How could the bounty reasons be improved? has been for four years now. I think we should have this discussion again, since nothing really seemed to happen from the last one, and we can take a look into whether we should change anything and it or if we decide there isn't really a need and it.

Here's a copy of the proposal from that question which was taken from a popular proposal from We're not a Q&A site. But what should be done about it?

When starting a bounty, people here almost always use either "reward an existing answer" or "draw attention", occasionally "improve details". That's because none of the others make any sense here (and the descriptions of these could also be improved):

  • "Authoritative reference needed Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources." This is simply not a thing here.
  • "Canonical answer required The question is widely applicable to a large audience. A detailed canonical answer is required to address all the concerns." For challenges this doesn't make any sense either. It might be useful for the odd question about golfing tips, but that can probably be covered with "improve details".
  • "Current answers are outdated The current answer(s) are out-of-date and require revision given recent changes." Not a thing here - with our current rules, new languages/features aren't even allowed to be used.
  • "Draw attention This question has not received enough attention." Yep, this works. (Although I'd rather read "challenge" in that sentence.)
  • "Improve details The current answers do not contain enough detail." The idea of this works in a broad sense, but we're not really looking for "detail" in answers here. Maybe this could be reworked into a bounty reason to improve the score (overall winner, or language-specific solutions).
  • "Reward existing answer One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty." This works verbatim. :)

We could also think about whether we could use other bounty reasons here. E.g. bounties are often offered for bonus/side challenges. Maybe we could get a specific bounty reason for that?

Let's discuss this. How can we add, remove, or change bounty reasons to fit the needs of our site better?

I assume suggestions will be along the lines of:

  • rewording an existing bounty reason
  • removing a reason entirely (should only be done if we have absolutely no use for a reason entirely, since this is more or less a permanent change)
  • adding a new reason (should probably only be for exceptional uses that we'll actually need quite regularly and isn't a special case of another reason or something another reason can be reworded into)
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this (and tbh, we could probably get rid of all of them except for "Draw attention" and "Reward existing answer"), but has SE ever indicated that this is possible? Bounty reasons seem like something that's a global setting, rather than something that sites can change if they want \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 11:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinherinhaahing i'm not actually sure; maybe it would've been smarter for me to ask a CM before posting lol. but given the old post existed and seemed to be by request of SE to make our site's needs clearer, i'd guess it's possible \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


Get rid of most, keep a couple

I more or less agree with Martin's points in the previous post about this, but with a few thoughts of my own.

"Current answers are outdated. The current answer(s) are out-of-date and require revision given recent changes." Not a thing here - with our current rules, new languages/features aren't even allowed to be used.

This has now changed, as newer languages can be used, but the bounty reason is still useless here as "out-of-date answers that require revision to be fixed" are invalid answers and should be deleted or fixed.

Draw attention and Reward existing answer are probably the only 2 bounty reasons I remember ever being used on the site, barring a couple of exceptions, and so should stay.

Improve details could be reworded to encourage improving score, but I doubt many answers would only improve their score if there was a bounty on the line, and challenges will generally just have newer, better answers posted to them instead.

Overall, I think that only Draw attention and Reward existing answer are actually relevant or useful here, and if possible we should just get rid of the other 4.


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