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There seems to be a case of Stack Exchange moderator impersonation at the bottom of the page here:

I'm a mod at; he has a similar statement about us, stating that he is a moderator. We have asked him to remove the statement, because he's not. We're waiting to see if he will.

He doesn't seem to be listed as a Stack Exchange mod at, even though he states:

I’m a moderator, so in addition to being a moderator on Stack Exchange, ...

Regarding his statement about Stack Exchange and what I see as transparency being a higher good here: Is falsely claiming to be a moderator legal? Illegal? Or simply unethical?

Edit 4/18/13 11am MST: he just removed both "I'm a mod" statements from his website.

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closed as not constructive by animuson, BinaryMisfit, Manishearth, Martijn Pieters, hims056 Apr 19 '13 at 1:17

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IANAL, but illegal would be a bit of a push. – Matt Apr 18 '13 at 16:44
Given the inherent anonymity of the internet how sure are you that he's not really a mod on that site? It's pretty easy to hide the connection of which mod account might be his. – Servy Apr 18 '13 at 16:47
@Servy: Having an account on SE with his real name and another as mod? Come on. – juergen d Apr 18 '13 at 16:48
@juergend Really, that seems absurd to you? It doesn't to me. Keep in mind that if you plan to take some sort of action against the person for the false assertion you need to prove that the assertion is false. Providing even reasonably compelling evidence is extraordinary hard. – Servy Apr 18 '13 at 16:50
I don't see him say anything about being a mod... Search finds no instance of the word "moderator" – ɥʇǝS Apr 18 '13 at 16:50
I'm confused. "that he is a moderator at" What has that to do with Stack Exchange? Provided that you indeed meant to say "Stack Exchange" here, I only see "contributor to Stack Exchange" at his blog, or has that been edited in meanwhile? – BalusC Apr 18 '13 at 16:51
May I ask a completely ignorant question: Why do you care what some random guy on the internet says on his homepage? – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 18 '13 at 16:52
@songdogtech Right. So how does this effect SE at all? – ɥʇǝS Apr 18 '13 at 16:55
So, this is off-topic? – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 18 '13 at 16:55
@Seth, @Sulfurized Demonbobby, You guys both missed the boat because the website has been changed, this poster is correct about how the gentleman claimed he was a moderator on both sites. fixed now, but don't blame the poster. – Lance Roberts Apr 18 '13 at 17:05
This may have been inspired by Stack Exchange's occasional vague use of the word "moderator"/"moderation" to include users with moderator-like abilities. – Jeremy Banks Apr 18 '13 at 17:13
@songdogtech I'm sorry you feel that way about it. The way your question was written, it sounded like you were just complaining about the part (which of course, SE has nothing to do with). ben is uǝq backwards and Bart have fixed the issue I think. – ɥʇǝS Apr 18 '13 at 17:16
Heh, if you are going to impersonate someone, at least impersonate someone that matters. A moderator? Really? – Yannis Apr 18 '13 at 17:19
I keep meaning to mention on my blog that I'm the British Prime Minister, on a part-time basis. I get that Cameron chappie to do the press stuff, though. – halfer Apr 18 '13 at 17:28
@halfer Hello Prime Minister! I wonder if you'd be interested to join our brand new sister site, Politics Stack Exchange. I'm sure you'll find a lot of interesting questions and perhaps even gives us some exceptional answers. /never misses an opportunity to plug his site – Yannis Apr 18 '13 at 17:34


Firstly, any user which participates in community moderation (expecially 10k+ users) can be called "moderator". Diamond moderators are those select few individuals who are elected/appointed by the SE team and have awesome powers. This terminology has always been a bit ambiguous -- usually when someone says "moderator" they are talking about diamonds, but not always.

Secondly, I don't think we care much if someone claims that they are a mod, even a diamond mod. It's not really a big deal outside of SE to be an SE mod. There's not much prestige attached to it (and even if there was, I still wouldn't care if some random dude claimed to be a Physics.SE moderator). How does it harm us? He could be disruptive at places and besmirch the name of SE, but that's unlikely (and if he goes around claiming that he's a mod before being disruptive, people will check).

Note that impersonating a particular SO mod is not a good idea at all. (One guy was banned in the past for impersonating Jeff Atwood. Not sure what would happen if it was just a mod being impersonated)

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"He could be disruptive at places and besmirch the name of SE." Given the opinions of people I hear on Reddit, Hacker News and Slashdot about SE, I think a guy who claims to be mod is the least of all problems. Not saying that those people are problems or something, but some people have very strong opinions and love to share them. – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 18 '13 at 18:07
I've never seen anyone on an SE site use the term moderator to mean anything other than "diamond moderator." As for harm: the guy wouldn't bother making the claim if he didn't think he could benefit from the association. Using the Stack Exchange brand for his own benefit diminishes the brand. Now, that's really something for the SE folks to worry about rather than the users, but it's nevertheless false that there's no harm done. – Caleb Apr 18 '13 at 18:19
When you hit 10k you have access to moderator tools. But they're still not called moderators. It's the former that makes people think the latter. – random Apr 18 '13 at 18:27
@random: If you look at older posts on MSO, 10k users are sometimes called moderators. – Manishearth Apr 18 '13 at 18:53
@Caleb: Is it at a degree that we need to worry about it? I think not :/ – Manishearth Apr 18 '13 at 18:54
What if someone tries to impersonate the Community user? – user215114 Sep 20 '13 at 15:21

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