As most of us know, Kev is retiring from being a moderator.

Kev has done an outstanding job in moderating Stack Overflow, and while he won't be a moderator anymore, it doesn't feel right that this isn't reflected in some way.

Expanding on that, Kev is by far not the only one who has contributed immensely as a moderator to the Stack Exchange websites, but is no longer a moderator.

That said, Gordon had the great idea that former moderators should have something to reflect that, a hollow diamond next to their name, like so:

Kev ◊

So the formal feature request is, for former moderators that left moderating in good standing with Stack Exchange (it wasn't revoked for mod abuse or something of that nature), allow them to opt-in to having a mark (perhaps the diamond outline, perhaps something else) that will be attached to their username as a token of appreciation for the work that they've done in making Stack Exchange a better place.

This is simply embellishment on the username. It will confer no abilities in any way; the only privileges that they will have are the ones that they have due to reputation.

  • 88
    This would also prevent those occasional questions of "How was this [question/answer] [closed/deleted] by only [1-4] users?"
    – animuson StaffMod
    May 24, 2013 at 12:14
  • 11
    already planning to keep a souvenir when you retire @casperOne? :P
    – ronalchn
    May 24, 2013 at 13:14
  • 15
    Would this also be the case for pro-tem moderators from beta sites who don't choose to stand in the actual election? (In my opinion, yes, it should).
    – JonW
    May 24, 2013 at 13:36
  • 2
    I like the sentiment, but would it not lead to a bunch of confusion? Especially if those users actively keep participating in the sites?
    – Bart
    May 24, 2013 at 13:42
  • 9
    I think this makes more sense as a note in their profile. Having a hollow diamond will 100% confuse users about if someone is a mod/non mod.
    – JNK
    May 24, 2013 at 13:47
  • 10
    Why not just a badge, ought to be pretty easy to do. Snowbird jumps to mind. May 24, 2013 at 14:09
  • 22
    Another suggestion to recognize them would be to add a former mod section to the moderators page. It could include a note similar to retired 2013 along with the elected date.
    – Taryn
    May 24, 2013 at 14:25
  • 2
    Lake Havasu in Arizona has a lot of snowbirds. May 24, 2013 at 15:17
  • 2
    @UphillLuge ALL of Arizona has snowbirds! :)
    – Taryn
    May 24, 2013 at 15:48
  • 9
    I don't think it would confuse people. It's just one additional symbol and we can easily explain that here or in the FAQ. DeviantArt has a helluvalot more symbols for their users in addition to Staff Merit Badges. And they have them for years now. I am sure they would have removed that, if it was too confusing for people.
    – Gordon
    May 24, 2013 at 16:50
  • 3
    How about we at least let those with a hollow diamond retag stuff? :)
    – Undo
    May 24, 2013 at 19:08
  • 3
    I made a very similar request for this last year, but it was declined by Shog9. Yours is more of a request for an acknowledgement of contribution, as opposed to mine, which is more about showing that some of the user's previous contributions may have been made in a different capacity. Additionally, my request was for an indication on posts made while they were moderators, not for a ubiquitous indication. (I think your reason and request is also a good one, fwiw.) May 25, 2013 at 0:39
  • 4
    Why, bananas of course @BenLee.
    – Bart
    Jun 6, 2013 at 17:51
  • 7
    Speaking as a retired moderator… No. If I wanted to put forward my ex-moderator status I'd mention it on my profile, we don't need an additional feature for that. (Yes, I know, I wasn't a mod on SO so it doesn't count. But still, why?) Jun 6, 2013 at 23:12
  • 1

4 Answers 4


I support this idea 100%. The only thing I'll add is that, for all those claiming that this will create endless confusion among our helplessly moronic user base,

a) So what? Stupid people are always among us; we shouldn't base policy on them.

