Update (2020-06): A new revision to the reinstatement process linked below has been posted. Please go to Feedback post: New moderator reinstatement and appeals process revisions for an intro and discussion on the new changes.

The Moderator review and reinstatement processes posted 21 October 2019 have been discussed with the moderators and the two posts below reflect the agreed process for removing or reinstating moderators from now on. While these processes may change over time as they're put into practice, for now they are considered finalized and are available for use.

There are two review policies - one (Action Review) is the older policy from 2012 and one (Conduct Review) is the new policy. There is one reinstatement policy for all former moderators who wish to be reinstated.

We expect that some of you may have questions about the processes and want some clarifications. This post is a place for you to ask them. Please do not post questions about the process on those posts - they will be removed.

We very much respect the value of meta discussion but would like to keep the process posts clean and not have to delete all of the discussion to make the actual policy clear. Having the discussion here makes that easier. We have cross-linked the posts so that they're easy to find.

For ease of response and voting, please limit each answer to one specific concern.

  • 121
    Are there specific guidelines re interacting with the press (by either party)?
    – mjwills
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 20:26
  • 16
    @mjwills have you seen meta.stackexchange.com/questions/335708/… ?
    – sourcejedi
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 20:27
  • 1
    @sourcejedi Thanks, very helpful. I wonder whether it may be prudent to be explicit that that policy is in effect in this context.
    – mjwills
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 20:29
  • 136
    Genuine question, when can we expect to get responses to the questions/concerns raised?
    – Script47
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 21:18
  • 10
    @Script47 Gonna depend on the question. Some of them we're already answering. Some of them will take some time.
    – Catija
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 21:22
  • 140
    It ain't much and I don't have a big reputation but I kindly ask for Monica to be reinstated.
    – Máster
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 0:20
  • 15
    Slightly off topic, but how is it decided who gets the unhappy task of posting "questions" like this and exposing their reputation to damage from massive downvoting?
    – K Man
    Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 23:24
  • 4
    @KMan Kinda depends. For this, I was helping JNat so he posted the policies and I posted the feedback post - but as you can see, JNat's been the one primarily answering questions in the answers below. For the new FAQ, I was the primary person working on reconciling the existing FAQ posts to create the new FAQ and Cesar was helping and had posted the prior FAQ.
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 0:16
  • 18
    @Catija Is there a planned timeline you can share when a followup to this is posted? Can we expect any changes in the process, and/or an announcement of the final process, and is there a timeline for either?
    – Magisch
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 9:33
  • 52
    @Script47 Well it's been a few weeks and only 1 of the top 13 posts has a staff answer. I guess that's your answer. Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 21:42
  • 43
    @Catija I haven't heard anything on the feedback that was left -- do you have a timeframe on when we can expect to hear something? Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 12:51
  • So, when will we get an answer to the remaining questions? It's 6th December 2019! Will you answer them before 2020? Or do we have to wait till 2121? Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 12:42
  • 7
    As of 2019-12-06 16:53:44Z, this question lost the featured tag without an answer to most of the questions posted here. Does that mean that all contents here will be ignored? And all unanswered questions will remain that way? Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 16:35
  • @Catija Bumping my previous request for when we can expect to hear something on all of the feedback we gave. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/336177/… Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 13:56
  • 4
    @GeorgeStocker Not quite sure what you're expecting... not trying to be flippant but... I mean... we've given lots of feedback to the queries below. There are parts of this process that are opaque even to CMs. Once the mod council is in place I will attempt to get some changes made ... this is particularly a need since there's only four CMs left... but there's only so much I can do.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 4:15

73 Answers 73

1 2

Execution Phase

  1. If an Emergency Removal took place, moderator access can't be restored. At CM2's discretion, the network account may be suspended for 30 days to prevent further harm while issue is being handled. CM2 will communicate their findings to the moderator, and annotate their account. The process is concluded here.

Unless I've misread the comments and clarifications on some of the other answers, Emergency Removal could be used for anything from an active security breach to acting out of character.

