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 delete and undelete any post made by anyone, and their deletion will prevent the author or users with high reputation from voting to undelete. This includes posts that they themselves made, even if they ordinarily wouldn't be able to delete (e.g. it's an accepted answer, it has an upvoted answer, etc.)
- They can migrate questions to any site in the Stack Exchange network, not just the sites normal users can vote for. They are also exempt from the restrictions that the destination site must have a tag that is used by the migrated question and cannot have an equivalent cross-posted question. (They are not, however, exempt from the restrictions that the question can't be more than 60 days old, or that the user who posted the question can't be question-banned or suspended on the target site.)
- They can clear the migration history of any migrated question, delinking it from the migration stub on the origin site. This prevents the question from being locked as a rejected migration in case it gets closed or deleted.
- They can lock and unlock posts. Locked posts cannot be voted on, commented, or changed in any way by regular users.
- They can redact post revisions — This requires two moderators, one to propose the redaction, and another to approve it.
- 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, 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 can remove questions on their own sites from the Hot Network Questions list.
- They have access to a special system that gives them priority access to contacting the Stack Exchange Community Team.
- They are exempt from the spam mask that appears to normal 10k+ users on deleted posts with at least one helpful spam or abuse flag
- They are not subject to the flag, close vote, delete vote, review count, etc. limits.
- They can't be suspended by other moderators.
* ♦ moderators can't use a small number of privileges, such as answering protected questions, voting in moderator elections, and not being prompted to comment when downvoting, which only check for the required reputation
How can I become a diamond moderator?
The simple answer: get elected as a moderator through a community election. These are run irregularly on many sites depending on when more moderators are needed for a site (e.g. if site traffic and thus moderation load increases, or if a moderator resigns or is removed). You can find full details on how the election process works are in the above link.
On beta sites, the initial "pro-tem" set of moderators is determined through a "pro-tem" election, which is an abbreviated form of the "full" election process that runs on full sites. These work largely the same, except there's generally no moderator questionnaire, and if there aren't more nominations than slots, the nominee(s) will win the election by default. These are run on brand new sites as well as irregularly as above. These moderators will serve until the site fully launches and the first "full" election is held.
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. (Prior to November 2018, Meta Stack Exchange had no community moderators, and before April 2014, 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 and are not considered part of any site's moderator team. 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?
Moderators who are elected in "full" elections get to retain their diamond for life or until they resign or are removed. The same applies for the special process for appointing moderators on full sites without elections.
If the moderator was elected in a "pro-tem" election, or was appointed under the former process for appointing pro-tem moderators, their moderator status ends when the site launches and the site has its first "full" election. To retain their moderator status after that, 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 moderator 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 are procedures for removing moderators in case the moderator's actions are causing issues with the community or among the moderator team, if the moderator violates the moderator agreement, or if rights need to be immediately revoked in an emergency.
Finally, moderator privileges of SE employees are revoked once their employment with SE ends. (Note that employees are required to resign from any moderator positions they hold prior to taking employment at SE, and so employees who were previously moderators will lose all their diamonds once they cease to be employees.)