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Some people have a diamond after their username (ex: Jeff Atwood♦)

  • What special privileges do diamond moderators have?
  • How can I become a diamond moderator?
  • Who are the diamond moderators? How many are there?

For more information, see Who are the site moderators, and what is their role here? in the Help Center.

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15  
Just as a clarification, Jeff Atwood isn't a elected Moderator, he is actually co-founder of the site and thus has moderating privileges. –  Trufa Jan 19 '11 at 19:40
3  
Just remember that mods are like human exception handlers. Everything that has to go through a try catch block is going to take longer processing time to get through, same for things that require a moderator. There's only so many of us out there. –  jcolebrand Jul 28 '11 at 15:29
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We can remote view, we can close dupes even before you thought of the question, I can see your house from here :) –  Kev Jul 28 '11 at 17:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 53 down vote accepted

What special privileges do diamond moderators have?

Diamond moderators are human exception handlers. The main function of diamond moderators is to follow up on flagged posts but they also have some special abilities necessary to handle rare exceptional conditions:

  • They have access to all the abilities of 20k users regardless of their reputation.
  • Their votes are binding. Any place we have voting — close, open, delete, undelete, offensive, migration, etc — that vote will reach the threshold and take effect immediately if a single diamond moderator casts a vote.
  • They can lock posts. Locked posts cannot be voted on, commented, or changed in any way.
  • They can see more data in the system, including vote statistics (but not ‘who voted for this post’) and user profile information.
  • They can view all deleted posts on an individual user's profile.
  • They can place users in timed suspension, and delete users if necessary.
  • They can perform large-scale maintenance actions such as merging questions and tags, tag synonym approvals, unbounded question migration, and so forth.
  • They can convert a post into Community Wiki status, or convert an answer into a comment.
  • They can (at their discretion) refund and cancel a bounty.
  • They are not subject to the flag, close vote, delete vote, review count, etc. limits. (source)

How can I become a diamond moderator?

The initial set of moderators on new sites is hand-selected by the "powers that be".

But as these communities grow, this initial set is replaced by elected moderators. You can read about moderator elections here: How Elections Work.

Who are the diamond moderators? How many are there?

Each site has its own set of diamond moderators, which is listed in the About page for the corresponding site.

You can also view a full list of diamond moderators and on which sites they are moderators here.

In addition, members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Team have the option to carry diamonds on any site. You can find a list of the Team members on Stack Exchange's team page.

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7  
As a small side-note, the ♦-folk may also include SO employees where needed for admin purposes. Of course, the real trick is managing to get ♦ through both routes... –  Marc Gravell Jan 17 '11 at 14:02
    
@Marc: Congrats to you and rchern and anybody else I forgot who did get ♦ both ways. :-D –  Chris Jester-Young Jan 19 '11 at 3:56
    
The second point doesn't apply to suggesting tag synonyms. –  Ambo100 Jan 13 '12 at 23:34
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Since diamond moderators are (mostly) voted on, is there also a way to vote them out if they turn out to not be as trustworthy as thought? (Note that this is a generic question; I have no indication that this problem exists for any current moderator, and don't want to imply it does) –  celtschk Mar 4 '12 at 15:37
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This is the official answer across all sites, including non-technical ones. Perhaps it is time to retire the "Exception Handler" metaphor for the non-programmers? - and for the C programmers :-) –  Oddthinking Mar 27 '12 at 10:02
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@celtschk There's a process for that now. –  Anna Lear Dec 10 '12 at 17:25
    
Any time you get voted diamond mod, you know it's time to get out more. I'm just so thankful someone actually wants to do this job. –  david.pfx Mar 15 at 23:25

Community moderators (people with a ♦ next to their name, who aren't Stack Exchange employees) have a number of abilities beyond other users.

  • They have all the privileges of normal users, regardless of their reputation.
  • Wherever users with sufficient privileges can vote (such as when closing questions or creating tag synonyms), a ♦ moderator's vote is binding and takes effect immediately.

The list of moderators on a site is shown on the "moderators" tab of /users.

All community moderators must accept the moderator agreement, which essentially states that they must only use their abilities (including access to confidential information) for the good of the site.

Actions on posts (questions and answers)

Moderators can:

Moderators also have a few tag-related abilities:

  • Moderators can remove tag synonyms, and can merge two tags into one (i.e. make all questions that have tag A quietly have tag B instead). The merge ability can be used to rename a tag.
  • Moderators can create any tag, even one that differs from an existing tag only by pluralization or hyphenation.
  • On Meta sites, a few tags (shown in red) can only be added or removed by moderators, e.g. .

Furthermore:

  • ♦ moderators can edit or delete any comment.
  • ♦ moderators can view deleted comments.
  • ♦ moderators can search for deleted posts (questions and answers) and view them on user profiles.
  • ♦ moderators can see all flags and dismiss them.

Actions affecting users

Moderators can perform maintenance and disciplinary actions related to user accounts:

  • suspend or delete accounts, or contact users privately;
  • edit all fields in user profiles.

For these duties, the ♦ moderators on a site have access to otherwise-confidential information about an account:

  • the private parts of user profiles (email, full name, etc.; but not the OpenID);
  • IP addresses that the account was accessed from;
  • a history of logins, profile edits, etc.;
  • some voting patterns that are considered suspicious (but not details of which posts a user voted on).

Site-wide actions

Most site-wide effects are reserved to Stack Exchange, Inc. staff. There are a few actions that are open to community moderators:

  • Edit the first section (under “What kind of questions can I ask here?”) of the site FAQ (/faq)
  • Put up system messages (one-line announcements that appear near the top of each page).
  • A few site statistics (total views, common search keywords, …) are available to ♦ moderators.

Site moderators are also chat moderators.

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