I recently offered my first bounty on this question:

Approaches to compare differences in means with differences in proportions?

One user answered, and while I thought his answer was helpful, it mostly confirmed what I already believed, so I wanted to wait and see if anyone else would offer a different perspective.

No additional answers, though, and I received a message to the effect that the bounty would be auto-awarded.

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So I didn't worry about manually awarding it, because I thought it was taken care of.

However, it didn't get awarded. After doing some research, I believe that the answer did not qualify for auto-award due to not having 2 upvotes, but this requirement is not reflected in the message.

My questions:

  1. Is it possible for a moderator to unexpire this bounty so that I can award it to the answer?

  2. Should we change the message to reflect that the bounty may be auto-awarded if the answer meets certain criteria?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Even if the answer is eligible (and not accepted), the auto award feature will only transfer half of the bounty. Reference. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 18:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AndreSilva thanks. I guess it is my fault for not understanding the bounty system. Would appreciate if a moderator could weigh in on whether it could be un-expired. It's only 50 rep but I feel like I shafted the guy who took the time to answer my question. $\endgroup$
    – C8H10N4O2
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 20:56
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ (1) Moderators have no power to unexpire bounties. (We can remove bounties while they're still open.) (2) I think we should get the message changed if we can. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 22:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Heh. I just went to your post to put a bounty on it myself... but Scortchi was there first. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ We'll take a look at changing this message. Thanks for the report! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 8:48
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    $\begingroup$ My removal of the tag here is primarily to indicate that this post isn't in current review by the staff of the site. If this is still an issue y'all are experiencing, please feel free to continue discussion or ask about it on Meta Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


Moderators can't do anything about what happened to the bounty, sorry. In fact there are very few circumstances in which we can do anything at all with bounties.

I definitely agree that the "will be auto-awarded" message is somewhat misleading about what the situation is, because it seems to suggest either that there's nothing to do and it will definitely award the bounty; or possibly even that somehow it is already too late for you to award the bounty yourself. What it actually means is something nearer to "Award your bounty in the next 24 hours; after the 24 hour period the bounty auto-award script will run".

However, we also can't really do anything about the message, which is system-wide (we can do the same thing you can do - post a question on meta.SE about it; that might get some traction).

The way it operates is discussed here:

How does the bounty system work?

(About half-way down the page see the answer to the question "What is automatic awarding?")

[That's part of the community FAQ which is here.]

There are a few meta posts that relate to bounty messages, some with what look like good suggestions, such as these (although possibly some of them may be a little outdated by subsequent changes, there are some good ideas to be found):

Explain auto-award after “you have X hours to award the bounty”

Tentatively award bounty : better control of auto-award

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ +1, ask on meta.SE is good advice, but note that I'm pretty sure the SE development team periodically monitors site metas for threads like this, so someone may notice just from this. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @NickCox $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 22:46

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