"Abuse" is a pretty heavy word for what we see here.
A high-rep user prevents a potential closing of their question by adding a bounty to it. That is status-by-design. An active bounty prevents any more closure votes.
That is problematic in a couple of ways, one is against equal opportunity:
Only high-rep users can use this loophole.
But this is only possible after a while. Two full days must have passed. No one can add a bounty immediately. Thus the community has an protected timeframe to close a question.
Then again, this is exactly how the system is designed and complaints about this have been voiced before.
I did so. No action taken. Bounties do prevent closing. Fact. Simple.
Since I'm a stickler for well-written rules and positive law: This discussion might be worth having, to formulate a strict policy on this. But if any bountied question is now removed, we've sunk to MetaSE levels of knee-jerk arbitrariness.
Mods can do that, but as we haven't an agreed-upon policy on it yet, I'd regard that as an abuse of power. This "case by case basis" is just evil. Set up rules, endure the 'lawyering', it's needed.
This can now only be fixed in two possible and acceptable ways :
- A feature request to remove the design implementation: "make bountied questions closeable", on MetaSE. Good luck with that. I'm probably not supporting that.
- We actually come up with a policy for this on this site: after some arguments are exchanged we either agree or disagree on something like:
"It is our policy to remove bounties and close bountied questions as we see fit – under the following conditions …
If the rules set in bold and italics are well written, understandable and widely accepted here, I'll follow suit. Such rules need to be transparent and evenly applied to all questions. Essentially the same acts need to be treated essentially the same and essentially different acts need to be treated essentially differently. If that is again handled on an intransparent "case by case basis" this invites abuse, errors, complaints, arbitrariness and so forth. If these agreed-upon rules are written as badly as CoC-standards, then they will make the general situation worse than it is now.
We might agree in this thread that on the linked question the bounty ought to be removed. (I was surprised to see it used there). But since no policy for such situations seems to exist, I am strictly against removing it now.
Because that is the undesirable third option:
- flag a bountied question now, ask for mod action to remove it, have a mod cater to your wishes, finish closing and whatever you plan for it and might be able to do. Such options exist within the code, but not in the set-out policy for the site (or give me a quote disproving it, should that be the wrong impression)
This creates an exception, within our understanding of the rule of law and how the community should work, and for that I'd like to cite a few passages from Hobbes, Macchiavelli, Arendt and up to Carl Schmitt… None of them will be of the 'good feeling' kind.