Some people have a diamond after their username (e.g. Michael Myers ♦)

  • What special privileges do diamond moderators have?
  • How can I become a diamond moderator?
  • Who are the diamond moderators? How many are there?

For more information, see Who are the site moderators, and what is their role here? in the Help Center.


Note: not to confuse with certain Stack Exchange employees, for example Community Team members or "community managers", who often have diamonds as well, but are not ordinary moderators.

Return to FAQ index

  • 5
    Just remember that mods are like human exception handlers. Everything that has to go through a try catch block is going to take longer processing time to get through, same for things that require a moderator. There's only so many of us out there. – jcolebrand Jul 28 '11 at 15:29
  • 31
    We can remote view, we can close dupes even before you thought of the question, I can see your house from here :) – Kev Jul 28 '11 at 17:39
  • @Ruben That tag is not relevant here; the bottom paragraph specifically states it's not about employees. – Sonic the Inclusive Werehog Sep 18 at 22:45
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog from the accepted answer "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.", so I think that it's relevant. – Rubén Sep 18 at 22:48
  • @Rubén The only reason why that paragraph exists in the answer is so that people recognize that not every user with the diamond is necessarily a community moderator. The question is not about them, and the tags should be based on the question. – Sonic the Inclusive Werehog Sep 18 at 22:50
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog: Tags could be included based on answers content. By the other hand, the question says "Some people have a diamond after their username", stackexchange-team have the option to have the ♦ next to their username. – Rubén Sep 18 at 22:52
  • @Rubén The bottom paragraph still states it's specifically not about staff members. Tags are always decided based on the question's content. – Sonic the Inclusive Werehog Sep 18 at 22:59
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Noup, the last paragraph doesn't say that. The last paragraph mentions Community Managers not Stack Exchange Team. – Rubén Sep 18 at 23:06
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog: I still think that the discussed tag should be included because the accepted answer still mentions the Stack Exchange Team – Rubén Sep 18 at 23:21
up vote 103 down vote accepted

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 Meta Stack Exchange and Area 51, there are no community moderators, with the only moderators being Stack Exchange staff (see below). On Stack Apps and Ask Patents, community moderators are appointed by staff, with no elections.

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 Meta Stack Exchange and 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, 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.

  • 20
    As a small side-note, the ♦-folk may also include SO employees where needed for admin purposes. Of course, the real trick is managing to get ♦ through both routes... – Marc Gravell Jan 17 '11 at 14:02
  • 8
    Since diamond moderators are (mostly) voted on, is there also a way to vote them out if they turn out to not be as trustworthy as thought? (Note that this is a generic question; I have no indication that this problem exists for any current moderator, and don't want to imply it does) – celtschk Mar 4 '12 at 15:37
  • 14
    This is the official answer across all sites, including non-technical ones. Perhaps it is time to retire the "Exception Handler" metaphor for the non-programmers? - and for the C programmers :-) – Oddthinking Mar 27 '12 at 10:02
  • 5
    @celtschk There's a process for that now. – Adam Lear Dec 10 '12 at 17:25
  • @MarcGravell: Isn't there a 60-day statute of limitation to migrating old questions? – Deduplicator Dec 13 '14 at 4:07

Community moderators (people with a ♦ next to their name, who aren't Stack Exchange employees) have a number of abilities beyond other users.

  • They have all the privileges of users with the highest reputation level for their site, regardless of their reputation.
  • Wherever users with sufficient privileges can vote (such as when closing questions or creating tag synonyms), a ♦ moderator's vote is binding and takes effect immediately.

The list of moderators on a site is shown on the "moderators" tab of the Users page, e.g. for Stack Overflow. Per-site metas have the same moderators as their respective main sites. Meta Stack Exchange and Area 51 have no community moderators, and are moderated only by Stack Exchange staff who have diamonds (usually developers and the Community Team).

All community moderators must accept the moderator agreement, which essentially states that they must only use their abilities (including access to confidential information) for the good of the site.

Actions on posts (questions and answers)

Moderators can:

  • add some canned notices to posts;
  • lock posts;
  • merge a question with a duplicate;
  • redact revisions of a post (meant if private information is posted accidentally, requires validation by a second moderator);
  • delete and undelete posts with no restrictions;
  • set or remove the community wiki status of any post;
  • remove and clear the bounty on a question, which recalculates the owner's rep as if they never placed it (note that this is only done in exceptional cases, e.g. bounty set on an off-topic question that should be closed);
  • check a post's ongoing reviews directly from a link in the post;
  • move the comments on a post to chat;
  • migrate a question to any site, provided it's not more than 60 days old (only SE staff can migrate after 60 days);
  • edit the edit summary on edits to posts.

Moderators also have a few tag-related abilities:

  • Moderators can remove tag synonyms, and can merge two tags into one (i.e. make all questions that have tag A quietly have tag B instead). The merge ability can be used to rename a tag. Moderators cannot remove a tag except by renaming it.
  • Moderators can create any tag, even one that differs from an existing tag only by pluralization or hyphenation.
  • On Meta sites, a few tags (shown in red) can only be added or removed by moderators, e.g. , and all status tags.

Furthermore:

  • ♦ moderators can edit or delete any comment.
  • ♦ moderators can view deleted comments.
  • ♦ moderators can search for deleted posts (questions and answers) and view them on user profiles and via search by using the deleted:1 operator.
  • ♦ moderators can see all flags and dismiss them.

Actions affecting users

Moderators can perform maintenance and disciplinary actions related to user accounts:

  • suspend or delete accounts, or contact users privately;
  • ban users from reviewing and look up automatic bans;
  • edit all fields in user profiles.

For these duties, the ♦ moderators on a site have access to otherwise-confidential information about an account:

  • the private parts of user profiles (email, full name, etc.)
  • IP addresses that the account was accessed from
  • a history of logins, profile edits, etc.
  • flag history
  • some voting patterns that are considered suspicious (but not details of which posts a user voted on).

If a moderator accesses a user's personally identifiable information, the action will be logged and visible to SE staff.

Site-wide actions

Most site-wide effects are reserved to Stack Exchange, Inc. staff. There are a few actions that are open to community moderators:

  • Edit certain help center articles (parts of /tour, top of /help, part of /help/on-topic).
  • Set up custom close reasons under “off-topic” (requires validation by a second moderator).
  • A few more site statistics (total views, common search keywords, …) are available to ♦ moderators than are available with the 25k privilege.

Site moderators are also chat moderators.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .