One or more of the following things happened to me on a Stack Exchange site:

  • My post(s) were wrongly deleted or locked by a moderator
  • A moderator posted a wrong comment on one of my posts
  • I was suspended, but did not do anything wrong
  • I asked a meta question, but the question was closed and/or deleted
  • A moderator discredited me in public
  • ...

I think a moderator has abused their power, but I feel powerless against them.

What recourse do I have now? What can I do when I feel that a moderator has abused their power, and has been repeatedly unfair in their dealings with me?

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If you have a dispute with a diamond moderator your options are:

  • Make a post on the relevant per-site meta regarding the action taken, which will allow the community to discuss it.
  • Flag for moderator attention and request a second moderator to have a look.
  • If all else fails, send a message to the Stack Exchange team via the "contact us" link at the bottom of any page with your complaint and links to the questions/answers.

For the record, here are levels of moderation (from highest to lowest):

Some unsolicited advice:

It's often best for you to try to work things out at as low a level as possible. If you have a problem with one moderator, it's faster for you to reach any of the other elected "Diamond Moderators" on your site as they have the most experience with your specific site and may even have seen other actions you have taken that give context to the issue at hand. Sometimes you want to go above someone's head (or even straight to the top) with a complaint or request, but realize that the recipient will wonder why this person with a complaint couldn't resolve it with the team of moderators that were put in place to do just that.

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    The question is how to reach "other elected "Diamond Moderators"? There is no private messages, they often don't show their emails or other contact information. I encounter with moderator's abuse recently and I just didn't know what to do and still don't know. – mimic Oct 13 '18 at 0:55
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    @mimic: It’s the second bullet in the answer — pick a post on the site where you had the problem (ideally a post related to the issue, or one by the moderator in question) and flag it (click on the “flag” link).  Select “in need of moderator intervention” and explain the problem (you have 500 characters). There is an (unwritten?) rule that, if you complain about a specific moderator, then that moderator will not handle a flag that is about them, and will leave it for other moderator(s) to look at. – Scott Oct 15 '18 at 21:35
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    Related: Can moderators handle flags cast on their own content?  — “But Moderators are bound by broad prohibitions against conflict of interest.  If a Moderator were to find themselves in the middle of an incident in which they find themselves a party, we ask that they recuse themselves and find another Moderator to resolve the conflict. – Scott Nov 3 '18 at 0:58
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    @Scott, your comments relies on the moderator acting in good faith, but the question is specifically about an abusive moderator. What if the moderator is doing everything they can to brush this situation under the carpet? Presumably they'd be keeping a close eye on the flag queue so they can make those flags disappear. – Doctor Jones Mar 20 '19 at 16:30
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    @DoctorJones that’s a risky strategy, at best, because each mod can see the most recently handled flags of other mods. We can audit flag outcomes, staff can trivially find everything a mod has done. A bad actor moderator can’t hide their actions. – Martijn Pieters Oct 2 '19 at 2:27
  • @MartijnPieters that's good to know. Thanks for the insight. – Doctor Jones Oct 2 '19 at 9:16

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