There are some actions where a vote from moderator has immediate effect (i.e., there is no need for votes from other users). This is the case for closing and reopening posts. However, in these cases if community disagrees with the moderator decision, 5 users can revert this decision (by voting to reopen/close).

As far as I can tell, the situation is different in the case of deletion. If a post is deleted by a moderator, regular users cannot vote to undelete. I have just tested this and got an error message: "A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted." Also this answer, mentioning that this feature was implemented, confirms that delete votes by mode behave in this way: Lock posts by default, when deleted by a moderator?

I have no idea what is the situation for posts which were undeleted by a moderator. But I would like make this question a bit more general:

TL;DR: What are actions which can be made both by regular users (with sufficient reputation) and by mods, but when done by moderators they become irreversible?

Are delete votes the only such action?

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    $\begingroup$ Three years ago I made it a campaign promise to study this very topic. I hate it when you catch me lying. I had to learn a number of other things first :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Wow, good memory: "If elected I will take the time to learn which moderator actions cannot be overruled by a group of concerned 10k+ members." (Of course, the rest of that post is interesting to read, too.) I did not remember that. (But I assume many moderators find out relatively quickly after being elected that some things they wanted to do are not really realistic.) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Jyrki, on my part, you are excused; now, hop to it! ;P $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Many years ago, mods had the ability to merge users, which of course couldn't be undone. $\endgroup$
    – gparyani
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


I think deletion is the only such thing and as the post you link to shows it is a later addition to the system.

Mod un-deleted posts can be re-deleted; I could provide an example on request. (Sometimes a mod will lock a post to prevent this but that's orthogonal.)

It's not the case for close/reopen. And lock/unlock as well as comment (un-)deletions are mod only.

What remains?

  • (Un)protect. I don't think it is impossible for a user to override a mod there (we just might try somewhere if there is doubt about it); yet in any case the relevant FAQ What is a “protected” question? would not mention it.

    There is a system imposed restriction for users though on which questions can be protected by users. Thus, a situation could happen where a user cannot undo a mod-unprotect while a mod could (yet the user could not undo a user-unprotect either, so I do not think that qualifies). The same could happen for a duplicate-reopen under certain circumstances.

  • Editing/rollback. No special casing for mods either, and it's not really a vote.

  • 'Spam' and 'rude' flags result in the post being locked regardless to who cast them. Thus it can only be undone by a mod, but it does not depend on who did it. Thus, it does not really qualify either.

Maybe I forgot some action? But it seems complete.

In the opposite direction, mods cannot undo user-induced comment deletions; they can still see the comment though.

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    $\begingroup$ Mods are also not able to delete a comment that was deleted by flagging. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for this addition I was not aware of. I change the phrasing to cover this. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M.isnotamathematician, "Mods are also not able to delete ..." Did you mean "undelete"? $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Joel, yes "undelete". I guess the shock of learning that feature made me flip the polarity. XD $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.: So holding a compass next to you is going to be confusing now? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf, unless it's a gyrocompass. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 20:22

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