What happens if CM1 misreads the situation and overreacts when stumbling upon the initial problem, and initiates an Emergency Removal on the mod; the process concludes finding a violation did occur, but it wasn't what CM1 initially thought it was was, and in retrospect the Emergency Removal wasn't warranted?

On a first offense, if the Emergency Removal had not occurred, the mod would get a warning, but since the Emergency Removal did take place, now they can't be restored.

If you are looking for a fair process, the punishment should be determined by the mod's actions, not by CM1's reaction.


Is the Moderator Conduct Review Process the only process by which Stack Exchange employees (especially those who are not CMs) may remove a moderator? I assume the answer is yes, and I think it can be made clearer to reassure the community that there will be no de-modding coming out of unexpected places.

The answer that details the process is already in the context of how the Community Management Team will move through the process, and the question didn't seem to be explicit about any involvement by non-CMs:

This post lists two process by which formal complaints against moderators are handled by the Community Management Team.

This only states how the Community Management Team will handle them.

The Moderator Conduct Review Process is a process by which complaints against a moderator's conduct can be raised.

The indefinite article suggests there may be other processes.

  • 8
    No, the agreement says that moderators can be removed at any time at the discretion of Stack Exchange with no warning. Technically, the company isn't obligated to follow any process. It's in the company's interest to have removals be perceived as fair though.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 0:24
  • 2
    @ColleenV It looks to me that the best way to be perceived as fair would be starting to act fair instead of publishing non-binding documents stating they want to be fair. We do not need a flowchart to understand that the reasons for a removal should be clearly disclosed to the affected party, we would rather see SE actually doing it. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 7:25
  • @Goyo you won’t get any argument from me on that front.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:51

I have two concerns about the removal and reinstatement policies. The first is that SE maintains complete control over the process and the second is the lack of transparency in the processes.

I think removal should require agreement between a CM (i.e., an SE employee) and a site moderator (i.e., an elected/pro-term appointed moderator from the community that is not an SE employee) that the moderator in question should be removed. For the reinstatement process, I think blocking reinstatement should require agreement between a CM and a site moderator that the moderator in question should not be reinstated. The moderators to be involved in these processes could either be the non-employee moderators at MSE, randomly chosen from moderators across the network with more than N years of moderating experience, solicited from moderators in the TL on a first-come basis or something like that or really anything that gives community members a seat at the table.

In the removal process, this means CM2 and CM3 would be replaced by moderators. SE essentially gets two shots to convince a moderator that the moderator in question needs to be removed. In the reinstatement process, CM2 would be replaced by a moderator. If CM1 and the moderator acting as CM2 both want to prevent reinstatement, the process is concluded and the request is denied. If the CM1 wants to prevent reinstatement, but the moderator acting as CM2 does not, the process goes directly to the execution phase to be decided by the current mods.

In regards to transparency, I believe both processes should be private and only involve the individuals directly relevant. That said, I think it would be helpful, and not much work, to keep moderators aware that the processes are being used and working.

In the reinstatement process immediately after CM 1 is assigned I think a message should be posted in TL stating that a reinstatement request has been received from USERNAME at SITENAME. I then think weekly updates should be posted in TL stating where in the reinstatement process the request is. Finally, when the process is concluded a post in TL should be given stating which action ended the process (i.e., previous reasons, recent behavior, irreconcilable differences, precondition rejected, non-response, reinstatement).

For the removal process, just knowing that it is being used would be helpful. In the Emergency Removal Process (ERP) I think step 3.5 should be to post in TL that a moderator has been temporarily removed under the ERP. In the Regular Investigation Process (RIP) step 2.5 should be to post in TL that a concern has been raised about a moderator and that the RIP has been initiated. In both cases, once the initial notification has been given, weekly updates stating where in the process the investigation is should be made in TL. Finally, when the process is concluded a post in TL should be given stating which action ended the process.

