Plan to introduce global moderators

Some actions which are sometimes necessary for moderation (such as suspending users and deleting certain content, see the documentation for a list) are not available to category moderators. Therefore, they are currently performed by members of @forums-governance upon request of category moderators.

As part of our goal to hand over moderator duties to volunteers selected by the community, we would like to introduce global moderators (called simply a “moderator” in Discourse). This is a user tier between category moderator and admin.


Their primary responsibility would be to implement sanctions that require higher account privileges, which they would do upon request by category moderators.

Global moderators should not interfere with the work of category moderators, so they would generally not act on their own initiative. However, we envision that they could act as a backup if a local team is falling behind on handling flags.

Selection criteria

We imagine that the established selection criteria would apply as for category moderators, except:

  • to be eligible, a user should already moderator in at least one category
  • they can volunteer for the role at any time and would be confirmed individually by achieving 80% approval in a poll

Request for feedback

Please provide your feedback to the idea on this thread. We’ll wait with further steps at least until our next internal meeting in 12 days to give you time to share your thoughts.


In principle, I support this project. In the past, it had already become apparent that it may be necessary to intervene more quickly with stronger moderator rights. Unfortunately.

Question: do the members of the forums-governance-team all have administrator rights?

It should be considered that global moderators should not intervene in the sub-forum with global moderator rights in which they are also category moderators. “Should not” means: in urgent exceptional cases it is nevertheless possible and permissible to intervene. In that case, however, a second global moderator (as soon as available) should check the measure. The possibility of an alleged or actual conflict of interest or even “abuse of power” by moderators should be excluded as much as possible through transparency.

Currently, all members of forums-governance are also admins. (The reverse isn’t true, some admins only concern themselves with matters of technical operations.)

I agree, this would be a good principle to follow.

I’m not sure how well the moderation guidelines are defined, but global moderators shall always either act by a request from a cat moderator or if wanted to act on their own behalf they ought to seek out cat moderators either before the action or right after it (and since there are no categories without moderators there are always cat moderators to ask). Generally they should be the slaves of the cat moderators and not vice versa.

Also I am not even sure to mention that no moderator shall do any moderation actions in any debate they are participant of (unless every moderator was in, which rarely happens, but not impossible).