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: Site moderators should not be confused with certain Stack Exchange employees – such as Community Management Team members (community managers) – who often have diamonds as well, but are not ordinary moderators.

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  • 10
    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
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 15:29
  • 51
    We can remote view, we can close dupes even before you thought of the question, I can see your house from here :)
    – Kev
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


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.
  • They can only have their account destroyed for spam or ToS violations by the Community Management Team, not 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.)

  • 26
    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... Commented Jan 17, 2011 at 14:02
  • 14
    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
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 15:37
  • 24
    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 :-) Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 10:02
  • 7
    @celtschk There's a process for that now.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 17:25
  • 1
    @MarcGravell: Isn't there a 60-day statute of limitation to migrating old questions? Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 4:07
  • The last update was made in 2021, are you considering making a review for 2024 with the changes in the 2023 moderation agreements? Commented Feb 5 at 21:29

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.


  • ♦ 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.


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