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Recently, I learned it is not possible to either vote or flag a question as off-topic when it has a bounty. Normally the advice is to flag it for moderator attention, but this question was asked by a moderator. It was bountied on March 17, March 23, and again on March 30. The question is locked for comments.

This denies the community any opportunity to discuss whether or not the question should be considered on-topic. The question has attracted as many upvotes as downvotes.

What options does the community have when a moderator asks a question, puts it under permanent bounty, and comments are locked?

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    I locked the comments as they were moved to a chatroom, which is where you should post your comments. I only locked them for one week but as soon as the locked time was over someone posted a comment that should have been posted in the chatroom, so I re-locked for a week. I leave it to OP to comment on the bounty. Comments unlocked, but I intent to wipe all comments which are not about the question as it is.
    – Willeke Mod
    Mar 31 '20 at 10:30
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    @gparyani Huh, I was not aware that the moderator in question actually gets their bounty refunded when the bounty is cleared. That makes it worse than I thought!
    – gerrit
    Apr 1 '20 at 12:37
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Well, one option is to talk to the moderator and ask. I felt at the time it was important enough and interesting for the community to track, and a few of us have been diligently updating it. Comments weren't locked by myself, so I think a bunch of factors have led to it. Willeke's unlocked the comments and bounties have been cleared. Hope that helps!

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    Well, I pinged you in chat shortly after you cleared and restarted your own bounty. My message was admittedly unclear, but there was no response. Since you owned the top answer, I was wondering to whom you were planning to award the bounty.
    – gparyani
    Apr 1 '20 at 8:27
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    Note this is being discussed in Meta.SE.
    – fedorqui
    Apr 1 '20 at 12:59
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    Why is this downvoted? Talk to the moderator does make sense, no? Could the downvoters please explain?
    – guest
    Apr 1 '20 at 18:48
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    Anyway, I would give +1 if you could expand the answer to write how to contact a moderator.
    – guest
    Apr 1 '20 at 19:26
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    @guest Read the Meta.SE post linked above for the full details. In summary, a lot of users considered this to be an abuse of the bounty system.
    – gparyani
    Apr 1 '20 at 21:10
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    @gparyani: I read it, but the question here is about what one can do, not about if this is an abuse, or what am I missing?
    – guest
    Apr 1 '20 at 21:12
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    @guest Asking a question on the meta site is one great way of talking to the mod about things. If the mod's active in chat, you can also ping them there... but seeing as Mark's response to this was to invite dialogue and rectify the situation, I think this shows it to be a valid solution. We always encourage discussion of site activity on meta so that the users can better understand and moderators always know that their actions may come up for discussion on meta and they are generally prepared to respond if they do.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Apr 2 '20 at 1:28
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    @guest I didn’t downvote, but saying that you should talk to a moderator implies that that has not happened already, which appears not to be the case. Apr 2 '20 at 2:07
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    @AndrewGrimm: But in general, it seems to be a good solution. +1 bevause of Catija's comment!
    – guest
    Apr 2 '20 at 8:28

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