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Recently a question was asked in a manner which seems somewhat inappropriate to me (independent of the value of the question). Specifically, it seems that:

  • The OP asked the question and then immediately deleted it.

  • Two days later, they undeleted it and immediately bountied it.

The reason this seems off to me is that effectively the question sprang into existence pre-bountied - which had the effect of preventing votes to close, if I understand the closure system correctly. Regardless of the details of this particular case (including whether this was actually the OP's intention) this seems like a loophole which could cause annoyance in the future.

My question is:

Is this actually problematic? If so, would it be possible to modify the clock on bounty-setting so that a question has to exist undeleted for two days before being bountiable?


To clarify, I don't see any way this could be abused to gain reputation - the only point I possibly take issue with is the potential for sidestepping close votes.

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If you see a question that seems off-topic or inappropriate for MathOverflow, but protected from close votes by a bounty, please flag for moderator attention. We can remove the bounty, and in obviously bad cases, close the question immediately. More generally, if you think a bounty is being offered in bad faith, or in violation of reasonable norms, please let us know.

The question under consideration seems to be a reasonable one, although the last half seems to be unnecessary text that can be safely removed.

I don't see a long term problem with this particular loophole - people who use it repeatedly will get noticed.

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