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I posted this question which was narrowly focused problem of a larger task. After a few days I had <15 views so I added bounty. Now I've had a couple of people chime in with helpful comments and it's brought me to the point of re-evaluating my overall goal and change directions.

Original question is related to command line operation specific to Lotus Notes but new direction is working with web servers independent of mail client.

So, now I want to delete my question but since there is a bounty I read on Meta that I need to flag a moderator to remove the bounty so question can be closed.

First flag was declined -

declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention

I felt that this was a vague cut & paste response and must have been in error so I flagged again with more explanation. It too was declined:

declined - Bounties are only removed in exceptional circumstances. This is not one of them.

Now I have an answer posted that will prevent me from being able to remove the question. Unfortunately, this answer is addressing the chrome extension I was working on and is really unrelated to the original question. I don't feel it should be accepted and I don't feel I should re-write the question to match the answer.

It's becoming a mess and won't be useful for future users.

I don't care about the bounty points, keep em. I do care that this QA has taken a sharp turn that won't help anyone down the road.

Why wouldn't the moderator let me delete this question and what should I now do, abandon the post?

  • it has an answer and if it picks up an upvote it might win the bounty. That answerer probably invested time due to the bounty. Removing that bounty does them a disservice. A bounty should only be removed if no other parties are involved. – rene Jul 24 at 18:14
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    @rene - I'm very grateful for the effort the two users put into the comments and answers. That doesn't change the fact that the question and answer are very different from one another and are not quality content for future users. I'd be happy to gift my points to harrymc for his help if that was possible. – Portland Runner Jul 24 at 18:22
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    @rene - Also, no answers were in place when I flagged the question originally so this couldn't have been the mod's thought at the time. – Portland Runner Jul 24 at 18:23
  • I'm sure the mod who handled it will come by and explain their reasoning. – rene Jul 24 at 18:26
  • Bounties are only rescinded in exceptional circumstances which we do not normally disclose. – DavidPostill Jul 24 at 19:55
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    @DavidPostill Are you saying that the reasons why bounties have been rescinded in the past is not appropriate to tell other people those reasons? I nearly want to open a meta question asking what might be some exceptional reasons why a bounty is rescinded for people have trouble getting it to close so they can see some examples. If their reason is not close to one of these exceptional circumstances, then perhaps that'll help clarify further. It seems like you are saying the reasons this was allowed in the past in top secret for only mods to know or something and that doesn't seem right to me. – Pimp Juice IT Jul 24 at 22:05
  • @PimpJuiceIT This is already answered here: Why bounty is called "not refundable under any circumstances"? - Meta Stack Exchange – DavidPostill Jul 25 at 7:13
  • Awesome, good to know... thanks! – Pimp Juice IT Jul 25 at 11:02
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    @PimpJuiceIT I don't know if SU follows the same policies, but SO mods have said the main two cases where'd they'd remove a bounty are when the bounty is blocking very a bad question from being closed, or voting fraud/rep fraud taking place. – mbrig Aug 1 at 15:32
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Part of your concern about the handling of your question is the way you're viewing it. You consider it your question about your own problem, and you should be free to do with it what you want if the situation changes. There's a lot of leeway for you to control your question as long as nobody else is affected, but it's not entirely your question.

It's somewhat the case that you contribute a question to the knowledge base in exchange for the chance to get an answer for yourself. You can contribute a question about a problem you don't personally have, or after contributing a question, you can discover that you need to ask a different question. Once a question is contributed, it becomes the site's question. If it is a valid question that could benefit others, your personal needs kinda become secondary.

Even though it's the site's question, you still have control over things like edits, to ensure that the question remains faithful to your intent. But your control has limitations when other users are involved. For example, you can delete it only before other people would be affected.

You describe contributing the question, offering the bounty, and then discovering that what you really need to ask is a different question. So ask another question. That doesn't invalidate the original question, it just means that you're no longer one of the people with a personal need for an answer to it.

Once other people are involved, a lot of considerations go into deleting a question. If the question is low quality or isn't of value to anyone else, and doesn't have any good answers, there may well be community support for your request to delete. But if the question is a good one, of value to others, or it has received an exceptional answer, the community would want a better reason to delete the question than the fact that you no longer need an answer for yourself.

This post in the help section covers the situation where you want to delete your own question: I've thought better of my question; can I delete it?.

  • Excellent answer and explanation!! This should be the accepted answer to this question as this answers it all. – Pimp Juice IT Jul 28 at 14:05
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I don't feel it should be accepted and I don't feel I should re-write the question to match the answer.

You don't have to award the bounty to an answer. You can choose to not award it to any answer. If an answer gets enough upvotes it will automatically be awarded the bounty and receive half the bounty amount. If you actually find the answer unhelpful you should downvote it.

Now I have an answer posted that will prevent me from being able to remove the question. Unfortunately, this answer is addressing the chrome extension I was working on and is really unrelated to the original question.

Sounds like you should downvote the answer if it isn't helpful. I don't personally see how the answer has anything to do with your question.

It's becoming a mess and won't be useful for future users.

This is only due to the discussion you are having in the comments sections. If you were to edit and improve the question that would no longer be the case.

I don't care about the bounty points, keep em. I do care that this QA has taken a sharp turn that won't help anyone down the road.

The question will be eligible to be deleted after the bounty expires. This, of course, will only happen if the community votes for the question to be deleted. Flagging it for deletion after the bounty expires will begin that process.

Why wouldn't the moderator let me delete this question and what should I now do, abandon the post?

I would simply improve the question so a helpful answer could be submitted. The question could only be deleted today if the bounty was rescinded, and that only happens in exceptional circumstances which the moderators do not normally disclose. Deleted questions count against your ability to submit new questions in the future.

  • Thanks for the breakdown @Ramhound. One point of clarification, how do you suggest "edit and improve the question" without completely changing the question? I'm at a point that I want to disown the question not try and make it fit the comments. – Portland Runner Jul 24 at 21:29
  • I rolled back the last edit to remove the part about chrome extension and maintain the original focused question. – Portland Runner Jul 24 at 21:37
  • @PortlandRunner - If you are getting answers that suggested Chrome extensions, you should make it clear, you are not looking for Chrome extensions. – Ramhound Jul 25 at 0:24
  • @PortlandRunner Comment functionality is there and allowable for a reason, so it can and does help clarify for a lot of people both questions and answers. Just because someone leaves a comment about going a different direction or assuming its an XY problem, that does not mean it is or you need to adjust your focus. The issue you are trying to solve is with notes.exe and it escaping or allowing the slashes for the functionality you are attempting to use. You can leave that question to get a potential on-point future answer that's helpful to many, and open a new question for the XY and so on. – Pimp Juice IT Jul 28 at 14:01
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As the author of the answer in question, I think I would like to add some Information.

I think it has been explained to you by now that no answer can block you from deleting your own post. It's rather your own bounty that is doing so. An administrator has no reason to intervene - you can do the delete yourself once the bounty has elapsed at the end of the 7+1 days period.

And about my answer: I have understood soon enough that here was an XY problem. I could have just given a negative answer and demanded the bounty, although one should never expect to get a bounty or anything else for answering "How can I" with "You can't". Instead I tried to help you, with analyzing your underlying problem and finding its true solution. Nothing to do with your bounty and everything to do with why I'm here.

Unfortunately, this solution seems to be unworkable in your work context, so the question has no use for you or anyone else, as is the case with my answer.

If you wanted the answer deleted, why didn't it cross your mind to ask me to do it?

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    FWIW - I left a comment stating that I was going to delete the question before you posted the answer. – Portland Runner Jul 29 at 15:15

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