What are your feelings about offering a bounty for deciding or evaluating an answer to a MO question?

Background of this post is that I have provided two answers to a highly upvoted question with many followers; while the first answer was based on a misinterpretation of the problem, the second answer was based on the patiently provided clarification by Fedor Petrov in comments to my first answer.

Now, while there was vivid feedback to the wrong answer, there was no reaction whatsoever to the second one, of which I am convinced that it solves the problem or at least provides new ideas for a solution.

I regret adding a comment to my second answer, asking the PO for review because I suppose there are reasons for not evaluating it; I'd rather like to offer a bounty for checking the answer and providing an informative comment pointing out potential issues that are still present or maybe even confirming correctness.

So, what are your thoughts about offering a bounty for checking an answer, resp. what alternatives would you recommend?

  • $\begingroup$ How is that going to work? Bounties go to the person who answered a question. Moreover, bounties are to some extent publication costs, they are taken as the price for extra promotion of the question. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 18, 2019 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila so the alternative option would be to derive a question from the answer, e.g. asking for deciding about the correctness of the answer and then offering a bounty; would that be an acceptable way of rewarding the effort of checking a proposed solution? $\endgroup$ May 18, 2019 at 9:36
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    $\begingroup$ you could just offer a bounty to that question, with an explanation on how you will decide to award it (i.e. not to any arbitrary answer, but to an answer that follows up on your own). If someone adds an answer to the question that validates your own answer you award the bounty to that answer. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2019 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ "there was no reaction whatsoever" And what kind of reaction would you expect? I liked the pictures but I wouldn't say I understood the argument (actually, I cannot even tell if any argument was there and if it was, what exactly it proved). So what should I say? $\endgroup$
    – fedja
    May 19, 2019 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ @fedja I would have appreciated a comment saying exactly that: that my answer is unclear and maybe even saying whether certain parts are unclear or if the entire answer isn't clear. Maybe others don't like such feedback to an answer, but I for my part wanted to contribute to the solution of the problem and thus also appreciate "negative" feedback. A different kind of feedback I'd appreciate would be to express skepticism about the correctness/usability of the answer and indicating whether demonstrating the correct solution of certain testinstances is awaited. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2019 at 5:46


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