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I discovered last week that an elected moderator can modify a user's name.
The user had a username that was clearly meant to insult one particular elected moderator. This was discussed in chat, and the moderator decided to make a minimal change to the user's username.

While it was funny to see this happen to an obvious troll, it did make me wonder. I'd have expected that only Stack Exchange personnel would have this kind of power.

So the question is - what else can a moderator do to my profile?

For example, can a moderator also completely rewrite the "About me" section? I can understand that under rare circumstances, material must be removed from these sections. But I would have expected that elected mods would only be able to make these things go black. Could they also completely rewrite it if they wanted to?

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    They probably can and if so, their actions will be logged so anyone in the mod team and CM's can review their actions when needed. – rene Oct 4 '15 at 16:04
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Moderators have the power to do anything to a profile, including editing the "About Me" section. They also have the ability to edit usernames, as they noted.

We can completely remove it, let alone just replace it with something as weird as...

Stack Exchange hates unicorns. Yabadabadoo. Haha. I hereby declare myself to be king of Stack Exchange. Now everyone must listen to me!

Of course, that doesn't happen for obvious reasons.

Basically, if you can do something to your own profile, we can do it too.


It should be noted that any action is logged, and that there are detailed descriptions of what they did. Profile pages also contain personal information, and even access to that is logged.

So, yes. Moderators have the power to do that, but their actions are logged.

  • There are a few limits. They can't add/remove credentials on a profile, for example. – animuson Oct 4 '15 at 17:54
  • @animuson But is that a profile related thing? I would assume that it had to do with OpenID or whatever service that users use to log in. – Zizouz212 Oct 4 '15 at 17:55
  • Well, you don't need to login to an OpenID service to remove it from your profile. You just need to be logged into your profile. The add link always goes back to /users/current so you can only add them to yourself and not other users. There's a couple of other weird fields scattered around the profile that only the user can change, but it's always stuff that's not publicly visible. – animuson Oct 4 '15 at 17:56
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From this answer:

Moderators can perform maintenance and disciplinary actions related to user accounts:

  • suspend or delete accounts, or contact users privately;
  • edit all fields in user profiles.

So, yes, moderators can edit the "About me" section, and all other parts of a user's profile that the user himself/herself can edit.

This ability is rarely used, and when it is used, it is in cases like the one you described.

By the way, all of this applies to pro tempore moderators, too; they have the same abilities as elected moderators. Same goes for Stack Exchange employees with the diamond next to their usernames.

  • Under what circumstances other than Spam is the user profile deleted ? – Bat Cat Oct 4 '15 at 16:38
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    @MEtastic There's many reasons, including voting rings, vandalism, and so on – Zizouz212 Oct 4 '15 at 16:46
  • @MEtastic What Zizouz212 said. If a user posts spam, rude/offensive content, is a sockpuppet account, or otherwise violates Stack Exchange rules, the account may be deleted. – HDE 226868 Oct 4 '15 at 16:49

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