Occasionally SE is used for doxing, or posts contain sensitive information that should be promptly removed.

As a moderator I just redacted such a post and am now notified, "Another moderator must approve your redaction"

Until a second moderator sees and responds to that redaction the sensitive information is public. Why require a second moderator to effect this change?

The legitimate purpose of redacting is to remove sensitive information. Delaying that seems at odds with that purpose. Furthermore, as a moderator I could unilaterally delete the post – a far more drastic action that takes effect immediately.

I can't think of many moderator actions that require a second moderator approval to take effect. Even if there is an argument for requiring the review of moderator redactions by a second moderator, in the case of redaction the redaction should take effect immediately and then it should be queued for review. Restoring potentially sensitive information is not urgent.

  • There might be some info here, but I haven't read the whole thing yet.
    – Ollie
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 15:47
  • ...But there's more here. See the end of the post: "This is done to avoid frivolous or misguided use of the tool to hide benign edits. When approving another moderator's redactions, have a talk with them if they do not appear to be warranted."
    – Ollie
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 15:49
  • 9
    I'm not a moderator but if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that redactions require more oversight than deletions because there is no trace of what exactly was modified (since that would defeat the purpose of redactions). So a malicious moderator could put words in someone's mouth, which could be considered worse than deleting. Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


Deletions on SE are non destructive. Tools like redactions are destructive by nature. If you make a mistake, there's no "undo" button. The second mod is there to ensure you didn't make a mistake.

Deletions are useful in getting something mostly out of view fast while you're dealing with an issue. It is a blunt tool, but one that can be undone.

  • 1
    If I remember correctly from my old 10k+ account - I could see deleted questions/answers so is "entirely out of view" the correct statement? (meaning is this just normal "delete" where its out of view for all non-10kers (varying based on site) or some mod-only "super delete" which then makes it only mod viewable) Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 3:36
  • 1
    CMs have never needed approval to redact; heck, in the old days we hard-deleted revision history to accomplish it. The two-key system was added for moderators specifically.
    – Shog9
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 4:45
  • Ah. The memory is a frail and fickle thing, especially for the sleep deprived 😁. I shall correct my answer. Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 5:50

From the FAQ:

This is done to avoid frivolous or misguided use of the tool to hide benign edits. When approving another moderator's redactions, have a talk with them if they do not appear to be warranted.

The post also says:

If you can't quickly redact problematic information in a given post, then delete it until you can.

Which seems a little drastic. I agree that the redaction shouldn't be delayed. Speed is a good thing when it comes to certain kinds of PII or similar content, so I like this idea. Even if I'm not a moderator.


I also see the sense in having another mod review the redaction. Redactions don't show what has been censored (obviously), so one dodgy moderator could use the tool for benign edits, like I mentioned above or worse, or just do something unintentional without anyone knowing. So it's nice to have speed, but better to have security. It would be great if we could somehow have both here.

  • 1
    Can you explain how deleting until you can get someone to look at it not a "both" solution?
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 5:08
  • @Catija That is a "both" solution... But 10K users can view deleted posts, can't they? That's only hiding it from some users.
    – Ollie
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 13:20

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