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There are several ways to contact moderators when it is needed.

  • Flagging a post or comment for their attention.

  • Pinging them by a @moderator comment beneath the post.

  • Going to moderators' chat room for talking to them publicly.

  • Emailing them privately regarding the problem.

Question 1: Is there any difference between above options for contacting moderators depending on the seriousness of the situation? What are examples of those cases which a typical user should use one of these options but not the other because choosing a wrong option can make noise?

Question 2: What is moderators' email address in MSE?

Remark: As this question is directly related to moderators and the way that they prefer to be pinged by users, it would be very nice if we have a moderator's answer here.

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    $\begingroup$ When contacting moderators in their function: Don't do 2 or 4. Only do 3 to obtain clarification or general information. Use 1 in any concrete case. You can also request a private chatroom if custom-text flagging and public chat are not enough. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin Please expand your comment to an answer with more explanations if it is possible. $\endgroup$
    – user180918
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ Your second question is a duplicate of this. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure why this is being downvoted. It's a valid question; the right answer just happens to be "most of those methods you suggest are wrong in most cases." $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ @anorton According to my very long experience in many SE communities I can say that people usually vote to "poster" not the "post". So it is just a matter of your popularity in Meta and no one should feel bad about these down votes. $\endgroup$
    – user180918
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ In connection with the question about emails, I will add link to this: Is it possible to contact (the whole) moderators team using e-mail. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 7:35

1 Answer 1

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I will refer to the case of contacting moderators in their function.

  1. Don't ping. Pings don't work on all posts (user has to be involved somehow), may not be seen because of various quirks in the notification system, and restrict you to a single moderator (whereas you need a moderator). Also, comments are ephemeral and may be deleted at any point in time.

  2. Don't e-mail. Moderators are in function on Maths.SE. Anything regarding the site that requires their intervention should be logged on the site somehow. Furthermore, you once again restrict yourself to a single moderator.
    NB. I know that moderators can contact users in extreme cases, but this is a non-standard measure, and furthermore initiated from the mods to the users, not the other way around.

  3. Flag concrete cases. Anything regarding a single incident should in principle be handled by a flag—it's what flags are for.

  4. Chat/meta for general cases. Anything general should either be discussed on meta, or, particularly if trivial or narrowly scoped, can be brought up in the moderator chat.

Should flags, meta and public chat not suffice, there exists the option of a private chatroom with the moderators, where everything can be discussed with appropriate confidentiality.

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    $\begingroup$ -1: the lack of an easy way to send moderators email - which is the standard communication tool in mathematics - is a weakness of this site in my opinion. When I submit a paper to a journal, I can email the editor directly - but for some reason the method to email moderators here is obscured. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Carl: some reasons are explained in OP. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 3:17
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlMummert Unlike the scenario you describe, moderators are not part of the standard process of the site; therefore the analogy breaks down. In my eyes, it would be more like emailing the appeal commission about an ongoing case--and be likewise bad. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ I'd be careful with flagging. In the past I've flagged posts in order to bring the mods attention to them and the flags were declined. $\endgroup$
    – Git Gud
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 10:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin: of course moderators are part of the standard process of this site. Separately, about the idea of emailing appeals: at my university, for example, we handle grade appeals by email - and even appeals when a student is suspended by the university! Nothing prevents email from being used for serious purposes. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ It should be noted that the "meta" pages are ruled by bullies, and the moderators and officers of the company don't care about that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 5:40
  • $\begingroup$ You wrote: "Anything regarding the site that requires their intervention should be logged on the site somehow." How is that inconsistent with having an email address that is "on the site"? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 5:57

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