I wonder whether a moderator on an SE site is allowed to apply to be a moderator on another SE site using another SE account.

For example, the use of another SE account prevents others from seeing the mod's actions on the other site: does that conflict with the policy on having multiple accounts?

The policy on having multiple accounts states:

A good rule of thumb for identifying abusive socks is: if the second account allows you to do something on the site that your normal account would be prevented from doing, it is abuse.

I don't know whether that precludes a moderator on an SE site from applying to be a moderator on another SE site using another SE account.

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    I'd imagine it would be prohibited if it's used to conceal the fact that the user was previously suspended on another site. However, this is still an interesting question if the user hasn't been recently suspended. Sep 16 at 19:20
  • 2
    (I did earlier this year post a question asking what happens to existing moderators for whom it's found that they didn't qualify to run for election at the time they ran - such as if they had a prior suspension within the past year or gained the required 300 reputation to nominate through voting fraud, but my question was heavily downvoted and was slated for automatic deletion. The comment thread was archived to chat, however, and remains publicly visible.) Sep 16 at 19:22
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    Let's keep this question 'generic', everyone. I know there's loads of bickering going on elsewhere, but the question can work as is and answered as if that bickering isn't happening.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Sep 18 at 8:33

3 Answers 3


Well -there's literally no rule against it as far as I know as of now.

The one potential problem I see is if the user's other account(s) are ineligible, by means of suspension within the last year - which would be doubly messy as a moderator.

You might also be in a situation where the second account meets the requirements and not the first - say if you maintain separate work and personal accounts, and happen to be active in a certain field asking work accounts.

I'd say that to an extent, the additional complexity of eligibility checking in general is a downside to such alternate accounts being nominated, moderator or otherwise.

I'd personally consider juggling 2 accounts as a moderator impractical - with my specific style of boots on the ground moderation. However on a site you're periodically checking in and have good reason to use an alternate account? It can be made to work.

I'd say its both in the spirit and letter of the rules, but dear $deity, its gonna be a lot of work. I'd probably discourage it but its still legit.

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    So no Aibobot running for moderator? What a shame… That's a user with true patience, especially after getting so many suspensions that happened through no fault of their own, able to work through conflicts so well they get almost instantly unsuspended XD
    – Laurel
    Sep 17 at 0:46
  • Alas no. Aibot's services for moderatorial science are appreciated however, and he does an admirable job propping up the bar in the chat sandbox. I think we can consider the honorary RO-ship there a wooden spoon prize
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Sep 17 at 0:51

There is no rule against this that I know of. But I do think that becoming a mod on separate accounts can potentially be problematic if you do not disclose it.

To become a mod you need to get appointed or elected. In both cases the people selecting you or voting for you need to evaluate your conduct and decide whether to support you. Using socks does mean that part of that conduct isn't visible for that decision.

In the nomination users that are already mods on another site essentially always mention this fact. It is relevant to the voters and is something that candidates should disclose. It is usually a positive aspect, but also has some negative parts e.g. regarding the time you can commit to that additional site. If you use a sock for the nomination and don't declare it, this hides that aspect from your nomination

Now I think there are valid reasons to use socks and I don't want to forbid this. As long as you're careful about avoiding interacting with your other accounts and are not using them to hide any problematic behaviour it's perfectly fine. But if you have behaved in some problematic way and hide this by using separate accounts, I think that is a problem for a moderator.

But I also don't expect this to be a big issue in practice, I'm not aware of any case like this. So I don't think we necessarily need an explicit rule here, but I would expect aspiring and current mods to exercise good judgement in cases where using different accounts might hide relevant information from the people appointing or electing you as a mod.


Community Moderator Elections does not require users to disclose their participation on another network site, to disclose having multiple accounts, and to link their account to something that could identify them as individuals, like a government ID, a LinkedIn account or as a standard requirement.

In situations like this, we should make special efforts to emphasize that communication with the community starts from a good faith stance. It's assumed that the audience has come looking to contribute to achieving the community goals and that the community members will do their best to contribute constructively.

It's expected that if someone has a recent suspension on any Stack Exchange site, no matter which of their multiple accounts that suspension was applied or if any other other participation criteria are not met, the user will refrain from participating as an election candidate without requiring the intervention of something or someone to block it.