Finally, I think yearly (quarterly if this happens a lot) summaries should be posted about how often the processes were used and what the outcomes were. This should be done publicly on either MSE or on a blog post as well as in the TL.

  • 12
    I like including moderators, but I don't think people should be able to volunteer for specific cases (too much risk of advocacy), and I am concerned that in some cases what's needed is an on-site moderator, not a random one. If a moderator was removed for reasons that are not public beyond the site, involving arbitrary other moderators increases the "splash zone", so to speak, from those actions. Even if a removal is initiated by SE rather than users, the model from the original removal process seems sound to me. If SE thinks a whole site has gone bad, that's a different problem. Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 23:56
  • @MonicaCellio I would really like to see moderators be involved, but I am not sure how they should be selected. The splash zone is not something I had even considered, but I would like to think that moderators can be trusted to be discrete.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 0:03
  • 2
    I've seen cases that reached CMs but should have been (and were) resolved on-site; no need to embarrass the mod involved more broadly. Moderators should be discrete, but also bear in mind that moderators on one site are often users on another, so you'd probably need to find mods with no involvement on the site in question to avoid that awkwardness. It's going to feel weird to, in the future, need to send a mod message to a mod who sat in judgement over you, right? Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 0:08
  • @MonicaCellio the moderator would only be involved in the removal if CM1 found grounds for removal and then any vote for removal from a moderator standing in for either CM2 or CM3 results in removal. This also minimizes the splash zone since it only goes forward if CM1 thinks there is a case.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 0:14
  • 3
    Oh, I missed the sequencing there. That does make it better, yes. We still need to avoid conflicts of interest, whether from volunteers with opinions or users of the site, but that's probably manageable. Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 0:17
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio none of this really matters because what is clear is that SE is not going to give up their total control of the removal process or their ability to block a reinstatement and they are going to keep everything hidden.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 0:22
  • 3
    Unfortunately, yes. Which is why going through it is dubious even if one was removed with due process, let alone the case where that didn't happen. Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 0:28

In Moderator Conduct Review Process, in the Discovery phase, section 4.2.1. Current words:

moderator access can be restored

Please replace "can" with "will".


In watching this for nearly month now, I'm convinced that a few factors will lead to this being a defining element of the future of online communities and moderators/moderation:

  • that this has continued to be a massive corporate screw-up
  • the high profile and respect the StackExchange community had up to this point
  • the unassailable reputation and image of the related mod
  • the conviction of those involved
  • the legal and media dimensions of the situation's evolution

One of the most ideal outcomes would be a fully public-sphere 'IRL' legal case and ruling. This would

  • break the (5th? 6th?) wall between online and real-life,
  • set valuable precedents, and
  • be hard to neatly control with divisive bipartisan political-media

For those reasons, I expect that each involved could find themselves allied with unexpected interest-groups.


Reinstatement process, Discovery phase, step 2.3:

If CM1 (and the team) finds reinstatement is possible and there isn't a need to establish a precondition, they'll just proceed.

Does this mean "Proceed to reinstate" or "Proceed to the next phase"?

  • 5
    Based on the flowchart it seems to be: "Proceed to the next phase"
    – divibisan
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 21:22
  • 2
    To the next phase, correct.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:04

Why two processes for removal of a moderator?

The 'Moderator Conduct Review Process' boils down to "Act first, then go through reinstation process".

If the request comes from a user/Stack Exchange employee or a moderator, the process is not the same. Why?

The starting point is the same, a mail to [email protected], depending on whom wrote the mail the moderator case will be evaluated with other moderators from the site or just by CMs...

That makes no sense, whomever the originating complain comes from the process should be identical.

The specific case of "issue causing immediate harm (security issue like a moderator's account appearing to be compromised, or moderator agreement violation as described above)." should just add a diamond removal immediately before proceeding to the rest of the process.


I have identified a potential optimisation to the process:

Execution phase 1.1 gives any existing CM moderator veto rights to reinstatement. If this veto step is carried out at the start of the process (during the CM selection/recusement of Discovery Phase 1) then the entire discovery phase can be skipped.

