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This has been nagging at me a while.

I guessed I'd figure out what was going on eventually, but I haven't - I am more puzzled than ever. If it is a bug I could post it to meta.SO* -- but it's more likely to be something obvious I missed.

*(I searched there but didn't turn anything relevant up)

On the bounties offered page of people's user profile, there's a list of bounties offered (no surprise there). Below is part of mine. On the right had side are user names beside each one (see the red oval below -- you may be able to open the image in its own browser tab or 'view it' in this tab to see a larger version; or see my bounties offered page, but it will eventually come to differ from the picture):

enter image description here

There are two sensible things that might go there, I think - the name of the person who got the bounty, or the name of the user asking the question.

I keep trying to figure out what it actually represents. Looking at ${\color{purple}{(1)}}$ and ${\color{purple}{(3)}}$ (those purple numbers in the text are also links to the corresponding posts, by the way) you'd think it was the person to whom the bounty was awarded. Makes perfect sense.

But now, look at ${\color{purple}{(2)}}$ - I didn't award that to myself, I awarded it to @whuber.

So it isn't that. What did I do on that page? I edited the question, and I commented under whuber's answer (and some time later deleted it); aside from awarding a bounty, that comment and later deletion would have been the last things I did there, likely around that indicated time. Why would anyone care to associate that bounty award with someone that just deleted a comment? Is it treating me as special because I also awarded the bounty? ... well, no:

Look at ${\color{purple}{(4)}}$ - Nick? What the heck? Nick only has a deleted answer there.

So:

  1. Is it - as it appears - merely indicating the last person to touch the page? (...and if so, why the heck would anyone care who did that?)

  2. Is this apparent behavior intentional? What would be the purpose of such behavior? ... OR ...

  3. Is this actually a bug, and the intended behavior was something less seemingly useless?

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    $\begingroup$ I think the answer is #1, & I think this is simply consistent w/ a lot of other pages in the SE system, rather than having been coded up separately (& deliberately) to have that behavior. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Oct 23 '13 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ @gung Actually, that makes sense - that it would not be a behavior by design but as an inherited default from elsewhere. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Oct 23 '13 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ You guys nailed it - it's not really a bug, not really by-design. It's just an inherited behavior from other pages that are just lists of questions. If you think there's a better way to do it, consider a [feature-request] on MSO. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Oct 24 '13 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the confirmation, Abby. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Oct 24 '13 at 22:31
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(I suppose I'll turn my comment into an official answer, so that this doesn't get recorded as unanswered.)

I think the answer is #1. The name listed is simply the last person to record a change (i.e., added a new answer or edited an existing post). This is consistent with the way a lot of other pages work in the SE system. I suspect that there is some code that makes various pages work this way and this behavior is simply inherited rather than having been coded up separately (and deliberately) to behave that way.

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