Still, there are several measures in place to prevent misuse and abuse. It's well known that there are flags and a Contact form for the community to help with this effort. Still, there are also tools for Community Moderators and Community Managers to monitor community activity, which I think should not be disclosed publicly to protect their effectiveness and the moderator agreement doesn't allow to reveal information that is intended for moderators only.

I don't know if there has been an election where the questions for the nominees have asked anything related to this. It might be possible that someone in their description might share about their moderation experience or that someone has mentioned something about the interaction with one of the nominees. But if this has ever happened, this was anecdotal, random.

There are possibilities that there have been natural persons having multiple accounts and being moderators on more than one account without being noticed by the general public, hopefully, because they are using multiple accounts for legit purposes, like using one for professional matters or another for leisure matters.

If you have a fair concern about the general Community Moderator Election process, you should create a .

Be careful to request to start a witch-hunting. There are several demands from the community and very few resources.

Here is a bit about my recent experience handling multiple accounts as a moderator


  1. Don't use multiple accounts to circumvent restrictions.
  2. Don't use one of your accounts to interact with another account: don't do anything that might affect the reputation or the status of a post, message, flag or vote done with one of your accounts.
  3. Don't simulate having a discussion / debate about the policy or post.

Note: I'm not using multiple account accounts to handle a chatroom bots.

During the moderation strike, I used an alternate account on the site that I moderate and announced this on a meta post. This account has my full name and uses an email from my domain, so anyone with access to PII could identify that both accounts belong to me without going into technical logs.

The site account of the alternate account is now deleted, and I have requested to associate the posts made with the alternate account to my moderator account.

To help me handle my accounts, I use multiple web browser profiles and user scripts to disable buttons to prevent prohibited actions.

The alternate account is being used in the GenAI site. In the GenAI Stackholders chatroom, it's known that both accounts are mine. Anyone thoroughly following this chatroom should have noticed this. On GenAI meta, I made a post with this account about the Stackholders group to not have to explain this. As I don't plan to post anything else, I deleted my GenAI account.

I might only keep these accounts on Stack Overflow, my main account, to participate in the tags I have been participating in for a long time and the account I'm using on GenAI for related stuff.

One of the advantages of having multiple accounts, using them to handle the participation on different topics separately, is that each topic has its inbox, reputation, etc., I.E. I can't take some time off from moderation but continue posting questions and answers without being annoyed with notifications related to moderation affairs, without having to add another user script to handle them.

  • 1
    Why new answer instead of editing your existing answer? 4 hours ago
  • Because I don't want the new users to see the Rev 1, there are major changes, is not just a spelling, grammar fix, or alike.
    – Rubén
    4 hours ago
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    I'm not sure you're aware (and this shouldn't be interpreted as any indication of your particular situation) but we actually do consider network-wide behavior of election candidates. We prevent users who have been suspended anywhere on the network in the last year from running in an election. While this doesn't require disclosure, use of multiple accounts would circumvent these checks.
    – Catija StaffMod
    3 hours ago
  • @Catija, I know that. You, the company, should evaluate the convenience and implications of going deep into linking accounts to human beings in a traceable way and making that mandatory, i.e., in an election.
    – Rubén
    2 hours ago
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    I can understand that, in the perfect case situation that might be really great to do, but this situation has never happened before, as far as I'm aware. Building tooling to address users using two accounts as "main" accounts and wanting to be a moderator on each ... just doesn't make sense. We have so much stuff we need to build, this isn't even close to a priority. I can understand why you've opted to split your accounts the way you have and I generally don't have any issues with that... that doesn't mean I think it's a good use of our time to build tools to explicitly allow it.
    – Catija StaffMod
    2 hours ago
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    The first sentence of your answer specifically states that disclosure is not "required" and you focus on the voting and election tools. While that's not incorrect, I'd say that omitting the fact that we do have systems in place to review network-wide behavior is ... uh... leaving out something that's very important. So, yes, I do think that at least recognizing that such checks happen would improve this answer significantly, particularly as I'd like to understand your thinking on this aspect of elections in relation to your stance.
    – Catija StaffMod
    2 hours ago
  • @Catija I have edited my answer. Is it better?
    – Rubén
    1 hour ago

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