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I have been tempted and now have seen occasions where I thought answers on said questions with closed votes were worth a bounty. I just learned that a question cannot be closed while the bounty is active. Apparently not being able to close a question can be bad.

Why is this frowned upon by the Mods ( or in general )?

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    I was told once that Users are not obliged to explain their reasons on giving off bounties. That I understood meant "If some user wants to give a bounty on a question for whatever reason they are in their full rights to do so and also don't need to justify why"... does this apply in this case? If I want to offer a bounty on a Q with Close votes (even though they are old votes) then I am in my full rights and no need to explain why. True? – DarkCygnus Nov 2 '17 at 16:35
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    Good question, I thought that the two day proscription was sufficient. – Old_Lamplighter Nov 2 '17 at 16:41
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    related: Allow users to vote to close bountied questions – gnat Nov 2 '17 at 17:29
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    @TheSnarkKnight It would be if they didnt get closed then reopened and get 4 more close votes with in the hour then a bounty... I believe that was not your intent but it had the appearance of an attempt to block a close. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 2 '17 at 18:22
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    @IDrinkandIKnowThings Educate me please. If someone is willing to put their reputation out for the question, why do we care? The other option we may want to consider is to allow IMMEDIATE granting of bounties for super answer versus 24 hour wait. – Neo Nov 2 '17 at 18:26
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    @MisterPositive I have no objection to allowing the immediate granting of the bounty, or even of letting the bounty stay on a closed question. But the system does not allow it. Questions that are bad should be closed even if someone is willing to spend their rep to keep it open for a few days – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 2 '17 at 18:30
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    @IDrinkandIKnowThings it was not my intent to block anything. I didn't even know it did that. I would argue that it being closed, and reopened would mean that at least there's some disagreement about the question. Since more than half the questions here are closed anyway, what is the harm caused by leaving one open? – Old_Lamplighter Nov 2 '17 at 18:31
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    @TheSnarkKnight - The question was quickly closed when it was asked. Took 3 days to get 5 reopen votes then in an hour had 4 more close votes and with in a few minutes of the bounty being removed it was closed again. There may be some contention but its pretty clear the community disagrees with having it open. You can still start another meta to get it reopened. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 2 '17 at 18:32
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    I'm not seeing how the number of days it took to get reopened vs attempting to get it closed again is relevant. It was open. It was past the 2 days. People getting all bent out of shape because a question actually stayed open is freaking pathetic. – Chris E Nov 2 '17 at 18:46
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    For those who want some context on this situation and the question here presented, check this question – DarkCygnus Nov 2 '17 at 18:46
  • @ChrisE Closing questions is important to stop low-quality questions being on the site etcetera so it's not unreasonable for people to be a little upset about something that could cause the Broken Windows effect. – wizzwizz4 Nov 4 '17 at 15:19
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Why is this frowned upon by the Mods ( or in general )?

We frown upon any action that abuses SE systems, especially if it's done to accomplish a particular action that's not normally possible. Strategically placing a bounty to prevent a question from being closed is an example of that. Bounties preventing close votes is, to my knowledge, largely a side-effect intended to prevent bounty shenanigans and streamline the possible outcomes of a bounty being started. Protecting a question from being closed isn't the main goal and if we were to find that a bounty was started specifically to prevent a closure that would as I mentioned be frowned upon.

None of that applies to the question that prompted this discussion in chat and this meta post. I'm convinced that the bounty was placed for its intended purpose of renewing interest in an older question. But the question was already on 4 close votes and because the bounty blocked the final vote that several people apparently wanted to cast I removed it. In this case the normal 2-day delay to place bounties didn't prevent this because the question went through an initial close and reopen cycle and its value to the site was evidently contested. In those case flagging the question is appropriate though how we handle such a flag will depend on the circumstances. Bounties are not removed lightly.


Gnat's comment below summarised the inherent contradictory natures of a bounty and close votes well and this is likely the main reason why the block is still in place (emphasis mine):

bounty and closure have opposite goals, first is to attract answers while second is to prevent these. Allowing both would send a very confusing signal to readers that's why system is designed to avoid such a "clash". The specifics of how system does that - bounty blocks closure - seems to be based on a (fairly reasonable) expectation that such clashes are expected to be rare enough so that moderators can resolve matters in (rare) cases when closure is indeed the way to go

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    Thank you. This doesn't specifically explain why we care about the side affect of some one spending their rep to reward an answer and it just so happens to keep a question open. I am new here still, does this sort of thing happen often? – Neo Nov 2 '17 at 19:05
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    Bounty shenanigans? People actually sit down and try and think of ways to screw the bounty system?... seems a bit farfetched, it's only reputation. Good answer though in general. – Kilisi Nov 2 '17 at 19:11
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    @Kilisi Not to my knowledge, but as far as I know that's the main reason behind bounties preventing CVs. I would think that a group of people placing bounties and then organising close votes to get rid of the bounties would be both rather pointless and rather obvious but perhaps there are other things I can't think of right now. And of course meta sites very often bring up absurd and far-fetched abuse scenarios. :) – Lilienthal Nov 2 '17 at 19:31
  • But really though, and to answer @MisterPositive, this kind of thing is so incredibly rare that there's no real reason to change anything about it. If ever a situation like this does come up simply flag it and the mod team can have a look. I can't recall any previous bounty being removed for this reason in my time here, whether as a mod or a regular user. – Lilienthal Nov 2 '17 at 19:32
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    Then why was the bounty removed in this case? Trying to understand, not be a giant PITA.... – Neo Nov 2 '17 at 19:33
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    @MisterPositive I believe I covered that in my second paragraph? The bounty was preventing CVs on a contested question, hence why I removed it to allow the community to continue processing the question. That scenario happens rarely which is why there's no automatic system for dealing with it, hence why you should flag it. This specifically is "bad" because it prevents a community action (closing) when that's not the goal: the goal is awarding rep to an answer. To be clear: unintentionally blocking CVs with a bounty isn't frowned upon, that would be reserved for someone doing it deliberately. – Lilienthal Nov 2 '17 at 19:41
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    In other words, someone's desire to award reputation to an answer cannot trump the community's desire to close the parent question. But unfortunately the system is technically set up so that it does work that way. Which is why the mod team has to step in for these rare situations. – Lilienthal Nov 2 '17 at 19:43
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    bounty and closure have opposite goals, first is to attract answers while second is to prevent these. Allowing both would send a very confusing signal to readers that's why system is designed to avoid such a "clash". The specifics of how system does that - bounty blocks closure - seems to be based on a (fairly reasonable) expectation that such clashes are expected to be rare enough so that moderators can resolve matters in (rare) cases when closure is indeed the way to go – gnat Nov 2 '17 at 20:51
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    @Kilisi You'd be surprised what happens on the big 3, especially Stack Overflow. You can put SO rep on your CV and it might make some people notice - bounties are one of the easiest ways to farm with friends. – wizzwizz4 Nov 4 '17 at 15:22

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