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Is there any difference between a 10K user with access to the mod tools and a Community Moderator besides the title and that diamond next to the username?

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    Realistically, the tools 10K users have access to are little more than statistics. They do have their uses, particularly for housekeeping purposes, but don't really grant us any more power than we had prior to 10K. We still have to vote on things, just like everyone from 3K upwards. – John Gardeniers Feb 22 '11 at 4:30
  • Adding to John's comment, the tools and review sections are quite useful for finding outliers and helping to cleanup. Otherwise they're nothing special, anyone could collect the relevant statistics and crunch the same numbers. – Chris S Feb 22 '11 at 13:28
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Quite a bit, actually. I've seen both sides so can tell you. A selection of differences.

  • When a Mod votes to close a question, it gets closed immediately. 10K users have to vote the same as 3K users. This is perhaps our most visible power and even has a name: The Mod Hammer.
  • The ability to unilaterally delete questions, even open ones.
  • The ability to delete answers. Everyone else has to spam-flag them.
  • Able to merge and suspend users.
  • Unilaterally merge tags, everyone else has to vote to create synonyms.
  • Deal with the moderator-flag queue. Any time you mod-flag something the mods have to review them.

What's more, there are a few more analytical tools available on the mod-console that the 10K console doesn't have. It's mostly used for finding misbehavior trends like circles of sock-puppets upvoting things. We generally don't have that kind of problem on SF, though I hear on SO it's very useful.

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    Interesting stuff... Thanks! [Also edit any comment, forgot that one --sysadmin1138] – BenGC Feb 21 '11 at 22:11
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    ^ very good! :D – BenGC Feb 21 '11 at 23:50
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We try to capture this, and keep it up to date, at

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/05/a-theory-of-moderation/

Let me know if it needs to be updated in any way.

  • Users at 15k can protect questions now too (though they have to be a certain age; maybe Mods can do it even for new questions?), not just mods (as the blog suggests). Otherwise; thank you for the updated and authoritative article! – Chris S Feb 22 '11 at 13:24

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