Execution Phase 1.1

If this consultation results in an unfavorable outcome (at least one mod in the current team strongly objects to reinstatement), the request is denied and the reasons for it will be stated back to PM. The process is concluded here.

Or maybe this veto right should be looked at as it seems to render a lot of the process superfluous.

  • The text you quoted is about objections from current mods on that site, not about CMs... It's the current site mods that have "veto rights", not CMs.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 3:50
  • @V2Blast Thank you, I thought they were the same thing. That clears up some of my confusion. Although the point remains that they could do that step first and save a bunch of the CM's time.
    – david
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 3:56
  • Ah. Yeah, the CMs are the actual company employees, as opposed to the elected diamond moderators specific to each site on the network (e.g. Cooking.SE).
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 4:04

Why is there no input from the community in the mod removal process (when there have been complaints, this does not apply to the emergency removal)? As I see it the communitie(s) that a moderator manages will have the clearest view about whether or not a moderator crossed a boundary. And they will be the people that know the moderator in question the best, as they probably deal with them on a more frequent basis. Which will help in deciding if it is a persistent problem or a having-a-bad-monday-morning one off issue. (I'm not saying that in a one off case no action should be taken here.)

There are a lot of different stack exchange sites, and each of them are unique and different. Because of this each site will have their own "unofficial" rules on top of the global CoC. A question that may be rude to ask on siteA may be completely acceptable on siteB, and vice versa. We can not expect CM's to know the ins and outs of every community, and know every moderator by heart. As there are just too many of them.

I know this issue is probably less obvious on big sites like StackOverflow that has a larger amount of mods, but on sites with only a handful (or fewer) mods I think just a CM's view may be insufficient, and a "Community vote" should be cast (may be as a "supplementary" vote instead of a binding one).

I also think this would help counter the defense of "The cm's reviewing me were biased", as it would be a vote cast by the entire community.

As mentioned in the comments, this may not be feasible due to privacy and confidential information, so my guess would be that the community gets to know the type of complaint. E.g "complaints about discriminating" or "Issues unbased suspensions", maybe providing additional information from the taken minutes, if this is needed.

  • 1
    I guess SE would say that in the interest of privacy the community can't be involved but I agree with you. There needs to be much more transparency.
    – Script47
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 8:44
  • @Script47 The privacy aspect is a good point. I suppose the community would only get to know the generic type of issue raised, and get the information about the minutes that the post itself stated can be released if the mods wish to do so.
    – Remy
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 8:47
  • A redacted version so to speak, that'd work.
    – Script47
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 8:49

Just a few quick remarks. I apologize if they overlap with other answers. Given that there are so many of them, it's difficult to keep the overview.

  • This is too much red tape (bureaucratic). Consider simplifying the whole process.
  • One way of simplifying would be to just state contracts and leave the implementation details to either be developed ad-hoc or for internal documents.
  • One contract that seems to be missing would be the right of the accused (in case of a removal) to get a detailed explanation of the accusations, the evidence and the reasoning from the "judgement team" in written form. I would appreciate if that could be added.
  • Instead of doing all that complicated CM1, CM2, CM3 ping-pong behavior, why not just say that always three CMs will meet and a majority of them decides. That's similar to how the close votes review process works. That might simplify some parts of the process.

Please include some more specific details about handling moderators who stepped down voluntarily and then wish to take up their positions again.

There was a recent case (which I do not wish to link to) wherein a moderator was semi-inactive for several years on two rather popular science sites. Apparently he would quietly handle a couple of flags or perform some other moderation-related activity which was completely invisible to the community (and did not leave any traces like comments in his recent activity page) every now and then. But there were absolutely no visible contributions from the last three years, and very few for several years before that. He played a huge role in setting up the site's policies when the sites were new, which is evident from the fact that he was the author of almost all canonical FAQ posts in about 2012. But a couple of years later, his participation suddenly shut down, and he did not mention any reason on meta or chat.

