Last night when I was researching on an issue I can to a post which one of the answers had a Avatar Icon with text Moderator inside it. I cannot find that post today.

Considering that person reputation was lower than 50, I wonder if he could be a real moderator.

Do we have a guideline which explicitly ban this?(That is A none moderator uses the moderator icon?

I think no web site needs fake moderators.

The suggested(Duplicate) link says impersonation is OK. I disagree. A moderator should not be impersonated by anyone as people rely on them more than others..

  • "A moderator should not be impersonated by anyone as people rely on them more than others." That's not completely correct for SE. Moderators are just users with more power. What damage could a user do by impersonating a moderator? – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 12 '13 at 11:51

Moderators have a diamond ♦ after their display name. You can't use that in your display name. And if you visit a moderators profile you will see a Moderator ♦ beside the name.

You can use any avatar image you like though.

  • OK but do you think it is acceptable that anyone use the moderator icon? This will be really confusing , as some new users may trust their answers more than others. – Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 11:22
  • I believe using a fake moderator icon should be prevented. – Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 11:23
  • what is the moderator icon that you mentioning? – Azik Jul 12 '13 at 11:23
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    The diamond in the name indicates the moderator status. And it is mentioned in the profile of a user. But using a big diamond as avatar image has nothing to do with that. If you are a new user you probably don't even know what a diamond symbolizes. – juergen d Jul 12 '13 at 11:26
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    "I'd say you should not use that in your display name" You can't. Try it ;) – yannis Jul 12 '13 at 11:28
  • @ juergen d In my case the poster had an Icon with Text "Moderator" inside it . Not a diamond. – Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 11:28
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    @Yannis are you sure all diamond-like characters ( ᛜ◆♦⬥⬦⬧⬨⬩⬪⬫ )are blocked? I'm kinda afraid to try, as one could only change his name in a longer while afaik. – Mołot Jul 12 '13 at 11:40
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    @Mołot 99% sure. Or at least they were blocked when I tried them (a year or so ago). – yannis Jul 12 '13 at 11:43
  • @Mołot Only the first of your symbols works (out of the original three), but that isn't displayed as a diamond for me anyway. I didn't try the symbols you added later. The second and third symbol are properly blocked when you try to change your name – Mad Scientist Jul 12 '13 at 11:44
  • @MadScientist well I did a quick research (under 5 minutes ;) ) and added characters that might look like a diamond. Some of them like full one, some empty or full. Firs one should always be empty and I admit it's a bit of mistake on my side, for the rest I'm not sure. But even empty may be misleading. – Mołot Jul 12 '13 at 11:49
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    "You can use any avatar image you like though.*" *Terms and conditions apply. – Manishearth Jul 12 '13 at 12:27
  • @Mołot The first diamond is allowed. It is the runic ingwaz sign, representing the 'ng' sound. – Ṃųỻịgǻňạcểơửṩ Jan 17 '20 at 21:46

Generally speaking, we are pretty lenient with the names and profile images people use. The two biggest issues there would be something offensive, or an attempt to impersonate someone. Offensive does not apply here, from your description.

I doubt impersonation does, either. that would actually be as much about their behavior as what their profile shows. If it looks like someone is trying to truly impersonate anyone (not just a moderator), we'll take appropriate action. Flagging a post of theirs would get us to take a look but, again, remember we'll really only take action if it really looks like they are trying to impersonate someone they obviously are not.

  • Ok so an abusive person can easily impersonate a Moderator and scare off the new users. is this good? – Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 11:40
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    Please read my post again. If they are truly trying to impersonate a moderator (or anyone else) we will take action. from your description, it sounds like that is not the case here. Moderators don't "look" like you have described. are they acting like a moderator? – Andrew Barber Jul 12 '13 at 11:42
  • I'm trying to find the post I was talking about in the question. The so called moderator was threatening a new user for getting banned from SO for no good reason. – Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 11:59
  • Don't ask be why I didn't flag it. To be honest I was not sure if he is a moderator or not. – Joe Tatavaran Jul 12 '13 at 12:00
  • @JoeTatavaran Ahhh; if the user is behaving like that, we definitely need to know about it. Even without their profile information, that behavior is not acceptable. – Andrew Barber Jul 12 '13 at 13:31

Impersonating a Moderator is pretty much frivolous.

Take for example my profile and usercard on Freelancing:
http://puu.sh/3B3jN.jpg http://puu.sh/3B3gw.png

If in doubt, just hover over the diamond. It's not part of the name (The unicode diamonds are all blocked, too).

In addition, if they're not a Stack Exchange employee, they're listed at

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    Link to your "profile and usercard" is broken. – PolyGeo Mar 8 '17 at 6:03
  • @Amelia The puu.sh screenshots are gone. Do you still have a local copy in your computer? – Ṃųỻịgǻňạcểơửṩ Jan 27 '20 at 2:38

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