The description says "Served as a pro-tem moderator for at least 1 year or through site graduation". I do not know what the phrase "pro-tem" means. In what situation would this even occur? Does it warrant a badge? I feel that it is akin to Area 51. It wouldn't occur nearly enough to warrant having a badge.

Also: The Sheriff badge description ends with a period. No other description has ending punctuation. The badge-earners page has two periods now. https://stackoverflow.com/help/badges/3109/sheriff at least 1 year..


1 Answer 1


A pro-tem moderator is someone assigned to the role by Stack Exchange until an election can take place. This is the usual procedure for new beta sites, where the community is still forming.

pro-tem literally means "for the time being".

The badge is one of honour; those who received one were there in the beginning and carried the burden of moderation until the site and its community was mature enough to carry on on its own.

See Moderator Pro-tempore on the Stack Exchange blog.

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    So that means there is no hope that anyone will be earning this badge. Right? Mar 20, 2014 at 11:02
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    Not on already established sites, no. Mar 20, 2014 at 11:30
  • I understood the first part when I read the description, but what I did not understand is " or through site graduation". How does that part work, please?
    – user592371
    Mar 3, 2020 at 16:58
  • @PhishMaster: if the site graduates (and so will hold elections for moderators), the pro-tem moderators get the badge, even if they have been a pro-tem moderator for less than a year. Mar 3, 2020 at 20:41
  • Thank you, but graduates from what to what? Beta to permanent?
    – user592371
    Mar 3, 2020 at 20:44
  • @PhishMaster: that's all becoming a little more complicated, it used to be a black-and-white beta-to-graduated flick of a switch, but see Let's break up with "Graduation" and remove a bunch of "Beta" labels Mar 3, 2020 at 21:25

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