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Moderator Agreement

In order to access the ♦ moderator functions, volunteer community moderators must review and accept the Terms of this Moderator Agreement. If this Agreement changes, existing moderators will be required to accept the new Terms to maintain their access.

The terms of the agreement

I acknowledge and agree that as a volunteer moderator on Stack Overflow and/or Stack Exchange sites (commonly referred to as the “Network” or the “Public Network”) owned by Stack Exchange, Inc. (“Stack”):

  • I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (and enforce it to the best of my ability).
  • I will abide by the current Public Network Terms of Service
  • I will abide by the Privacy Policy.
  • I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
  • I will abide by instructions from the Stack Community Team given in regard to a specific question, concern, discussion, or scenario where I am involved in my capacity as a moderator.
  • I acknowledge that, as a moderator, I have access to certain personal information about Stack employees or Stack Exchange users. Such personal information is likely subject to certain data protection and privacy laws and regulations (e.g., GDPR, CPRA, etc.). As such, I understand that I have certain obligations relative to my access and use of such data. Accordingly, in connection with my access to and/or use of Moderator-privileged personal information, I will abide by the following:
    • I will use such information solely in accordance with these Terms and other applicable policies, instructions, and procedures Stack provides to moderators.
    • I will not disclose or share this information with anyone who is not a moderator or employee of Stack nor with any third-party service providers.
    • I will not store or share this information outside of the Network for any reason other than communications with other moderators or employees of Stack, or when processing is reasonably necessary to carry out tasks related to moderator activities.
    • I will only use such information in connection with my performance as a moderator and for the benefit of the Network.
  • I acknowledge that, as a moderator, I may have access to non-public forward-looking plans about potential features and projects. I understand that I may not release those future-looking plans to anyone who is not a Moderator without prior written consent from Stack.
  • I grant permission to Stack to contact me about moderator-relevant content during my tenure as a moderator.

I acknowledge and agree that I am an independent volunteer moderator for one or more sites operated by Stack, and I am not an employee, agent, or representative of Stack, and I have no authority to bind Stack in any manner. I additionally acknowledge and agree that I am solely responsible for my statements and actions. I attest that my statements and posts do not represent the views, opinions, or actions of Stack.

Stack reserves the right to suspend or terminate moderator privileges at any time and may do so without warning if Stack determines these Terms have been violated. Stack will make reasonable efforts to ensure moderator removal follows Stack’s moderator warning/removal processes. Stack will inform moderators, via written communication, of the specific reason that their privileges have been terminated. Terminated moderators have the option to appeal termination through the moderator reinstatement and appeal process.

Stack agrees that it will:

  • Respect your privacy per the terms of the Privacy Policy
  • In the event of any third-party claims that are due to or arising out of moderators' good-faith efforts while performing moderation activities, Stack will not invoke the indemnification clause set forth in Section 8 of the Terms of Service. Stack will never seek reimbursement of the costs and attorneys' fees associated with the defense of such third party claims in these cases.
  • Get your explicit written permission before commenting to any media (including media outlets controlled by Stack) or independent reporters about you or your moderator actions as per our Press Policy.
    • Any comments made to the press that involve moderation or moderators must have the approval of at least one member of the Community Management Team. These comments will be kept as general as possible and will not touch on specific cases.
  • Allow you to resign your position for any reason without penalty or repercussions. As a volunteer, Stack respects your time and will release you from duty should you ask.
  • Operate “Stack Gives Back,” an annual program giving a predetermined monetary donation to selected charities in honor of our moderators.
  • Post any moderator-facing network-wide policy for a mandatory feedback review period of at least seven business days (as defined by standard Stack corporate business days) in the Stack Moderators Teams instance with the date by which feedback has to be posted. The post shall be tagged with the [policy-review] tag and featured to all moderators (for example by using the orange diamond notification). Stack moderators can provide feedback on the policy before it goes live. After this review, these policies (with any accepted changes) will be made publicly available.
    • Stack, including the Community Management team, cannot mandate that moderators take actions affecting non-moderator users without a supporting public policy that justifies such a directive. Exceptions to this are:
  • Announce changes to this Moderator Agreement no less than sixty days before the deadline to accept the new agreement with a period of at least thirty days for discussion and review in the Stack Moderators Teams instance.
  • Provide a process by which moderators can vote to determine if Stack has violated this Moderator Agreement. This process must be made publicly available, and any changes to it must undergo the moderator-facing network-wide policy review as outlined above.
    • If, by that process, moderators determine that Stack has violated this agreement, any related actions made during the violation will be retracted and nullified, and a public explanation and apology will be posted by Stack detailing the specific violation.
  • Provide support for moderator questions, requests, and concerns on the Stack Moderators Teams instance and/or the Teachers’ Lounge through designated processes, such as the Community Manager escalation team, and content on Meta escalated to staff by whatever formal documented process is in effect at that time.
  • Respect your right to speak openly to question and challenge policy (both publicly and privately, for instance, on the Stack Moderators Teams instance) without reprisal so long as such speech does not break the Code of Conduct, these Terms, or other published rules or standards.