My questions keep getting locked up whenever I put a bounty on them. How do I deal with this? I feel as though I am being abused or just harassing as a novice.
I kind of see both sides of the issue.
As phantom42 asks, did the question need a bounty at 2300+ views in two days? Not really, no. But my opinion is completely subjective in light of Richard's point that, technically, the OP is not breaking any of our site's rules. DVK also makes several comments that I think are important, in that applying unilateral decisions that affect a user's standing in the community have to be made with objective forethought. Unilateral closures can't be a reaction to personal feelings about a user's (alleged) motives if the user's actions are firmly within the scope of the site's rules, no matter how annoying we may find the user's practice.
But really, what's wrong with aggressively pursuing badges? There's nothing bad about those users who really go after points and badges.
I also see nothing wrong with letting someone know they're pushing the boundaries of the site. True, they may not care what you think, but it's still proactive to say something. Moderator communication and well done warnings can really go a long way in justifying future actions. A unilateral, unexpected smack on the hand does nothing to affect positive change. This is why I disagree with the locking of the OP's question -- what purpose did it ultimately serve?
Bounties are allowed and the site does let us use bounties to bump our questions. Solely because of this I don't think it was a good idea to lock the question, especially unilaterally. Until the rule changes, what constitutes appropriate application of the bounty guidelines (i.e. How often can I bump questions?) is undefined. It's unfair to punish someone with a lock, closure, ban, whatever, under these circumstances.
So, objectively, because I really have no iron in this fire, I want to encourage the moderators to affect change and provide us clarity by either having upper management better explain the current rule for our benefit, or by holding a special SFF.se election re: bounties, or by following the rule as it is -- like the rest of us have to.
Keen isn't a user, he's a moderator. That means that he gets to make decisions and we get to respect them.
I can only speculate as to why this one was locked, but since it was asked only 2 days ago it seems a bit early to be locking it.
Despite that, from looking over your previous questions you do seem to have recently acquired something of a habit of bumping. Examples:
Why was the 21st chapter in the early American publications of A Clockwork Orange omitted?
asked Feb 23rd, bumped May 9th
Are there criteria for being a super hero and does Batman meet them?
asked Feb 18th, bumped May 9th
Why did Dorian Gray react like this to his portrait?
asked Feb 19th, bumped May 5th
Please note that I said "seem" here. I'm not accusing, I'm just saying that there is a pattern here and that this pattern seems to have developed recently, although you as much as admitted that you were just bumping to get extra views in your previous Meta question.
Ultimately only Keen can clarify the reasons for his actions, and all I can add is that you may be doing this in good faith, but on the surface it looks like needless bumping to me too.
Let's take a look at some of these questions and try to figure out why this is the case, and then if something needs to be done about it:
The first one of these had a bounty on it, and was locked shortly after. I personally don't see anything else suspicious about that question.
The second was locked, because it appeared that edits were being used to bump the question to get it more attention. This isn't appropriate behavior, and thus locking the post seems justified.
As far as I can tell, it seems like the first question should not have been locked, although I would question the need to post a bounty to the question. The second seems justified.
Just for reference - I posted this on Meta (MSO, not here) as a conceptual question.
Currently, the only (and upvoted) answer, provided by SO moderator, is that using bounties to "Draw Attention" is fully within the rules.
In other words, the Buffy question should NOT have been locked at all.
As an addendum, I tried to reconstruct what happened to the best of my knowledge:
user edit-bumped several of his posts. As far as I was able to dig out, of ALL his posts edited in May, only 5 were edited by him:
1 post had 1 valid edit; 3 posts had 1 low-quality edit each; 1 post 2 low quality edits.
The user had a total (for all his questions): 4 edits (<= May-10) in May, 2 edits in April, 8 edits in March, 4 in February.
He also posted a grand total of 4 bounties Feb1-May9 (5 including the one that caused this kerfuffle).
Keen locked one of those posts and told him not to edit-bump
He posted a Meta question asking if it's OK, was told "no" BUT was also answered by @Richard that it's OK to use bounties (with no contradictory opinions).
He bountied another question
Keen locked the bountied question.
User melted down, including this meta post and reported ~30 comments on Keen's post since Keen wasn't online and thus obviously unreponsive.
How do I deal with this?
Start by reading that user's feedback. I posted a comment informing you to not bump the question to get a badge, which was the reason you stated for numerous bumps. It's abusing the site's mechanisms. After I shut down bumping on that question, you made several minor edits to other questions that are pretty close to the 2500 views needed to get that badge you were gaming the site to get. So I quickly shut it down by locking the post.
Jimmy's answer provides a partial timeline of bumps.