I encountered a puzzling chain of events on this post :

  • User posted a bounty on SU for all his reputation
  • I answered and was awarded the bounty
  • The post was migrated to SO. The bounty was deducted from my account, but not refunded to the poster.
  • The poster promptly posted a bounty for me on SO for all his reputation.

The poster apparently lost his reputation because he awarded it just as the post was being migrated, so he didn't benefit from the usual refund of reputation.

It would be nice if some moderator could refund him this lost reputation.

EDIT: The poster's reputation is now restored on SU, maybe in part thanks to this post, so target achieved.

2 Answers 2


It was off topic. It shouldn't have been asked here, and it should have been closed here. Yeah, people with the appropriate amount of reputation missed it, and did not close or flag it. Its happened before elsewhere

So. Mistakes were made. Off topic questions were asked. Answered (Despite being off topic. Should it have been flagged?). Bounties awarded. Questions migrated. Bounties undone.

Better awareness might have helped. If I'd seen it earlier I'd have considered refunding the bounty to start with. It was brought to my attention after the fact, and I'd assumed the bounty wouldn't have been refunded.

So its fine. He would have gotten his SU rep back. You're down maybe a fraction of a percent of your overall rep here, and have a nice start on getting more rep on SO.

If its off topic, and bountied, letting us know would be nice. Some users use it as a way to stop a question from being closed, and mods arn't omniscient.

  • The main point I'm trying to pass over here is that he should have but didn't get his SU reputation back. It just went poof because he awarded it just as the post was being migrated so it was lost. It would be nice if somebody returned it to him.
    – harrymc
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 11:58
  • There was a delay in the meta question. I'd wait a bit to see if it recalculates, then see if I can grab a CM if really needed,
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 12:28
  • @harrymc - It sounds like the bounty was awarded, then the question was migrated, in a case like that the bounty cannot be refunded. In general a bounty cannot be refunded.
    – Ramhound
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 13:54
  • @Ramhound: Yes, but the exception is that if the bounty was cancelled by a moderator it is usually refunded. I believe that this case was a racing bug in the SU website.
    – harrymc
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 14:13
  • It doesn't sound like the bounty was canceled though.
    – Ramhound
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 14:14
  • @Ramhound: In this case it just disappeared - nobody has it. I think that Journeyman Geek has the intention of waiting some more before refunding it, as I asked.
    – harrymc
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 14:18
  • I have the intention of waiting a bit before asking a CM. There's no mechanism for me to refund rep.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 14:24
  • @harrymc The MSE answer by Shog9 linked in this post indicates that the rep spent by the question author will be refunded when the question is deleted. In migrations, that happens when the migration stub is removed, which will be in 30 days.
    – Ben N
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 15:05
  • @BenN: Not sure if this applies. In any case, this is now in the hands of Journeyman Geek and my part in this is done.
    – harrymc
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 16:01

The user spent all their reputation as soon as they posted the bounty. Having the question migrated to Stack Overflow had no bearing on this.

You "lost" the bounty when the question was migrated because your answer was deleted and was scoring < 3 and younger than 60 days.

If you hadn't answered the question before the bounty expired the user would have still spent the reputation.

The only one to "lose out" here is you, and (as Journeyman Geek pointed out) it's a small fraction of your reputation.

  • I don't agree that the poster lost his reputation irrevocably, since this lose was caused by a moderator. The answer by Journeyman Geek and the discussion treat the question well enough.
    – harrymc
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 16:06
  • 2
    Was the question migrated by a moderator or the community? Lets not blame the moderators if the community voted to migrate the question.
    – Ramhound
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 16:14
  • 2
    Oh. I totally was the one who migrated it.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 23:11

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