There was recently a deleted answer to a question of mine based on a blog post I read, to which I also attached a bounty. The answer in question is just a verbatim copy-paste from the blog post with a follow-up comment:

@Kimball-Since I have given a correct answer to your question,Please award me a bounty worth +100 reputation within 5 days from today – user92118

In addition I cannot click on the username so I presume either the post was created without an actual account and/or the account was promptly deleted.

Anyway, I don't recall seeing such blatant trolling on this site, but I was wondering: is this an isolated incident or does it happen with some regularity?

PS: I am new to bounties, but it appears I can actually award the bounty to this deleted answer (the +100 is highlighted when I roll over it). Can I? My second reaction to this post was that it was actually quite funny, and if there's no other answer I feel worthy of a bounty why not award it to this just to pile pointlessness on pointlessness (a la the "I figured 1 big pile of garbage was better than 2 smaller piles of garbage" philosophy).

  • 30
    Please don't feed the trolls.
    – StrongBad
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:12
  • 10
    By acquiring reputation points, one acquires also privileges. I'd thus avoid giving any point to blatant trolls lest they abuse the privileges and give more work to mods. Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:31
  • 1
    @StrongBad Normally I agree that sentiment, but if I am allowed to throw away rep to a non-existent account for a deleted answer, how can I resist? It's not even clear in what way this would be visible, so I'd don't think this would really encourage trolling.
    – Kimball
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:32
  • @MassimoOrtolano But as far as I can tell, that account doesn't exist anymore (or maybe never dis).
    – Kimball
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:32
  • Weird. Trolls usually go for disruption; chatbot testers wouldn't seem to be interested in bounties, especially earned through copy/paste; and account farmers wouldn't bother without potential profit, which doesn't seem to exist given their lack of a registered account. Dunno what to make of this. Maybe the folks behind SE are attempting to audit responses to simulated troll attempts?
    – Nat
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 5:47

4 Answers 4


does it happen with some regularity?

Yes, I saw it before. Copy and paste the answer from somewhere, leave a comment asking for bounty and then delete the account. Actually, this is how I caught it. The moment I saw it, I knew it's coming again. So, I took the first few lines of the answer and Google it and then found where it came from. I then flagged it.

I am going to provide another example of an incident of this kind. Hopefully, the Mods can tell us whether they are the same user or not.

A deleted answer for the question What to do when a good article is published in a predatory online journal that disappears?

The deleted answer was copied and pasted from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0917504017300217 as pointed out by @InquisitiveLurker at that time.

And as you can see the comment (now deleted) left by the poster

@Joe74-Now that I have given an answer to your question,please award me a bounty worth +100 reputation within 5 days from today

To me, if this is not the same user, then the user who trolled this time must be a copy cat (pun intended).

  • 1
    Another one here: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/108825/…
    – user69180
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 15:50
  • 6
    When you see them, just flag then as rude/abusive so the mods will can care of them.
    – StrongBad
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 17:36
  • 1
    @aparente001 Thanks for the edit. Please join me to flag another example just coming out academia.stackexchange.com/a/109090/546
    – Nobody
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 4:36
  • @scaaahu - It just got more interesting. The troll is impersonating one of our fearless leaders! Commented May 3, 2018 at 4:43
  • 11
    This seems odd -- what does a troll get from accruing bounties if they're going to delete the account? Just the sheer joy of wasting other people's rep? Commented May 3, 2018 at 20:18
  • @MissMonicaE understanding trolls' motivation is not always a productive exercise
    – user109420
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 20:49

This is the first time I’ve seen such behavior as a moderator. However, we try to stay on top of getting rid of trolls as soon as they crop up. So please flag any such behavior and we’ll take care of it.


According to this question on the main Meta you cannot actually award bounties to deleted answers, even though the +100 button looks active.

  • Aw, schucks. Well, thanks for looking into it.
    – Kimball
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:55

Please adhere to the following with these posts:

  • Flag as rude/abusive (it’s abusive of our community). Six such flags suffice to kill the post. Using custom flags or NAA/VLQ flags just slows things down.

  • If nobody has done so before you, leave a comment linking to whatever was copied. (This way, it only has to be searched once.)

  • Do not do anything else.

  • Why not downvote?
    – Tommi
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 19:21
  • 2
    @TommiBrander: It doesn’t change anything, except that you get an untraceable +1 notification when the post is deleted. The post won’t be gone faster.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 21:56
  • It will put the question down on the list of answers and eventually gray it out, thus reducing the exposure of other people to the bad answer. But maybe the deletion is so fast that this does not matter, in general?
    – Tommi
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 6:20
  • 2
    @TommiBrander: Each R/A flag comes with a downvote from the system anyway, so unless you care about the order of negatively scoring posts or somebody upvotes the post, it doesn’t really matter. And as you already noted, these posts are hopefully gone very quickly anyway.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 9:15
  • Okay. Thanks for the answers.
    – Tommi
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 17:12

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