same question. What I meant was that the same user could ask multiple separate unanswerable questions, and set +500 bounties to each of them. $\endgroup$ – YiFan Nov 9 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan I think 'unanswerable questions' is kinda subjective. Some users 'jump in' (no matter what question this is) when they see a +100 bounty. $\endgroup$ – Isabella Nov 9 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think so, and it's not relevant to the potential answerers wanting or not to answer.. There are a lot of questions which are objectively unanswerable: for example homework-style problems, except all the context behind the notation and terminology is taken away so no one (not even the OP!) understands what the question is trying to ask. Or questions by cranks about their "proof" of the Riemann Hypothesis. Bountied questions cannot be closed or deleted, so your proposed system will hurt much more than it helps, imho. $\endgroup$ – YiFan Nov 9 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan In your first example, the question would be likely to be [on-hold] at some point, so they won't let OP to start a bounty. Your second example, is an 'extreme' case (afaik, those tend to get closed as well) .I am assuming we are dealing with questions from a book/course i.e. normal questions :) $\endgroup$ – Isabella Nov 9 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ If you looked around, you would see that "exercises from a book/course" are not at all "normal questions", in the sense that they are not the majority. There are frequent questions not of that type. And furthermore, as long as there is potential for abuse in one "extreme" case, that is sufficient to break the system. Not to mention bountied questions cannot be closed before the bounty expires, as I had mentioned. $\endgroup$ – YiFan Nov 9 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan mods can cancel bounties at any time. Mods and users will notice whether or not a user is doing this just to 'break' the system. But I think many many other users are in good faith and only want the points back because they got another question from their course. $\endgroup$ – Isabella Nov 10 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan mod quid mentioned the other day in Math mods chatroon: that suggestion comes up often and is unlikely to happen. the suggestion of getting the points back. I may highlight the word often $\endgroup$ – Isabella Nov 10 at 0:16

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