I was wondering if the moderators could get an official e-mail account for their moderating activities like notifying users via e-mail. I’m a little worried about using my private one for these activities.

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    You really never post on Meta do you? Only 101 reputation. Feb 21, 2010 at 17:58
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    He never had a reason to post on Meta until Loki (in the form of Sam152) set him up as a moderator candiate... Now we must all face his terrible vengeance!
    – Shog9
    Feb 21, 2010 at 18:00
  • @Chacha102: First post. ;-)
    – Gumbo
    Feb 21, 2010 at 18:00
  • I put in a similar request at the footer of this question meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17173/…. Glad to see it's not just me that could use it (though my need for it has diminished). Feb 21, 2010 at 18:23
  • Well, erm, welcome to meta! Feb 21, 2010 at 20:29
  • Unrelated but, how did you start with 101 rep? I thought you started from 1 normally, and from 201 if you linked your accounts? Feb 21, 2010 at 20:34
  • @Koper: linking gives you a 100pt bonus. AFAIK, there was a very brief period wherein you could get the bonus multiple times for multiple associations, but I'm pretty sure that was resolved long ago...
    – Shog9
    Feb 21, 2010 at 21:21
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    @Koper - it's only a 100 bonus for linking accounts and then only if one of the accounts has more than 200 rep.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 21, 2010 at 21:21
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    @Shog9 :D I'm glad he won. Gumbo is awesome. Congrats on the win.
    – Sam Becker
    Feb 22, 2010 at 8:28
  • Why is this "status-completed"? Do the moderators got an official e-mail now? :o
    – cregox
    Mar 24, 2011 at 15:26
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    @Cawas: We now have an internal private messaging system (from moderators to users only) that makes e-mails obsolete.
    – Gumbo
    Mar 25, 2011 at 7:51
  • @gumbo oh, ok. that sounds more like Jeff! he hates e-mails. someone should include it as answer which you could accept.
    – cregox
    Mar 25, 2011 at 14:30
  • @Cawas: No. The reason for that was rather that although moderators have access to the users’ e-mail addresses they should only be used for severe cases. Additionally, we needed to use our own e-mail addresses to send e-mails from. And besides our private e-mail addresses should stay private as well they are not that authentic than official e-mail addresses.
    – Gumbo
    Mar 29, 2011 at 16:59
  • @gumbo "no"? We can always reason against things we don't like. But that doesn't even sound like the case of your reasoning here - I can see none against, let's say, you having a "[email protected]" to attain an official mean of communication off site. And before I meant I thought weird finally seen SO team finally using e-mails for something - so weird that it was actually a wrong assumption! :D
    – cregox
    Mar 29, 2011 at 22:48

3 Answers 3


A user's take:

I've never received a moderator email, but I would expect such a thing to come from the stackoverflow.com domain.

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    Or the domain of the site in question.
    – Richard
    Feb 22, 2010 at 9:51

Currently only e-mails from Jeff (et al) come from stackoverflow.com.

A definite plus to centralization here would be that if we were performing the e-mail through the system, it would provide very clear tracibility / visibility / etc, rather than relying on separate communication as necessary. It would also make it impossible to spoof a telling-off (especially if the e-mail only contained a link, and all moderator messages were on-forum - although that might make it tricky to send a "your IP has been black-listed because...").

Having all comms via the envelope in the header bar is an interesting option; essentially limited private messaging on the site, as discussed here.

The downside is that reply e-mails become a problem; where does that go? Many times a moderator e-mail has had more than one message. The ♦ mods do not have open access to the "[email protected]" inbox (and I'm not sure I'd want to), but how does the user reply? The only thing I can think is "on the forum", but then you are building more and more into the system for what is largely an exceptional case. Moderator e-mails are not an everyday thing, thankfully.

My e-mail address is pretty-much open anyway, so I'm not hugely fussed, but there is always the "do I really want to advertise myself as an attack-surface to somebody who is already misbehaving".

For the most part it kinda works as is.

Finally, I'm also not a huge fan of anonymity - I stand by any comments I make as either a moderator or user - so even if it was centralized I think I'd prefer it to come from "marc@..." than "mods@...".

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    user@site seems perfectly appropriate... a degree of authority and accountability without the unnecessary complexity required for on-site private messages. For all its faults, email is at least familiar and well-understood... and doesn't require the creation and debugging of new client software.
    – Shog9
    Feb 21, 2010 at 20:30
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    @Shog9 - true, true; maybe a "send an e-mail" button on the site plus some simple e-mail forwarding (so [email protected] is forwarded to my gmail) would get things working without any significant effort. Feb 21, 2010 at 20:36

To be honest my e-mail address is public information and on my profile, so I have never had an issue sending from my visible account. It is extremely rare that I do mail a user, at most twice a month.

The question is also raised if each site in the trilogy should have a separate account or a combined account for all moderators?

With Jeff's intense dislike of email I will be keen to hear his opinion. I am however not against the idea.

  • Just wondering, can you number reasons (or links to) why Jeff dislike e-mail so much? I'd love to see at least 1 good and strong argument but I haven't seem any yet. I think he was abused by e-mails as a child.
    – cregox
    Mar 24, 2011 at 15:24

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