There was no evidence or reason to suspect that he was misusing his powers, and there was no reason to believe that he would return in the future and misuse the mod tools. Still, a high-rep contributor on one of the communities who had joined after the moderator had gone inactive said that he/she was somewhat concerned by the fact that someone with whom he/she had never interacted was a moderator. Concerns were raised regarding whether it is logical to have Moderator For Life positions, and some users claimed they would rather see a continuous stream of contributions or messages of some form from each moderator, just so that they can be reassured that no moderator's views had changed drastically from the position which got him/her elected.

A meta post was made asking whether the community would like this inactive-ish moderator to remain in his position. A month later, the moderator chimed in, explained how circumstances had changed in the real world and left him without the time to participate on SE, and resigned on both sites. This action was positively received and community members, moderators, and members of the SE community team thanked the moderator for his contributions.

I feel that in such cases, the community team needs to take a lot of care while re-instating the moderator. Over five years, the site's dynamics, rules, and values can change significantly, and the moderator needs to be made aware of that. While I do not believe that they should have to go through the whole process of re-election, I think that the moderator reinstatement process post should clearly state that the case of stepping down, particularly upon non-aggressive requests, is not considered trivial.


It is Time to be Incredibly Blunt Because You're Either Tuning Out the Community or Blind to the Truth of the Matter

(Please don't take anything I say as an attack. It isn't intended to be. I'm only observing what I see going on here.)

There is external context to why people are upset with the new policies. A person was removed for what people believe was a cross between either rash stupidity.trigger finger on the part of a moderator or on the more extreme case outright malice. Of course I'm referring to Monica. They got de-modded for something about a pronoun discussion gone south. Certainly not what I'd expect to be the source of a massive community upset, but I digress. I'm going to describe the issue in a slightly different issue as a timeline of events. This is the perspective of the community as I've observed mind you. If one day it were revealed that Monica were pulling wool over all our eyes, obviously this timeline would be wrong. However, perception is worth far more than the truth when you are dealing with politics and keeping a community happy (spoiler: they really aren't happy).

  1. Monica expressed dislike towards some new policy regarding pronouns.
  2. A fellow moderator or community manager or someone decided they felt this was Monica expressing prejudice feelings towards LGBT and other groups desiring the new policy.
  3. They requested she be removed under the grounds that people like her are simply not welcome.
  4. The request got expedited and she was demodded without any chance for appeal or community input.
  5. The people at stack exchange in an attempt to cover up the situation refused to provide her any information.
  6. The people at stack exchange either in error or in an attempt to cover up the situation spoke to the media and gave false statements that were degrading to her image.
  7. stack exchange creates new policies for removing moderators that may or may not help in future circumstances.

This is more or less what I pieced together. I'm going to now tell a fictional timeline of the B & O Railroad Company. I got that from Monopoly in case that spot on the board is named after an actual railroad. This is a fictional story.

  1. Foreman on the railroad wants to be able to get more tracks built in an expedited timeline.
  2. Foreman decides to contact a government official to try and get permits approved faster.
  3. Government official states that it can't go any faster due to various red tape and policies.
  4. Foreman bribes government official to bypass any need for inspections.
  5. Company is eventually charged with corruption.
  6. Company attempts to write inflammatory articles to try and discredit the government official.
  7. Company is legally forced to add more anti-corruption practices and to have a monthly inspection to prevent and discourage future bribery.

Now, while obviously one situation involves way worse problems and could potentially get people killed, if we only consider the question of which situation I would be more likely to believe could have a repeat offense, I would sadly have to say stack exchange. This is of course assuming the community isn't horribly misinformed (if we are, then provide the proof that corrects that belief).

Why is this?

Because bribery and other forms of unethical business practices can result in criminal charges and major fines, and a government will actively prevent that business from doing any further repeat offenses.

