I saw an instance where I voted to flag a question as off topic. Now, I am not sure, but I think that a Moderator, who might have asked/answered/commented on the question, stopped/removed(?) the flag.

This led me to a tangent. Should mods be allowed to affect a question they are related to, i.e. have answered/asked/commented on? This might lead to misuse of power, if it isn't being done already.

p.s., I take no responsibility if someone, after reading this, starts doing it.

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    We (mods) act on consciousness, if you feel a mod took a bad move on a question, that's a point to raise on the site.meta where this did happen. Everyone can make a mistake, but usually when we feel too engaged in a post or susceptible of being biased by our own interaction in the post we let someone else handle the flag. – Tensibai Sep 29 '17 at 12:40
  • Why don't you raise your concern on the per-site meta. If the elected moderator is so untrustworthy I'm sure you'll find plenty of support for it on Meta by fellow users that noticed the same behavior. Or maybe they are just human and made a simple mistake. – rene Sep 29 '17 at 12:47
  • Can I get a reason for the downvotes, please? – MalayTheDynamo Sep 29 '17 at 12:57
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    @MalayTheDynamo People just disagree with your premise that a) a mod commenting or answering a question means they shouldn't be able to vote on it (normal users can and do do that) and that b) you assume abuse of power even if that is what occured (you can't know that, flags don't say who handled them) – Magisch Sep 29 '17 at 13:00
  • @Magisch I am not suggesting stopping them from touching the questions, just if we should. And not that harshly. – MalayTheDynamo Sep 29 '17 at 13:01
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    @MalayTheDynamo Your question assumes bad faith of moderators in a way. Even if a moderator answered a question and then declined your flag on it, what makes that ethically questionable? The moderator obviously thinks it's not a off topic question if they've answered it, so why is this an issue? – Magisch Sep 29 '17 at 13:03
  • Flagging a moderator is like a hammer on the question, as if the moderator think that the question is on a gray line for the ontopic or not, he can refuse the flag to let the community decide on the faith of the question. – yagmoth555 Sep 29 '17 at 13:55
  • You raised a flag and it was declined. There are other moderators on the site, and other community members, it only takes 5 other people to agree with you and the question will be closed. – Ramhound Sep 29 '17 at 14:16
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    Closely related: "Moderators should not be allowed to moderate questions they have participated in answering". As I state in my answer there, in general moderators defer handling of flags on questions or answers they have participated in to other moderators on the site. We recognize the potential for a conflict of interest, and try to avoid that by having someone else handle these flags. – Brad Larson Sep 29 '17 at 14:49

Moderators are members of the community too. Sometimes extremely active members of the community. If they recused themselves from performing actions on every post they're involved with, that may leave many flags unactioned until an uninvolved moderator can take care of it. On smaller sites, that may leave no one available to work the flag.

In this particular case, by answering the question the Moderator probably already considers the question on-topic for the site, else they wouldn't have answered it (and would have simply closed it straight away).

I would hope, however, that most Moderators are wise enough to stay out of situations where there is an issue with their moderation. (For instance, if that self-same Moderator came here and deleted this question.) Like nearly everything else on these sites, Moderator actions are logged; there's really no way to hide.

If you truly believe that a Moderator has acted in bad faith, please see: What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused his/her privileges?

  • I didn't know that the actions were logged. But is there some higher authority that checks those logs? Admins? And even so, are there enough that each question can be checked for such, and similar, actions and/or events? – MalayTheDynamo Sep 29 '17 at 12:43
  • @MalayTheDynamo usually that's more that you raise the concern, on a site's meta preferably, and using the contact us link to ask the community managers from Stack Exchange to have a look if you really feel this can't be sorted out on the site meta. – Tensibai Sep 29 '17 at 12:44
  • Moderators answer to the Community Managers, who are Stack Exchange employees. I'm sure they don't routinely trawl activity logs, but if some issue comes up I'm sure they have plenty of tools to investigate. – ale Sep 29 '17 at 12:44
  • @Tensibai and Ale, this is not about a real world situation, though the question's wording might have left that impression, but a Hypothetical. And the link helps. Thanks. – MalayTheDynamo Sep 29 '17 at 12:47

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