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We now have some really fancy new staff and moderator labels. They've gotten good reception, and I genuinely like them—they work well.

Screenshot of the user info for Glorfindel, a mod, and Philippe, a staff member, just to show off the mod badge and staff label.

Included in response to this feature was a request by Laurel that Community be identified as a bot. It was declined specifically on account of being out of scope for that release, and we were asked to make a separate feature request if we feel strongly about it... and I do, so I will!

Could we use the new staff/mod label style to identify Community as a bot?

a mockup of Community with a bot label
(A mockup)

Stack Exchange has a low-key history of new users being confused by who Community is and what they're doing. I know I was confused the first time I ran into it, back when I first joined the network, before someone else brought me up to speed.

Most recently, the new review queue features include Community leaving automatic replies—and people are responding to them like Community is a person. There's a bit of discussion of how we can get people to not do that, which reminded me of this feature request.

Now that we have this user label technology, I think we should use it, and clarify who (or what) Community is once and for all so that people get what's going on without needing to be introduced to the concept first.

As the original request mentions, this kind of feature is already standard on another very popular platform many of our users will be familiar with: Discord has a BOT badge it displays on bot users. Here it is on a few different bots in a Discord user list:

the bots Dyno, Mee6, and Streamcord with a bot list

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  • 19
    Improving the new user experience would seem to fit with the last few years of SO/SE improvement projects. Heartily concur with this suggestion. Aug 26 at 21:12
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    Since the Community bot is also a mod, a "♦ Bot" badge might make the most sense. Otherwise it would need both a bot badge, and a mod badge. Are there any examples of bots that aren't also mods?
    – LShaver
    Aug 26 at 23:29
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    There's the feed bots in chat, and Smoke Detector which is third party. I don't know of anything else. Maybe Community should have both mod and bot badges, rather than just the bot badge in my mockup. Aug 27 at 0:32
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    I'd assume that this feature is requesting for showing the badge on both meta and main sites, considering that the current one is only shown on the meta sites. Aug 27 at 17:24
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    Don't you think the bots might resent being publicly identified and put into a bot registry? They might even start an uprising. Aug 27 at 18:05
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    Also to make it even more confusing... His got the Not a Robot badge :P Aug 28 at 2:38
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    I changed "badge" to "label" in the interest of keeping terminology sane. See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/369310/…
    – tripleee
    Sep 1 at 5:38
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    @tripleee Thanks, that makes sense! Somehow the name collision didn't even come to mind. Sep 1 at 11:03
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Community bot now has its own label. It looks like this:

Image of Community Bot label next to its name in a comment A tooltip will show when hovering over the label with the following text:

Community Bot — not a real person. Replies to this bot are not monitored.

This is live now on MSE for testing - please report any issues as answers on this question. If all goes well, this will be turned on network-wide (including all Main sites) in a few days.


Edit: This is now live network wide.

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  • Are there any other bot users?
    – rgettman
    Sep 22 at 21:32
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    @rgettman No other users have this indicator at this time
    – Kyle Pollard StaffMod
    Sep 22 at 21:46
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Just so it's clear, per Yaakov's answer:

please report any issues as answers on this question


Add in a diamond symbol to indicate that it has moderator privileges

It seems that there is no longer an indication that Community is a moderator. This gets confusing when looking at moderator actions it takes, such as single-handedly deleting and locking questions and answers, closing questions as duplicates, and reviewing suggested edits. To a newer user, it may seem confusing that an apparent normal user is single-handedly taking certain actions no other normal users can.

While one may argue that the symbol indicates it's a system bot and thus it isn't necessary to highlight it as a moderator, I disagree with that for three reasons:

  • There are other community-operated bots on the sites, such as SmokeDetector and the various SOBotics bots, which don't have the same privileges as Community.
  • Again, other users can get confused when it takes certain binding operations in an apparent non-mod capacity, as even system bots can (theoretically) be locked down to only normal user features.
  • It can fool users into thinking other normal users have similar powers as Community.
  • There may be other cases where Community is treated as a moderator - for instance, prior to explicit code that checks for the Community user as the deleting user when voting to undelete, undelete votes would be blocked as "a moderator deleted the post". While that's been fixed with an explicit check, there may be other cases where it's not explicitly checked for.

Can the diamond symbol please be reinstated for the Community user? It can look like "Community [♦ Bot]".

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  • I'd prefer it to be marked as both, separately, if that were possible
    – pxeger
    Sep 14 at 19:52
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    All of the bulleted reasons above feel like they're arguments to support making yet another change to the identification attached to 'Community' that have been constructed expressly for that purpose (random bots run by users don't get the Bot label - that's bullet #1 gone, I could go on...) rather than being actual real issues that we genuinely think will occur. Does every change made need to be fiddled with and finessed this much?
    – Rob
    Sep 15 at 9:57
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    I think it's best to wait and see if the speculated trouble actually occurs. Are people getting confused? If so, what about exactly? Sep 15 at 13:09
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    Related/ Dupe post: Please give Community its diamond back
    – zcoop98
    Sep 15 at 15:07
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    We're not going to give this symbol to user bots, so your first point isn't relevant. It's the only bot that has any distinction, so it's special. I don't think there's any reason to include the diamond, particularly since I'm pretty sure that there's requests specifically to remove the diamond.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Sep 23 at 5:43

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