If you vote to undelete a post that was deleted by a moderator, you will get the message

A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted

Interestingly, this extends to posts that a user voted to delete prior to becoming a moderator. For example here's a question that is in that state.

enter image description here

The reverse can also happen. Once a user is no longer a moderator, posts that the moderator bindingly deleted become available to be undeleted.

For example, I just voted to undelete this answer and it worked fine

enter image description here

  • I wonder if the Sam closure played any part in it?
    – user7116
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 1:49
  • 5
    Sam's closure is irrelevant here. There are plenty of questions like this that were deleted by someone before they became a moderator, but now cannot be undeleted because a moderator deleted them. Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 3:55
  • 8
    When implementing the lock, Jarrod commented in April 2011: "we check the mod election table to see if the deletion happened during the mod's reign of terror, er tenure :)" So something has changed, or one of the other deleters was a moderator at the time?
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 5:26
  • 4
    Arjan - My name is the last on the list, and I have certainly never been a moderator.
    – Bo Persson
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 7:31
  • 7
    @Arjan Well, he had nominated to be a moderator at that point, maybe the system decided it was inevitable ;)
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 13:25
  • 4
    @Arjan I added another comment here, detailing that I have no idea what I was talking about. Perhaps I meant to change the code after our conversation, but it never happened. Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 20:28
  • @JarrodDixon so is this a bug? Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 21:37
  • 3
    @SomeHelpfulCommenter we're still discussing it, as it could very well be that this "moderator deletes a post, it can't be undeleted" is no longer necessary (it was instituted to prevent post owners from one-click undeleting their content after a mod removed it - this change would still prevent such behavior). Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 22:18
  • @JarrodDixon There are times we don't want a post undeleted by members of the community. Think: the egregious "What's your favorite programming X" examples. Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 2:43
  • Hi @GeorgeStocker, what about just using a lock?
    – jmort253
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 4:08
  • 1
    @jmort253 locked and deleted ? Not sure if a question can be in both states. Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 10:23
  • @JarrodDixon any updates regarding your discussion, three months later? :) Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 21:40
  • 2
    @GeorgeStocker Community-deleted spam gets locked and deleted, so it's certainly possible.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 1:40
  • I've recently run into the converse problem: being unable to undo an action taken by a former moderator that was done while he was a moderator. Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 19:54
  • @GeorgeStocker Every question state is combinable, apart from multiple post-notices, close-reasons, lock-types etc. (which aren't separate states).
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 9:35

2 Answers 2


No, I don't (personally) believe all previous actions of a user should become "Moderator actions" (capital 'M') once they gain that diamond ♦.

From 1-reputation upward, everyone on this site is earning increasing abilities to perform various "moderator actions." The whole site is based on community self-moderation. But when a moderator earns that diamond ♦, they explicitly become deputized with a few additional abilities not awarded to anyone else (let's call them "official" actions, for lack of a better word).

You wouldn't want to say that all actions performed before and up to that point become ex post facto "official moderator actions." At the time those actions were performed, those users were not bound by the Moderator Agreement, nor were they privy to the information and abilities the officially-appointed moderators have. Those actions were not, by definition, official.

In that same vein, any official actions taken by a moderator ♦ should not suddenly become un-official, should they relinquish their position.

As for handling these cases, it may be an oversight… a bug… or just one of those pedantic, edge cases not worth devoting the resources to right now. That's a discussion for another day.


I agree with Robert. I think there's one important point he didn't mention, though: we were all new users at one point or another, unfamiliar with the special way Stack Exchange does things. Just because someone understands how to make good "Stack-appropriate" choices today doesn't mean he had that same understanding x years ago, when he first gained the power to vote to close.

  • 19
    Plus, many of us close vote differently as moderators. As a regular user, one can afford to be more aggressive in casting those close votes, but as a moderator, I find that I rarely ever take action unless I am 100% without a doubt sure of my decision and am willing to stand by it in chat and metas. I wouldn't want any of my close decisions prior to being a moderator to be considered official.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 4:10

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