I had previously asked a question about the procedure for removing moderators who become inactive from moderating their site, and the answer basically boiled down to this: a moderator has to take at least one moderator action every six months to avoid having their privileges potentially removed for inactivity.

Now, if a moderator gets hired as a Stack Exchange employee (which isn't an uncommon occurrence) and their specific job title entitles them to hold moderator rights across the network, they will (obviously) continue to hold moderator rights on sites where they were previously elected/appointed, regardless of the above inactivity policy, for as long as they're an employee.

Additionally, from what few cases I've seen, once such a moderator ceases their employment, they'll still continue to hold moderator rights on sites they were previously elected/appointed on (unless the site changed phases/graduated in the meantime).

Moderators who get employed by SE often don't continue to moderate their sites while they're an employee - most of their time now gets taken up by their job duties. As such, it's possible that they may not have time to perform at least one moderator action on sites they previously moderated during their time as an SE employee - which would ordinarily lead to them losing their moderator rights under the inactivity policy, the only barrier to that being their staff moderator right entitlement.

Considering these, are former moderators who later become SE employees still expected to take at least one moderator action on sites where they were previously elected/appointed as moderators while they're an employee, to avoid their moderator rights on that site being removed once they cease their employment? Or will they still get to retain their rights, being exempt from the inactivity policy since they were active in their duties as a staff member?

(The inactivity process I linked does mention that an election/appointment has to take place to fill in the gap before the inactivity removal can be carried out, but said election/appointment already takes place shortly after the moderator becomes an employee, so that stage is usually unnecessary once they cease employment.)

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    Why do you need this information? What is it good for? Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 0:38
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    @πάνταῥεῖ First, I have an innate curiosity as to the inner workings of Stack Exchange. Second, there are at least two current SE employees (won't disclose them specifically) who were elected or appointed moderators before being hired, and haven't performed at least one moderator action every six months on the sites they moderated previously; I'd like to know if they'll lose their privileges on those sites once they cease their employment with SE. Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 0:41
  • The process isn't automated and doesn't have strict, inflexible rules. I'd imagine they'd use common sense: when they're hired they're no longer moderators. When they leave the company, they resume their position of an elected moderator (if desired). Also, where are you getting the information that they haven't performed any moderator actions? You can't see which flags they've handled, comments they've deleted, or users they've contacted/suspended.
    – ert
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 2:15

1 Answer 1


Remember that when a moderator is hired as a Stack Exchange employee, they have to step down as a volunteer moderator. The inactivity is irrelevant - a red herring - they weren't a mod during their employment, so they weren't an inactive moderator.

So, now that's clear, this is the sort of thing that's going to depend on the situation more than anything but the answer is kinda already laid out in the moderator reinstatement process.

There's not actually any reason for us to special case departing employees. If the employee wants to be reinstated, they can request reinstatement and we'll follow the process. It'll likely come down to just asking the mods on the site whether they have any concerns. Something similar has been done for others in the past and I don't have any reason to think we'd change it going forward.

Also, even if you still want to call them "inactive", there's nothing in the reinstatement process prohibiting mods removed for being inactive from requesting reinstatement and getting their diamonds back. So, again, the answer is the reinstatement process.


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