A while back I asked a question and recieved a good answer from a well known site member. It's a solid answer and I have no intention of unselecting it. Recently another answer was provided. This second answer provides some excellent details and my plan was to award a bounty to it.

The issue is that, when checking the edit history, I find that this answer was, originally, just a short sentence and an image. It provides information, but then the question was edited. If you check the edit history, you'll see the first version was simple and relied, essentially, on an image file. In the second version, the editor added more images and more text to significantly upgrade the answer.

After becoming aware of the edit history, as the asker of the question, I think the significant work for this answer comes more from the editor of the answer than the initial answer. In other words, the site member who posted the answer did not provide as much information as the editor did.

In terms of work done and reward offered, most of the work was done by the editor and it seems more appropriate the bounty go to him rather than the original poster of the question. I don't see a way, within the SE framework, to provide a bounty to an editor of an answer (or question).

I've considered a couple options:

  1. Find another answer by the editor and set up a bounty on that question and award it to him, but that doesn't indicate, on the answer I like, that it's good enough to receive a bounty.
  2. Suggest the editor use his extra material in a new answer, rollback the edits done on the answer, then award the bounty to this entirely new answer containing all of the editor's original material.

I'm open to suggestions or other ways this could be handled. I basically want the bounty to show on this person's work to make it clear where the notable information came from that provided good background that adds to the original selected answer.

This is significantly different from this question, since that question addresses only the idea of hunting down other answers and giving them bounties. While I mention this as a possible solution in my first option, I am providing at least one other option and asking if there are other possibilities. The focus of the other question is entirely on providing a bounty for a user's answer on another question. I'm asking about other ways to do it, which presents a potential for many more solutions.

  • 2
    I won’t answer this because of my obvious conflict of interest, but I will say that awarding a bounty to the other person’s answer both rewards them for having the idea (even if they didn’t elaborate on it), and shows future viewers that the answer is high quality despite not being accepted. Both good things, of course.
    – Adamant
    Sep 14, 2016 at 21:55
  • On one occasion, I wrote a long answer which was more-or-less invalidated by another user's comment on it. He was happy to let me rewrite my answer rather than posting one of his own, but I felt bad about getting all the rep (even though of course I credited him), so I gave him a bounty on a totally different question to reward his help.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Sep 14, 2016 at 21:57
  • 8
    Possible duplicate of Are we allowed to award bounties on questioner's other answers?
    – Möoz
    Sep 14, 2016 at 22:42
  • 1
    @Mooz: I think this covers material that doesn't cover.
    – Tango
    Sep 14, 2016 at 23:57
  • Regarding the votes to close for being a duplicate: I'm asking for MORE information than was addressed in the other question and in the resulting answer.
    – Tango
    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:58
  • 2
    I’d say you should go ahead and award the bounty to the person who originally had the idea, regardless of any improvements I made. I wouldn’t write another answer, since it would feel too much like taking credit for the original idea. That should indicate that the answer is “good enough to receive a bounty.”
    – Adamant
    Sep 19, 2016 at 19:45
  • 1
    Just because you're asking for more info doesn't mean they aren't the same essential question. The general consensus of the linked post is to not award a bounty for an irrelevant action.
    – Möoz
    Sep 19, 2016 at 22:06
  • If it's made Community Wiki... But that is rarely an option on somebody else's answer.
    – wizzwizz4
    Sep 20, 2016 at 16:04
  • @Adamant - In this instance, what you've done is commit vandalism to his answer. It's good vandalism and improved it beyond recognition, but it's vandalism nonetheless. What you should have done is written a new answer (crediting the OP for finding a useful source of info) rather than utterly overhauling the existing answer.
    – Valorum
    Sep 21, 2016 at 10:42
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    @Valorum: Is "vandalism" your term for this, or is this term being used in the community?
    – Tango
    Sep 24, 2016 at 4:12
  • @Tango - It's one of the standard moderator flags (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/94421/…) and a well known and widely used term
    – Valorum
    Sep 24, 2016 at 7:46
  • @Valorum: Okay. Just trying to be clear, in my head, about it. Thanks.
    – Tango
    Sep 24, 2016 at 8:46

2 Answers 2


Conflicts like these are the very reason why (at least on other SE sites) we discourage heavy edits and recommend answers instead. If the editor thought his edit didn't warrant a separate answer, I see no reason for second guessing him.

I have had similar things happen to me on other SE sites. I thought that the answer contained everything, but visible only to the expert eye. I edited it and made it skyrocket. I am fine with that and I don't think we should change or circumvent the mechanics of SE sites for that little effect.

I see severe danger coming, if we move away from rewarding answers and towards examining whom we would like to reward!

Keep in mind that votes, bounties etc. also serve as indicators for outsiders to spot the best answers. Imagine a SE full of bounties associated with answers other than those they were awarded to. I would leave a deeply appreciative comment and move on.

  • I'm a little confused. Are you saying that he should or he shouldn't?
    – Valorum
    Sep 21, 2016 at 17:00
  • 1
    I am saying, one rewards answers regardless of the edit history. Otherwise many nasty things will happen.
    – Ludi
    Sep 21, 2016 at 17:01
  • OK. But in this case, the bounty-awarder thought that the original answer was unimpressive.
    – Valorum
    Sep 21, 2016 at 17:02
  • 1
    Yes, and I see the injustice, but I believe it is crucial we don't move away from rewarding answers as they and toward other mechanisms.
    – Ludi
    Sep 21, 2016 at 17:04
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    This comes at the issue from a slightly different approach that I had in my mind. It confirms some of what I was thinking (that I left out of the question to avoid influencing answers), but from a varied viewpoint. Thank you for brining the in the background from other sites, too.
    – Tango
    Sep 24, 2016 at 4:00

I wholly agree that posting a bounty on another answer by that person is not ideal. The bounty is supposed to tell the person (and everyone else) what you're rewarding, not just give the points to the right person.

I like the idea you're suggesting in OP very much. You say that the vast majority of the value was added by the editor. Ping the editor in chat, or somewhere they can be pinged. Tell the editor that you want to give a bounty for their work. Suggest that the editor post an answer of their own, incorporating the same material they edited into the other answer. If the two answers are now too similar, the other one can be rolled back a little bit. (Make sure no work done by the OP of that answer is removed.) Then award the bounty to the new answer. This seems like the most sensible option. The right person will be rewarded, and everyone will know what was rewarded.

  • I agree that this would be a good option but the editor has said in a comment above they would feel like they were taking credit for the original idea.
    – Erik
    Sep 20, 2016 at 22:51
  • @Erik Oh, Alright. If the editor doesn't want it there's really not much to do.
    – Fiksdal
    Sep 21, 2016 at 8:28
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    @Fiksdal: Actually, that's what's happened now. We discussed it and he did that and added more material for an excellent answer. (And he rolled back his edits on the first answer.)
    – Tango
    Sep 24, 2016 at 4:09
  • @Tango Happy to hear it.
    – Fiksdal
    Sep 24, 2016 at 6:34

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