I had access to 2k reviews (Low Quality Posts, Suggested Edits) for at least 4 months. Yet, I gave some bounties away which reduced my reputation below 2k, effectively barring me from such reviews. Why should I lose my access to them?

This is probably not a very common issue, but it is rather ridiculous, given the logic behind review thresholds (highlighting levels of experience, familiarity with system/site, trust, etc). It is obvious that reputation lost due to bounties does not deplete those qualities.

Could not this mechanistic approach to reviews access be replaced with some type of checkpoint system, akin to that of badges, which is held permanently?

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    Looking at you profile you gave out 824 and then -490! How can you be surprised there were consequences to that? If I gave all my rep away, so I had 1, do you think I should still have all the same privileges? We need consequence on the bounty because without it, I could give all my rep to someone who did not earn it and I would still have 10k privileges, making the whole system simply pointless and broken.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 19:21
  • That's more like an answer. I'm not surprised. I knew that (happened before). I am looking for the justification. The cost argument make sense.
    – user308164
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 19:27
  • Just so you're aware, tag badges can be revoked if need be.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 7:05

3 Answers 3


Reputation points are important. They dictate the various privileges which an individual's account has. Reputation is affected by upvotes, downvotes, deletions, and also your bounties. Loss of reputation amounts leads to loss of privileges, as we use reputation as a sort of 'privilege' gauge to earn permissions by having good contributions. As was posted in zaq's answer, reputation to some extent indicates:

levels of experience, familiarity with system/site, trust,

and some other things.

This risk of loss-of-reputation is documented in many places, such as these on the StackExchange Meta:

Let's take a hypothetical situation:

I am a user who has 2005 reputation, which means that I have access to review queues, etc. I get three downvotes on three answers, which means I'll lose at least 6 reputation points, which drops me to 1999 reputation points. I have lost the 2k review privileges. This is the design of the system, of course.

Let's take another hypothetical situation, one that is sometimes observed:

I am one of fifteen users involved in a voting ring. Across all fifteen of us, we have each managed to get over 3k reputation. We are discovered, and all the votes invalidated by moderators and community managers, and we drop down to 150 rep each. I've lost my privileges at the reputation levels of 200 through 3000, because I've had my reputation invalidated and revoked.

Or, let's take your hypothetical with some changes:

I am a 15k user, with exactly 15250 reputation. This gives me access to the "protect" function on some questions. I place a 500-reputation bounty, which means I lose 500 reputation. This leaves me with 14750 reputation points, which falls below the 15k threshold for the "protect" privileges. Unless something major happens that would revert that bounty, I have lost that privilege and need to 'regain' it by good contributions to the site.

This is simply the design of the system. The Bounty system help page even explains that the bounties can lead to loss of reputation and privileges when you make too many bounties and therefore lose enough rep to dip below a permission level.

Bounties aren't usually reverted, so you'll just have to regain your 2k privileges with good contributions.


Reputation is valuable because it determines privileges. If one could spend reputation without losing privileges, the bounties would be essentially free. The bounty system can only function if there is real friction to setting bounties.

levels of experience, familiarity with system/site, trust,

All good things to have, but in practice, none of them are actually measured by reputation.

A possibly helpful analogy regarding "trust": suppose that people trust you enough to elect you to a position of power, and then you resign that position. Do you still get to exercise the power if they still trust you? No, because you resigned.


It is a pretty common issue. As soon as you rep drops below 2k, you lose the ability to review.

So, giving out bounties is not "free" ;-)

  • I'm sorry but I don't know how this is an answer to my problem. I know this already.
    – user308164
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 19:20
  • The answer to your problem is that the system is designed this way. You will need to get some rep to get the privilege bask.
    – Pilot6
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 19:21
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    The question is why should this be the case, which is its justification. The "design" answer is circular.
    – user308164
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 19:23
  • This is made to stop people from giving out too big bounties ;-)
    – Pilot6
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 19:23

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