In other words, I don't necessarily trust that foreman to not want to bribe someone. I trust that he was arrested and thrown in jail and that anyone thinking of doing the same will be prevented by the routine inspections.

Basically, I would find a previously corrupt and weeded-out railroad more trustworthy and safer to interact with than the stack exchange following this incident. I am very glad that I am not a moderator, nor would I ever desire to be following this.

How does this relate to stack exchange?

You have no oversight. You did something comparably unethical (though obviously not even remotely as egregious) or made a mistake that at the very least harmed trust. Nothing prevents you from repeating the same incident. There are no consequences. We can't stop you. Clearly if this was a massive mistake, you can't seem to stop yourselves either. Policies are nothing more than things you can show off to the new guy being hired and say "hey, this is what you do in your job" if you have no means by which to punish people for not following the polices. Us being upset is clearly not an example as many comments in this question indicate that every angry person leaving the site would have little to no impact in the grand scheme of things.

Without consequences that force you as a company to be accountable for such actions n a truly meaningful way, there is no way that any policy will ever work. It is a pacifier, and we are not infants. We do not need to be treated as such.

With all of that out of the way, what can you do to improve?

First off I propose 3 "stages" of how to remove moderators:

stage 1. Full Transparency:

All evidence and all claims made against the moderator should be released publicly. The discussion itself should also be public. If an issue of revealing personal information comes up, and the person does not wish to divulge that information, then the information can be censored. Ideally the reporting member or staff member should fill out a formal complaint. If that complaint is deemed worthy enough to be heard, then a formal report should be posted to a meta post (locked from being editable) and possibly locked from being commented on and a basic summary should be provided of the post. Upvotes and downvotes could also be turned off. It can be completely locked to external interference. Just make it public so people can't randomly make up claims. kthx.

This step should never be skipped, ever, period. Even in the case of an emergency, a full and comprehensive report should be posted explained exactly what happened. If it is a legal issue and must wait until after the user is demodded, do so. But be specific. If a hack was performed or a bot went rogue or a user was a pervert stalking children, give details of what hack was performed or what bot broke down or mild details on the nature of the stalking. I respect that a child being stalked obviously makes disclosure more difficult. Granted, in the case of a child predator, I expect the moderator in question to be going to jail, in which case their mod status being revoked via a bypass of the policy is whatever. To be honest, I'd expect that to be a situation of permanent network ban without appeal. No matter what, give as many details as legally possible (including direct links to specific instances of the behavior and/or chat logs) to avoid confusion either from the community or the moderator. This will make a lot more sense when I get to stage 3.

stage 2. Moderator Defense:

Following the creation of such a meta post, there should be a period of at least a week whereby the moderator is expected to answer questions and bring any other people into the conversation they wish to bring in. Furthermore, it should be expected that the moderator provide an answer post to the meta post stating precisely why they believe they should not be demodded (or that they concede and wish to step down). This should be done properly and taking the person's schedule into account. If the person has a vacation and they won't be online, then that's a reasonable thing to take into account. Assume reasonable good faith. If it will be an extended period before they can be online to discuss it, then a temporary demod would be done just to prevent lying mods from getting out of having to undergo a formal hearing. In other words, don't allow blatant abuse of the system, but try to be cordial.

stage 3. Community Vote:

No matter what the case a community vote should be taken to allow the moderator to effectively be "impeached". The vote requirement could be based on the number of people voting. I don't know if a simple > 50% majority would work. I don't know what the turnout for such a vote would be. Even if the moderator has to be removed for legal reasons, a vote should still be held.

The only time ever period whatsoever that stages 2 and 3 should be violated is if every moderator that the sub site unanimously agree to demod the person, AND the user will be given a permanent stack exchange network ban following the demod.

In other words it should not be emergency behavior that triggers a bypass of stage 2 and 3. It should be criminal behavior. If the behavior could actually result in the person being sued by stack exchange or going to prison for cyber crimes, then obviously the community has no say. Arguably not even stack exchange has a say. You can't prevent the government from effectively demodding someone by proxy through the method of sending them to prison.

