For example, if someone started a bounty, then deleted their account, would the bounty still be active?


Yes, but the bounty couldn't actually be manually awarded to an answer. The best you could hope for would be half of the bounty getting auto-awarded to the top voted answer posted after the bounty start, provided it has a score of at least 2.

I didn't have a source for this, except experience (I've seen it happen), but bobble found a main meta source for me:

Going forward bounties from deleted accounts will be moved to (owned) by Community and will be awarded at the end of the period as they normally would (e.g. when the bounty starter doesn't award and 7 days is up).

-- Nick Craver

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    Why do I feel like this is the same guy who posted the question, then deleted his account? – FuzzyBoots Apr 18 at 3:19
  • Huh. And apparently, in this case, it seems it was not auto-rewarded. Or at least, I see no indicator that it was. – FuzzyBoots Apr 25 at 18:31
  • @FuzzyBoots The auto-award rules are not always clear, unfortunately. I've seen more than a few that got no award at all. If there's no scored answers then I think that's the main one. – Machavity Apr 26 at 12:27
  • @Machavity I thought the rule is that the bounty goes to the top voted answer posted after the bounty start, provided it has a score of at least 2 (and if there's no such answer, the bounty simply evaporates)? That's what the help centre says, and I've never observed a counterexample, but you probably have more experience from SO. – Rand al'Thor Mod Apr 26 at 12:38
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    @Randal'Thor The catch seems to be that an answer must get +2 within the bounty (not before it), which is not always obvious. – Machavity Apr 26 at 12:44
  • @Machavity Yep, posted after the bounty start - it does say that in the help centre, but maybe a lot of people miss it. (It also doesn't make a lot of sense for "reward existing answer" bounties, but apparently all bounty reasons are coded the same way in the system.) – Rand al'Thor Mod Apr 26 at 12:59

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