I just cast the 5th vote to close the question Was Cauchy so obstinate?, but the system said that it's impossible to close a question with an open bounty.

It seems to me that this question is primarily about advertising a new preprint of the author, and does not actually have any content. Others had voted to close for not being research level, or for being primarily opinion based. I'm willing to bet the poster put the bounty on the question to prevent it from being closed. Why do we have a system that does not allow questions like this to be closed, once the bounty is placed? Could that be changed?

Others may feel differently about this specific question, so in the interests of not getting off track, let's keep focused on why bounties protect questions from being closed, and not on whether or not this Cauchy question is reasonable.

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    $\begingroup$ It is better to talk about unacceptable or problematic behaviour without naming names. As written, your post is better as a private email to the administrators. If you must, you can link to an example, but I think your question is improved by leaving out the example and the mini-rant. Gerhard "Sometimes Wants To Maxi Rant" Paseman, 2017.04.29. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ As a better question, I suggest "I just tried to cast the final close vote on a question with a bounty, and the system said such questions with open bounty can't be closed. Why is this? I can see an abuse of this system by the author, especially if the post seems to do something like advertise a paper.". Gerhard "May Use This Without Attribution" Paseman, 2017.04.29. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ A bounty can be set on a question only after two days -- if the question hasn't been closed already by that time, it is likely not that unreasonable. Also, for a bounty the OP needs to have (and to spend) some points -- if they do this, they are usually particularly interested in an answer. When closed, the text of a question remains visible, and so does any advertisement contained therein -- so unlike spam flags, closure is not a means to remove advertisements. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ The question you want to close has at the moment 9 upvotes and an answer with 8 upvotes. This shows that there is some interest in it. I think there is no reason to fight here on meta for closing it (I understand your question on meta is more general, but about 2/3 of what you wrote is concerned with the linked question including your pronounced opinion on it). $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 1:55
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    $\begingroup$ Somewhat related older discussion: Using bounty to prevent a question from being closed. Perhaps you can find some other related posts among the questions tagged (bounty). $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ David, instead of fighting a question tooth-and-nail you might want to make constructive suggestions as to its improvement and/or do some background reading and venture an answer, since the question has been re-opened. $\endgroup$ Commented May 4, 2017 at 9:34

1 Answer 1


Closing a question prevents new answers to be added. If one could close a question with a bounty, the net effect would be to shorten the bounty period, possibly causing the loss or misattribution of bounty points. On the other hand, adding a bounty to a question can be used to prevent closing a question, which is a misuse of the bounty system.

Since there is a problem either way, the system prevents closing questions with bounties and leaves misuses of the bounty system to moderators. In case of misuse, moderators can remove bounties and refund the user who posted the bounty. If you believe a user is using a bounty to prevent a question from closing, raise a flag for moderator attention.

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    $\begingroup$ For the specific question that prompted this one, the bounty seems to have been removed. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ There are currently no "close" votes and the bounty is in place. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ @MikhailKatz: The bounty was removed again. There were no close votes because the question was just reopened. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais, you are of course entitled to do what you feel is appropriate as a moderator, but I object to treating this question, which has been upvoted by no fewer than 19 users, as inherently problematic. Otherwise why would you cancel the second bounty? Whoever wants to close the question can certainly wait for 7 days as bounties are not eternal. Your presumption that this will be closed a second time is not necessarily in the spirit of presumption of innocence. I am genuinely interested in getting additional information on this. For example, Beenakker provided details I was not... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 16:37
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    $\begingroup$ ...aware of both in this post and in the one on Lagrange. I find such cracking down surprising. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ I have not voted to close, nor have I downvoted, even though I really don't like the question; if we are to point out it has been upvoted by no fewer than 19, we should point out that it has been downvoted by no fewer than 13 $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi, agreed :-) It would be helpful if you could clarify what it is about the question that you don't like. If it is critical of some historians' work on Cauchy, it seems to me there should be room at MO for such challenges. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @François, it seems as though the tempers have cooled off a bit at Cauchy, and a day has gone by without any further closing votes. Would it be appropriate to post a bounty at this stage? $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2017 at 7:31

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