# Announcement: private contacts by moderators

I am writing this post to discuss a possible small upcoming change in moderator policy. I post this here on Meta (instead in the Mods only discussion room) because

1. The topic is not sensitive.
2. There will be some small, but perhaps noticeable, change to how we interact with users.

As such, please try not to flood this question with comments, as the main people this discussion affects are just the moderators. :-)

Previously, I, as well as several other of the moderators, had the implicit understanding that the use of the "contact user" function on Math.SE is reserved for serious breaches of rules, such of those that may lead to suspension when repeated. Hence in many instances we have preferred to privately contact users via e-mail (through the e-mail address provided to Math.SE when you set-up your account) on what we sometimes regard as less serious issues.

Unfortunately, this has the downside of some loss of transparency and also inadvertently leads to the phenomenon of sometimes the moderators not being all on the same page with regards to the issues about or raised by certain users.

Furthermore, independently, we have been notified by StackExchange (through their regular newsletter to moderators, so not specifically in response to what I described above) a clarification of the privacy policies on this forum as well as how and when the "contact user privately" function should be used. This brings us to ...

Proposal to the moderators

In the interest of transparency and documentation,

1. All moderator-initiated "private" contact with users should be through the SE messaging system.
2. All moderation related issues concerning individual users should be documented on the "user annotation" system.