I was looking over the Marshal and Deputy badges (on Stack Overflow), with the new changes to them, and I noticed that two of the recent folks who earned Marshal are mods; Bill the Lizard and NullUserException.

Then I said to myself:

Self; How did these fine folks earn this particular badge, since they are the people who handle flags?

Three Four possibilities come to mind:

  1. They can still flag posts for other mods to consider.
  2. If a mod finds a post that needs moderator attention which has not yet been flagged, they must flag it before acting on it.
  3. Taking moderator action on flagged posts counts as 'flagging' for mods.
  4. They earned them before being a mod.

This is mostly a curiosity thing for me. I'm not a mod anywhere, and already have both badges on Stack Overflow, but I definitely think it's good that, one way or another, mods were not left out of earning these (or any) badges.

  • Just added option #4 due to Bill the Lizard's answer below. Jan 20, 2012 at 17:46
  • 2
    Just for the Deputy badge: They certainly got it before becoming moderators, as it's one of the prerequisites.
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 18:00
  • 1
    @Zaphod: It was a prerequisite for the most recent election, but not for prior elections, and wouldn't matter anyway for direct appointments.
    – ale
    Jan 20, 2012 at 19:31
  • @AlEverett Well NullUserException certainly had deputy, then. 50% correct, good enough (for a comment). Or, actually, perfect (for a comment on a Friday)...
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 20:14
  • @YannisRizos I actually had Marshal before I became a mod. Sep 13, 2012 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


I think NullUserException earned the Marshal badge before he became a moderator back in November 2011. I got it by flagging spam posts after we decided that was better than just deleting them.

See the discussion on I'm not gaining flag weight for my Spam flags. Note to other mods: According to Marc's answer on that post this is fixed. I guess when we delete spam-flagged posts the flag will be marked as helpful now.

Of the other possibilities you mentioned, the first one would give a moderator flag weight, but we rarely use it. As for the second, we don't need to flag posts before taking action on them but we could. It would just be more time consuming than it's worth though. Just processing flags (#3) doesn't count as a helpful flag for the moderator.

  • why did we decide flagging spam is better than deleting it..? Jan 20, 2012 at 17:55
  • @Jeff it didn't mark the spam flags by the community as valid when you just deleted it, you had to spam-flag yourself as mod to get those flags marked valid. Jan 20, 2012 at 17:57
  • @JeffAtwood Because when we deleted it the flag was dismissed but not marked "helpful" so the person flagging it didn't get any credit for the flag. That's not an issue any more. Jan 20, 2012 at 17:57
  • 1
    @bill that's a bug, plain and simple. Deletion of a post flagged for spam should clearly mark flags helpful. (also hint: flag weight still exists, it's just not shown to anyone..) Jan 20, 2012 at 17:58
  • 1
    @JeffAtwood Yes that was a bug but it's fixed now (rather, in the next release). See Marc's answer on the linked post. Jan 20, 2012 at 18:00
  • 2
    It's fixed? Awesome. Now I don't have to wait for Ajax loads and page refreshes every time I try to flag spam posts anymore. Jan 20, 2012 at 18:17
  1. We can still flag things for moderator attention.

  2. This isn't correct, we are not required to do so, but it is heavily emphasized that all of our actions stem from the flag queue (but sometimes, that's a very long road we take in investigating things)

  3. I can't say much for this, as I didn't pay much attention to my flag weight (even before I was a mod) so I can't say what impact it had, but it wouldn't make sense that we get rewarded in a game that we ultimately are the arbiters for.

  4. Can't say, as I have neither (sorry), and I don't have a time machine. =\

  • #1 did seem like the most likely one. I hadn't considered it before you mentioned it, but what you say about #3 makes sense, too. Jan 20, 2012 at 17:48
  • I thought deputy was a requirement for being a mod? -- never mind, you have deputy - I guess I misunderstood your #4 Jan 20, 2012 at 23:30

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