b) Ok fine, how about something like this:

enter image description here

  • 4
    The suggestion that anyone who doesn't agree does so only because they consider the generic SO user base to lack basic understanding skills seems somewhat contrary to a friendly discussion.
    – unixsmurf
    Jun 7, 2013 at 0:17
  • 1
    @unixsmurf - numerous comments on the original question stated clearly that this was a bad idea because it would cause confusion. Jun 7, 2013 at 0:27
  • 2
    casperOne to former moderators!
    – gnat
    Jun 7, 2013 at 0:58
  • 2
    What are you planning for casperOne?
    – Undo
    Jun 7, 2013 at 1:19
  • @Undo - the image above is stage one of the planned coup... Jun 7, 2013 at 3:08
  • @Adam Revolution!!!
    – Undo
    Jun 7, 2013 at 3:15
  • 8
    @gnat My tyranny will live forever!
    – casperOne
    Jul 5, 2013 at 16:30

Another symbol next to names would be confusing; it's meant as a way for folks to recognize those acting in an official capacity after all, not as a status symbol.

But we do have these stinkin' status symbols...

mod badge

There's even one for Pro Tempore mods:

other mod badge

Mods who help guide a site through graduation and then get elected afterwards can even earn both. Mods who get kicked out in less than a year can't (unless they make it through graduation first, but... meh).

  • 14
    Hate the names. We're janitors, not cops.
    – yannis
    Jul 9, 2013 at 6:31
  • 1
    Propose better ones then
    – Shog9
    Jul 9, 2013 at 6:33
  • 30
    But... but... but... just complaining about it is so much easier!
    – yannis
    Jul 9, 2013 at 6:34
  • 1
    Yeah, I know. We spent more time arguing about the names than we did actually testing the logic. BECAUSE THE NAMES ARE THE IMPORTANT BIT!
    – Shog9
    Jul 9, 2013 at 6:36
  • 7
    @Yannis brb changing your badge name to "mop master" :P
    – Laura
    Jul 9, 2013 at 21:01

I wish to at least see that someone was a mod at the time they cast of close vote etc. Otherwise it is hard to understand what when on. (Even a comment by a mod is different to a comment by someone that later become a mod.)

So being mod at the time of an action should be a property of the action, as well as the person.

  • 5
    Yeah, I think this would be the most useful benefit of such an indicator - I don't necessarily care to see the indicator on stuff the ex-mod did after they stepped down, but it would be useful to see that the user was a mod when they deleted/closed/reopened a post single-handedly. It'd also be useful to see on meta discussions - especially if there's been a lot of turnover in the mod team, it can be hard to tell that a policy/rule/etc. was posted by a user who was a mod at the time (and not just a regular user).
    – V2Blast
    Nov 24, 2020 at 0:11

I would be all for a (platinum?) badge or similar, making it documentation of services performed for the purpose of including it in references on a CV or such. Or just for someone having a closer look.

But making it an icon next to the name opens up the can-of-worms of "oh, this person was a moderator, so I will trust their question/answer more than I would from anyone else". Or just make people interpret a question/answer in a more positive light than otherwise, where actually each question or answer should be judged on its own merit.

  • @djechlin: new meta user, point taken, thank you (not sarcasm). However, I really don't consider this a vague hypothetical problem, so I dropped that line, but the rest is kept unmodified.
    – unixsmurf
    Jun 6, 2013 at 22:39
  • 8
    But making it an icon next to the name opens up the can-of-worms of "oh, this person was a moderator, so I will trust their question/answer more than I would from anyone else" — So what? That trust was more than earned in the past. Or not. Nobody says you have to trust a real moderator, let alone a moderator emeritus. Jun 6, 2013 at 22:56
  • 2
    @AdamRackis: the trust of being a competent moderator is different from the trust of being factually correct in any given instance. Reputation in itself should be evidence of the prevalence of the latter, and require no additional qualifier.
    – unixsmurf
    Jun 6, 2013 at 23:10
  • 5
    Agree with Adam. Firstly we do that with solid black diamonds. "This person is a moderator." If it leaves to more trust then great, they were community-elected after all. Having lots of rep also leads to trust, also justly. Not as prestigious looking hollow diamond, that means not long ago the user was elected by the community to a leadership position? Yes, that would accurately and judiciously earn them more trust.
    – djechlin
    Jun 7, 2013 at 2:13

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