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Most sites have hats enabled by default--you see the hats unless you explicitly opt out.

This means that the hats are visible on mod messages as well.

Now, mod messages are supposed to be a bit professional. While some of them are for users who clearly are just spammers (where we shouldn't care much if they think us frivolous), others are for warnings, as well as short suspensions of users. I feel that having these hats in the mod message area is a bit unprofessional. Even if I look so spiffing in my moustache1,

enter image description here

is the mod message area really the place for this? My personal opinion is no, but that's just me. What say?

1. Yes, I know I look like the Pringles guy

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Damn you, scrouge, taking moderating too seriously ;). – Matt Dec 20 '12 at 0:30
Being suspended by the Pringles guy would make my day. – Robert Harvey Dec 20 '12 at 0:56
There are mod messages??? Message me right now, I want to bask in that glory – Andy Dwyer Dec 20 '12 at 12:14
@AndyDwyer Well, they're only for very serious things. Post a lot of spam on a site and you'll get one for free, attached to a suspension (j/k, DON'T do that) – Manishearth Dec 20 '12 at 12:17
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I don't like this.

The hat is part of the gravatar, and it would set a weird precedent. What's next, forcing moderators to have "professional looking" gravatars? Hell no, if a user who's at the receiving end of one of my mod messages chooses to focus on my hat, or my gravatar, instead of the text (and the suspension that might come with the message) then... that's their problem, not mine.

Furthermore, I don't think a small & light-hearted touch of personality in what is generally an unpleasant affair is such a bad thing, for all you know it might lighten the mood a bit and help the user realize that we aren't evil monsters out to get them, we're just trying to help. I'm all for looking professional, but I think you're taking it a bit too far. Nothing wrong with this:

enter image description here

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Hmm, makes sense. It just felt ...weird to see the hat on the mod message area. – Manishearth Dec 20 '12 at 0:30
Imagine seeing a grinch in a hat! – animuson Dec 20 '12 at 0:32

Even without extra decoration, I'm still an ape wearing a Santa hat. That's very much by design, as users should feel extremely silly arguing with an ape wearing a Santa hat over the Internet.

If anything, I think they lighten the mood a bit, why not leave them?

share|improve this answer
Actually, when I noticed this I was wearing the n00b hat, and it looked really silly. (Which is why I changed to a better hat). But yeah, you and Yannis have a point. – Manishearth Dec 20 '12 at 0:44

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