Suppose a moderator has politically incorrect "inclinations" as observed (fairly often) in, say, a chat room. In the event that a couple of users take offence at this, can another moderator possibly "deal with" (and not remove) the offending moderator?

By "deal with", I mean chat kicks, bans and such. Also, can this be done single-handedly or would it require the broad consensus of other moderators (who belong to the SE site the offending moderator is from) as well?

Additionally, in a such an event, can the kicked/banned moderator appeal this "verdict". If so, how would he go about it?

Note: This has nothing to do with any actual moderator out there. I'm (relatively) new to SE, so it's just a curiosity question.

The kind of "offending" moderator that I have in mind, is one who performs his duty pretty diligently, doesn't slack, and is fairly active... but can be a pain in the butt sometimes during chat. Opinions he expresses in chat aren't outright offensive, but they do tend to cause a stir. Hence this wouldn't warrant a removal, merely a kick or a chat ban.

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    Such an issue would be escalated to Community Managers, and would not be handled through consensus of other regular moderators.
    – Servy
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 18:25
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    Speaking purely technically, yes, a moderator can suspend another moderator, and unsuspend themselves while suspended. In reality though, one would hope it doesn't come to that.
    – Aurora0001
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


No, moderators cannot effectively suspend other moderators (it's impossible in chat, it simply doesn't do anything and the moderator can unsuspend themselves on the main site), neither in chat nor on the main sites. In a case where that is necessary, a Stack Exchange community manager or developer has to step in and remove the diamond from the offending moderator.

In most cases, this should not be necessary. As long as the moderator is willing to listen, just asking them to stop the problematic behaviour should be sufficient.

In cases where this doesn't work, an SE employee will have to clean up the mess. It would show a lack of judgement on the part of the moderator if this were necessary, and they probably wouldn't stay moderator if this happened (and can't be explained e.g. by someone else getting on their computer).

The important part is that some CMs can remove diamonds, and after that the moderator is just a regular user. There is no special suspension for moderators, if the need arises to suspend them, they have to lose moderator status.

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    This is actually possible on chat.se, @shadow, due to how account association works. I don't think I've needed that functionality more than a couple of times though; generally the situation is either not serious enough to warrant it or too serious for it to be effective.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 4:38
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    @Shog9 "more than a couple of times" - curious to know about those couple of times... ;) Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 8:52

A moderator who is suspended can just unsuspend themselves - someone did testing at one point. Mods can't be chat kicked.

If the mod is really problematic, they may have their diamond removed. This is taken care of by the Community Managers.

See also Handling Calls to Remove a Moderator.

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    Thanks Gandalf! That was a quick answer ( up-votes ). However, @MadScientist's answer was a bit more... "comprehensive", so I accepted that. I appreciate your answer all the same ^_^ Thank you. Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 18:47

I've been in a few situations where a moderator did something he shouldn't not realising he was immune from suspensions. Minor drama ensued, and eventually we resolved it by letting him know he couldn't be suspended.

Suspensions and kicks are useful tools but in a dynamic environment like chat, proper, effective moderation isn't just about the use of force but about the use of a wider range of tools. The exact approach - whether to talk to the moderator about these things in private or in public, depends on the moderator.

And least the way SE handles moderation - by heavy devolvement of powers to regular users who have proven themselves trusted by the community - you can handle it. You can politely know something feels unacceptable "Hey, I do realise we go fast and loose here, but that feels somewhat inappropriate" - especially on a chat room that you're a regular on.

Likewise, on main sites many moderators choose not to handle flags on their own accounts. While moderators can't be suspended, they're accountable - you can, for example, bring up major issues using the contact us link, or meta, and if a moderator was consistantly causing issues like you mention chances are someone will bring it up, whether on their site or another.

Moderation is not purely about the use of "force". Moderation is a fair bit more nuanced than that - so chances are we'd rarely face the situation you're mentioning, simply because there's formal and informal systems in place that would handle it before a suspension was needed. Chances are a moderator suspension would be followed up by a CM discussing things with the mod and other things, but the scenario you mention hasn't happened yet as far as I know.

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