What special privileges do diamond moderators have?
Diamond moderators are human exception handlers. The main function of diamond moderators is to follow up on flagged posts but they also have some special abilities necessary to handle rare exceptional conditions:
- They have access to all the abilities and privileges of 25k users regardless of their reputation.
- Their votes are binding. Any place that requires a consensus of multiple users — closing, reopening, deleting, undeleting, reviewing, marking as spam, etc — a single moderator's vote will reach the threshold and take effect immediately.
- They can lock and unlock posts. Locked posts cannot be voted on, commented, or changed in any way.
- They can see more data in the system, including vote statistics (but not ‘who voted for this post’) and user profile information.
- They can view all deleted posts on an individual user's profile.
- They can place users in timed suspension, and delete users if necessary.
- They can perform large-scale maintenance actions such as merging questions and tags, approving tag synonyms, migrating questions to any site without regard to its tags, and so forth.
- They can convert a post into Community Wiki status and remove the status from any post.
- They can convert an answer into a comment.
- They can edit or delete any comment at any time and can undelete any comment not deleted by the user who posted it.
- They can (at their discretion) clear and cancel a bounty, which recalculates the bounty owner's rep as if they never placed it.
- They are not subject to the flag, close vote, delete vote, review count, etc. limits.
How can I become a diamond moderator?
The initial "pro-tem" set of moderators on new beta sites is hand-selected by Stack Exchange staff, usually through a nomination post on the site's per-site meta.
Occasionally, Stack Exchange staff may host additional calls for pro-tem moderators during the beta phase. For long-running betas, staff may hold an election to allow for the community to vote on further pro-tem appointments.
As these communities grow, this initial set is replaced by elected moderators. Further elections are called by the Stack Exchange staff as needed. You can read about moderator elections here: How Elections Work.
On Area 51, there are no community moderators, with the only moderators being Stack Exchange staff (see below). On Meta Stack Exchange, Stack Apps, and Ask Patents, community moderators are appointed by staff, with no elections. (Previously, Meta Stack Exchange was moderated entirely by SE staff, and before the split from Meta Stack Overflow was moderated by "Trilogy" - Stack Overflow, Super User, and Server Fault - moderators.)
Who are the diamond moderators? How many are there?
Each site has its own set of diamond moderators, which is listed on the Users page (
/users?tab=moderators) for the corresponding site. Per-site metas share the same moderators as their respective main sites.
You can also view a full list of diamond moderators on the Stack Exchange network and on which sites they are moderators.
In addition, members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. team have the option to carry diamonds on any site. They are not listed on the moderators page. They are the only moderators on Area 51.
Finally, the Community user on all sites is a system user profile that takes credit for certain automated system actions. For more information, see Who is the Community user?
How long does a moderator's term last?
If the moderator was elected during an election that took place after the site graduated, or was appointed under the special process for appointing moderators on Meta Stack Exchange, they generally retain moderator status for life.
If the moderator was appointed as a "pro-tem" moderator on a beta site, or was elected during an election while the site was still in beta, their moderator status ends when the site graduates and the new moderators are elected. To retain their moderator status after graduation, they must nominate themselves as a candidate and be elected.
If the moderator gained their privileges by virtue of becoming an employee at Stack Exchange, their moderator status lasts as long as their employment lasts.
Aside from the above rules, there are a few cases where a user's moderator diamond may be removed. First, moderators may resign from their post at any time.
Second, inactive moderators who haven't performed a single action for the past six months will be contacted and asked if they wish to continue being a moderator. If there is no response or if they respond "no", their privileges will be removed.
Third, there is a procedure for removing moderators in case the moderator's actions are causing issues with the community. This can be activated either by a 2/3 vote of the moderators, or by the SE team in response to community input. Once activated, if 2/3 of the other moderators participating in the proceeding vote for removal, the moderator's privileges are revoked.
Finally, moderator privileges of SE employees are revoked once their employment with SE ends. If the employee was a moderator on one or more sites at the time of employment, their privileges may be retained on those sites when their employment ends, provided they're still eligible to have it per the above tenure criteria.