As a moderator, I occasionally experience addressees reacting to moderator messages in a weird manner or completely ignoring them. To develop a better understanding for the situation, I would therefore like to know what it is like to receive a moderator message:

  • Is the recipient alerted in the top bar or something more prominent?

  • Is there any additional guidance in addition to the moderator message itself?

  • Is there anything else that I should know about as a moderator?

(I know that I could probably have a fellow moderator sent a message to me to gain the experience myself, but since this of interest for most moderators, I consider it better to have a general reference.)

  • 12
    Create a sock. Send it a mod message. ;) Aug 7, 2016 at 10:20
  • 6
    I know, but do you want all four hundred something moderators to have to do this?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:22
  • 13
    No, but once you see it you can take screenshots, post a self answer and have all four hundred something moderators see it. :) Aug 7, 2016 at 10:23
  • 1
    It would be nice to know how more things, such as post notices, are shown to users. I never knew for sure whether or not they even generate notifications.
    – Jamal
    Aug 7, 2016 at 17:50
  • I'm not sure how much is changed, but this old bug report has a screenshot of replying: meta.stackexchange.com/q/179255/323179
    – Laurel
    Aug 7, 2016 at 20:37

3 Answers 3


I have the advantage of having been on both ends of mod messages, so I should be able to answer this sufficiently.

As Mithrandir said, the message appears in your inbox (titled "moderator message", I believe, and the text is the start of the message). Clicking that notification takes you to exactly the same page moderators see (/users/message/<id>), except without the moderator guidance. There is a text box you can type a reply into, though this disappears once you've sent your one reply until a mod sends you another.

You also receive the message as an email with the subject "Re: <sitename>: message from moderators re account <username>", as is indicated in the mod tools.

  • 3
    Now I only wonder when your suspension ends ...
    – rene
    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:42
  • 5
    @rene Never suspended, just messaged
    – ArtOfCode
    Aug 7, 2016 at 13:45
  • @ArtOfCode Damn, now I'm curious :-P May 28, 2017 at 12:53

It appears as a message in your global inbox.

enter image description here

(the blacked out part is the mod's name)

Then it took me to a separate page where it showed me the message and allowed me to reply. (But only once.)

enter image description here

Update: now the mod's name is anonymous. It shows as 'from moderators':

enter image description here

  • 3
    Clear, concise, and devoid of accusations and ranting -- what more could we want? Mar 29, 2017 at 15:30
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio - thanks :). It was just a message about editing too much, no major infractions - or hard feelings.
    – Mithical
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:36
  • 1
    Yeah, I meant by comparison to the other answer containing a screen shot. :-) Mar 29, 2017 at 15:42

message image

Together with a mailbox message, an email comes to the registered email address (if the user registered by google, the SE can see his email address). The email restates the mod message, and it contains a link to the moderator message page. Thus, you can be sure that the user receives your message, except if he registered from a rarely visited fake mail account.

The URLs follow the common CRUD urls of the SE, like http://anything.stackexchange.com/users/message/1234567.

The psychological pressure is the highest possible in this context, because it doesn't happen without cause. Practically, if a mod writes anything, it is possible that it is only a warning, but it is always about suspension.

The user has only a single answering possibility, and he is warned for that. If effectively means for him that what he says doesn't matter, it will be probably rejected. He also has many reasons to suspect that the possibility to "appeal" to the SE is only theoretical.

Thus, if he doesn't react, or reacts some impolitely, he knows that anything he does won't make his case better, and also not worsen it.

It is also possible that he thinks you are right, but he won't admit it.

Such communications are probably preserved until eternity and regularly re-visited in case of the possibility of a new suspension. Mods and higher entities can probably see all of them, simple users can only see theirs. But regular users can't see the links again after they were removed from their inbox (it is similar to how it is with deleted posts - theoretically you can see them, but if you didn't save their links, you can't find them).

In most cases, the mods try to communicate the cage decision in a relatively cooperative way, and I think many users can think that you also have to fulfill contradicting requirements. The treatment of the SE mods is much better than on most other sites. But these words are also threatening with suspension, and the user - particularly in the case of the longer ones - can consider them unjustified (related example).

  • Ps. German SE is a very friendly site, I don't think you should ever dig so deep in this fight club.
    – peterh
    Aug 8, 2016 at 23:00
  • are you sure that mod messages are removed from user's inbox? Consider checking your network profile inbox tab for Dec 1 '15 (that's the date shown at your screen shot)
    – gnat
    Aug 9, 2016 at 6:24
  • @gnat No, they aren't. But I get a lot of reactions as I wrote posts and comments, and the few mod messages are disappearing between them. Of course I could be diligent and click through them all, or I could write a selenium script for that, but most users won't do it. I found the link of this mod message by searching for my (mail) inbox for keywords.
    – peterh
    Aug 9, 2016 at 8:15
  • 13
    There's a lot of off-topic rant in this answer — the question is about what it looks like, not a chance for you to complain of persecution or injustice. I have also been on the receiving end of mod messages, but I never felt persecuted, under threat of suspension, or like my response didn't matter (in fact, I felt my response mattered a lot, and I later learned it did matter a lot). Consider that your experience might not be universal — it might in fact be specific to your account. Mar 29, 2017 at 18:09

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