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Across a few SE sites I've had several bounties expire on questions without any answers having been posted.

I've just noticed on this and on this question that the grace periods on the bounties expire within several hours.

In these particular cases, is there any remaining utility for the bounties during their grace period? For example, is there any mechanism that would allow at least partial granting, or are they now simply moot?

If there was an answer with two votes, it could potentially collect 50% via the bounty auto-award mechanism. In fact, that might still work for answers posted during the grace period (i.e. right now!), although I'm not really sure of that, ergo this question.

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  • $\begingroup$ The answer on your other question explains this fully: space.meta.stackexchange.com/q/865/38 $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop May 21 '17 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How does the bounty auto-award work? $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop May 21 '17 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop looking at the answer to that qeustion, I did not see anything about questions posted only during the 24 hour grace period, so no, not a duplicate. This question is about questions that never got any answers during the bounty period. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 21 '17 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop no it's not explicit to me because it does not discuss answers posted after the bounty is over but before the grace period is over. If you are sure of what happens to answers posted after the bounty is over, but before the grace period ends, and which receive two or more up votes, please help me out and explain that specific case in an answer here. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 21 '17 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ So "explicit" is somewhat subjective, and if I say I do not see the answer yet, that it's not explicit to me, then just saying it's explicit again is not really helpful. An explicit statement can still simultaneously contain ambiguities, and those can be more troublesome to some than to others. Can answers be posted during the grace period, then either upvoted by 2 and receive 50% or have bounties 100% awarded? All of that during the grace period? If so, what is the distinction between a grace period and the main period of the bounty to begin with? $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 21 '17 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ What is the distinction between the grace period, and the bounty period before the grace period begins. Are they functionally distinct in any way? It's one thing to say what they are for, but if they function identically, then it's a superficial distinction without a difference. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 21 '17 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop May 21 '17 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop After reading 7 comments I'm no closer to understanding. In this case, I don't think going to chat will resolve my issue. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 21 '17 at 17:32
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    $\begingroup$ Well, I'm done then. Doing this too often isn't fun. Bye. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop May 21 '17 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ I've asked a follow-up question after seeing this answer. This is an interesting issue, there was an answer that was then refuted, then adjusted, then deleted. Will keep updating here until the question is resolved without ambiguity. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 21 '17 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I agree with you that your underlying question is unanswered here, but this is more of a Meta SE question than a meta SX question. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage May 22 '17 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage I think that would have been a more productive recommendation, and I would have probably either requested a migration or just deleted/reposted right away; should have posted there to begin with. I did get a great answer in SO meta, that location because it's a follow-up to an existing question there, and programmers do like to clear up distinction-type questions. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 23 '17 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage What now? I'm leaning toward just posting a short, helpful, factual to-the-point answer myself, citing the SO answer, but if you or someone else would like to give it a go that'd be great too. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 23 '17 at 1:54
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Go ahead and answer on your own. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage May 23 '17 at 12:55
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According to this answer to a question which asks in part for help to "...understand the functional distinction between the 7-day period and the grace period from the user's point of view...":

The principal distinction deals with two things:

  1. The question stops being advertised as a bounty once the grace period starts. This means that it is now far less likely to get an answer than when it was being advertised.
  2. If a user posts an answer during the unadvertised grace period, then only the person who set the bounty can cause it to be awarded to them. It is ineligible for the automatic system.

So uses might include additional time for the bounty creator to think before acting, and additional time for people who already know of the bounty's existence to potentially finish and post or modify their answers, knowing(?) that if posting now, they need to convince the person who created the bounty and that the a auto-award system will not consider them.

Point number 2 shows that the bounty auto-award system is blind to new answers posted during this grace period.

So, considering the functional distinction between the original 7 day period of the bounty, and the newer 24 hour grace period, I would answer yes, there is utility.

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