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Moderators with very high reputations can do almost everything on website including post deletion. There are elected diamond moderators too for it.

Consider a situation when a moderator goes crazy to modify or delete everything without any sense. What does carry out after that to protect the content of website?

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The only moderators that you see on Stack Exchange sites are the elected ones. High reputation users are not moderators; even 20k users are not moderators, but trusted users, and they cannot do all the things a single moderator can do. Who is part of the Stack Exchange site is not a moderator, as they don't moderate a site, even though they have a diamond too. – kiamlaluno Mar 15 '12 at 18:49
@kiamlaluno: A wrinkle here is that the tool set available to users with 10k or more rep is called "moderator tools". If you want to be pedantic you can say "diamond moderators" to differentiate. – dmckee Mar 15 '12 at 18:55
@dmckee That is because they didn't change the name when those tools where made available to 10k users. :) Actually, that page has a 10k users view, and a moderators view. – kiamlaluno Mar 15 '12 at 18:59
@SachinShekhar Those are the only moderators; that page is not referring to 10k, or 20k users. – kiamlaluno Mar 15 '12 at 19:02
@kiamlaluno You've said: High reputation users are not moderators; even 20k users are not moderators. According to Theory of Moderation, even a 500 rep user is moderator as he/she can do site moderation by retagging questions. – SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Mar 15 '12 at 19:07
@SachinShekhar The term "moderator" has been used somewhat ambiguously. When that blog post refers to "moderators", it means elected/appointed moderators (with a diamond ♦). Although other users have access to certain moderation abilities, I would avoid calling them "moderators" because that can be confusing. – Jeremy Banks Mar 15 '12 at 19:14
@SachinShekhar If that were the case, then nobody should do anything, as "moderators are human exception handlers." Helping in closing questions, and voting doesn't mean to be a moderator. If you can close a question with just your vote, or delete somebody else's post alone, then you are a moderator. – kiamlaluno Mar 15 '12 at 19:15
Yeah, those crazy, out of control moderators. splicd.com/IYnsfV5N2n8/0/8 – Robert Harvey Mar 15 '12 at 20:12
Is there a tag for problem-we-don't-have? – Ben Lee Mar 16 '12 at 6:41
@BenLee Its serious thing. Its true that With Great Powers, There Comes Great Responsibility., but what if a moderator has been hacked, for instance.. – SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Mar 16 '12 at 11:41
@SachinShekhar, moderator account being hacked and causing havoc is a very real possibility, good point. If it happened to Jeff (the account hacking, but fortunately with no havoc, codinghorror.com/blog/2009/05/i-just-logged-in-as-you.html) it could happen to anyone. – Ben Lee Mar 16 '12 at 15:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Everything is rate-limited on SE sites. And by everything I mean also moderator actions like destroying users. So a user running amok will run into some of those limits, slowing him down.

High reputation users cannot do anything that cannot be easily reversed, so they can't really cause lasting damage. Just flag for a moderator when you see a user vandalizing the site and he'll be quickly suspended.

Diamond moderators can perform actions that are hard or impossible to reverse, stopping them and reverting the damage is something the SE devs have to do. As this hasn't happened so far there is no realistic estimate how much damage a rogue moderator could cause. There are some restrictions on hard-to-reverse actions on users that would stop a moderator from certain high-damage actions.

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Yep. I can only destroy a user every five seconds. – Won't Mar 15 '12 at 19:48
@Won't: Well then get crackin'! That only gives you a little over 45 days to decimate the SO user base. – gnostradamus Mar 15 '12 at 19:59
@Won't No problem.. you just need to program your BOT to wait for 5 seconds after every deletion.. :) – SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Mar 15 '12 at 20:23
@Won't After the 10'th one the system will show you links to reddit and force you to listen to Pearl Jam. You'll either stop, or kill yourself. Don't do it, man! – Tim Post Mar 16 '12 at 8:53

The big one is Almost every action is reversible. (See comments for a discussion of what "almost" does or does not mean...)

Once the nutcase is identified and led away by the nice men who want to augment his or her wardrobe with a fetching, long-sleaved coat things can be put back to the state they were in before he or she cracked.

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User deletions and comment deletions are not reversible by moderators, but can be done by devs if necessary. – mmyers Mar 15 '12 at 18:42
@mmyers Cool. Wasn't there a time when deleted comments were gone forever? – dmckee Mar 15 '12 at 18:43
AFAIK, comments don't get hard deleted; I swear I've seen a screenshot of the "mod view" where deleted comments looked like other deleted posts (grey background). I'm sure in cases of serious abuse, the devs could put them back. – Josh Caswell Mar 15 '12 at 18:43
Yes, that's a pretty new mod feature. I think comments used to be hard-deleted; I've checked old posts where I know there were a ton of comments and now not even the mod tool shows any. – mmyers Mar 15 '12 at 18:45
@Iulius Cæsar: Like this? – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 15 '12 at 19:23

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