What are the consequences?

There have to be some. Otherwise abuse can and will inevitably occur. It is the nature of human beings. A system has to be designed such that any one malicious or foolish person cannot cause damage in a large manner. It is why the United states has a Bill of Rights containing seemingly innocuous and obvious things we would never question and why monarchies have tended to fall out of style in the modern world.

The community managers are employees, right? I propose that the first offense of not following the policy be met with a formal write-up to go on their personnel record. After a second time do whatever you do whenever someone violates a policy twice such as the policy of not mouthing off to your boss. Treat that policy as an actual important thing and not just a general guideline for the purposes of organizing chaos. Failure to follow that policy will in every occasion result in the community being upset and angry.

I close with the reminder that every time you violate the policy and I notice, I will remember that story of the B & O Railroad Foreman and how it is performing better at avoiding repeat offenses.

  • 2
    Just occurred to me that I never mentioned reinstatement. For those under the old policy, it would be the same process just with the moderator first requesting that a hearing be scheduled and then a CM fielding the request. For those under the new system; however, if you were impeached by the community then you're only reinstated by entering into the next election. No need to block you from a new election. If you change your ways and the community reelects, then that would be perfectly fine in my opinion. I'd add it up there, but I don't feel like editing that monolith right now.
    – user64742
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 7:04

What ways can moderators, and users, protect their accounts to reduce chances of their accounts being compromised?

As far as I know 2FA isn't possible with Stack Exchange.

Given that there's a chance at "CM 2 agrees with CM 1's conclusion" that a compromised account could be nuked from moderator-ship. I don't want to leave my account vulnerable and find out first hand what would happen to my account if it were compromised and committed CoC violations.

  • While I don't believe 2FA is directly supported, certainly nothing prevents you from using, e.g., a dedicated e-mail address for SE login purposes only (I do that) to reduce the possibility of the login e-mail address being discovered; and have a very long password (mine is random and on the order of 60 characters; I don't even know myself exactly how long it is). More generally, this feels like a good question for Information Security.
    – user
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 9:46
  • @aCVn I already have pretty good password policies, like yourself. Your comment seems to say the onus is on me to not get hacked, not on Stack Exchange for implementing security measures.
    – Peilonrayz
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:02
  • @aCVn I'm guessing probably 64 characters; that seems about right for password storage.
    – user474678
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:51
  • I would say it's a shared responsibility. Stack Exchange is in a position to implement support, but it's up to users to use that support appropriately. I would hope that anyone who ends up being a moderator are able to take steps to secure their account against unauthorized access; lack of specific 2FA support on the platform certainly isn't an excuse not to do as well as one reasonably can.
    – user
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:51
  • @JL2210 NIST SP800-63B § recommends allowing passwords ("memorized secrets" in NIST-speak) to be at least 64 characters long, so my standard passwords are slightly shorter. At some point there's a point of diminishing returns; a randomly generated alphanumeric password 60 characters long corresponds to log2(62^60) ~ 357 bits. There is no appreciable qualitative difference between 357 bits and, say, the 381 bits of a similar 64-character password; in both cases, it's difficult enough to crack that xkcd.com/792 applies in spades.
    – user
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 11:06
  • 2
    You can use a separate OAuth provider for login, e.g. Google, who supports 2FA. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 23:18
  • @Peilonrayz if someone bypassed the login itself or illegally accessed the user database, then that is indeed on stack exchange to implement better security. If on the other hand you use the email [email protected] with the password "abcd1234" and a user guessed that password and logged in as you, then that is definitely your fault for using an incredibly bad password. Not to claim that in either case the hacker isn't ultimately at fault for any problems they maliciously cause. Neither you nor se can control the actions of a hacker in an account they don't own.
    – user64742
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 5:53
  • @TheGreatDuck You've added nothing to the discussion that a CVn didn't.
    – Peilonrayz
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 5:55
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