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 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. faq.
- ♦ 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).
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 (
- 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.