Of late I have observed that a few questions have been raised, which on close inspection look off-topic however were carrying an active bounty.

In one case, I tried to salvage the post with significant edits to make sure that OP could perhaps get an answer that solves their issue at least also to avoid unnecessary wastage of bounty rep (hard earned rep) from the OP's point of view.

Recently there came another post with active bounty which I reckon can be deemed off-topic (asking for app recommendations), but in this case I am not too sure how this can be handled. I also think the OP was looking for a different way to solve the problem and not strictly app recommendation, however the investor seems to be looking for an application.

In this case how can off-topic (or low quality posts) be handled when they carry an active bounty, AFAICT, under normal circumstances, such posts are put on hold to allow OP to revise the posts (and then re-open or closed)?

Other cases including:

  • Posts which are unclear
  • Duplicates (I hardly recall a question which had active bounty but was a duplicate, and one user commented on the duplicity of the post, and initially OP didn't know this but later regretted having used their bounty on an duplicate post)
  • I was thinking of a few things when I raised this question: 1. How does other users view it e.g can 3k rep users decide to close it on 5 votes? Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 13:18
  • Also won't it be too harsh to close a question with active bounty, considering the user has sacrificed their rep for better answers, but in this case users will be forced to revise the post significantly and make assumptions about how OP wanted to ask the question? Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


For obvious reasons, it takes a moderator to close a question that has an active bounty, so in such a case, you should flag the question so a moderator can look at it. In the music player case you link to, I don't think the question is off-topic at all. It present a specific problem and asks for solutions which might be an app or might be something else. We don't need to close questions just because they have the word "app" in. The idea of banning app recommendation questions is because they're mostly opinion-based, or lead to list answers. Asking how to do a task, where the answer is probably an app but might not be, is just fine.

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