This question is prompted by: Add a way for moderators to cast a normal, non binding close/open vote and Do moderators not have a way to just push a post into the close queue?. Basically, some diamond moderators don't always want to diamond-hammer close questions.

A workaround is to create a new account, earn 3000 rep, then cast regular close votes from that account.

Question: May a diamond moderator utilize a second, non-diamond account e.g. to cast regular close votes?

It is not a problem to have multiple accounts, as long as they aren't voting for each other and doing other sockpuppet-y things.
Jeff Atwood

I worry this might be considered "sockpuppet-y".

The diamond close hammer is sometimes excessive, particularly on smaller sites where moderators are sometimes the most active users.

  • 2
    As diamond moderators are highly trusted users, having a second account does not prevent the possibility of sockpuppeting votes. Instead, diamonds should comment to convince the community to closevote. Jan 3, 2020 at 3:44
  • 2
    You don't have to earn 3,000 rep; you can just earn 15 rep, then cast recommend closure flags. Jan 3, 2020 at 6:41

2 Answers 2


@Shog9's advice to moderators is:

When you see a post you think should be closed, close it. When you see a post you think should be re-opened, re-open it. If you're not sure, don't do either.

You are suggesting that when a moderator sees a question that they think should be closed that they have an option to use a second account to cast an ordinary close-vote.

They do not. Moderators are expected to moderate and not to equivocate.

Also, as commented by @RonMaupin:

Casting close and reopen votes requires 3000 reputation points

so the second account you suggest creating may be difficult to keep legal without accidentally having your accounts interact to one or other's advantage.


By right - as long as you don't use both accounts to vote, it should be fine.

There's three different things to consider - the user as an individual, the user as the account, and the spirit of what the rules are.

With things like suspensions and question/answer bans - its an explicit sign that despite having the ability to perform certain actions, for the period, you're not trusted to do so. In these situations the individual is not trusted, and the use of account circumvents restrictions.

With the moderator binding-closures, and to a lesser extent, the gold dupe-hammers, its a sign one has significantly more trust.

With an alternate account, done ethically, you've spent the effort to gain the trust on that account where you can get the closevote. I'd argue you've earned the right on that account to do a non binding close, and as an individual, you have not lost that trust

The spirit of the sock puppet rules, as we have them have always meant to be to prevent fraud. In use most alternate accounts do allow for users to test things as lower rep, have a separate 'service' or 'bot' account, or seperate their work and personal accounts.

Suggested edits are trickier - but you'd be able to do so anonymously, and its a common way for a chatbot to get reputation. I think for most part the community is ok with it.

Practically, the situations where you absolutely need a non-binding close vote get less over time, you either get the community to do it, or just figure you need to do eventually. Getting the 3k reputation itself is trivial (I have about 900 rep on my alt account, after giving away about 1.2k rep) - just that on most sites it doesn't matter as much.

  • Wouldn't using both accounts to close a question be sort of a waste? At least one of those is a binding vote. You shouldn't use multiple accounts to issue an Upvote/Downvote obviously
    – Ramhound
    Jan 3, 2020 at 6:12
  • Well yes. 😁 But let's not get stuck on the details. That's to say .. I forgot about it. Jan 3, 2020 at 6:15
  • The "possible duplicate" wishing expert(s) in the tag to confirm is the only real case I can think off. Jan 3, 2020 at 12:36
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    I usually deal with that with comments or chat abuse - both my sites have enough chat activity for the latter. Jan 3, 2020 at 12:38

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