Moderator is a very old term in the sense still popularly used nowadays:

  • Meaning "one who acts as an arbitrator, person who presides at a meeting or disputation" is from 1560s. (Etymonline)

Demod, a neologism so frequently used in recent weeks virtually on all SE sites, appears only in Urban Dictionary in a scarcely visited entry which dates to 2005.

  • Altering the moderator into a member

Other in-between terms like “demoderate” or “demoderated” show no usage instances, so it appears that the construction is derived directly from the abbreviation “mod”.

Was “mod” introduced with the growth of web sites an the proliferation of “moderators”, or was it used before the internet era? (I tried Google Books but with no success). When was demod coined?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


Like the OP, I first discovered this unusual expression on Stack Exchange.

Moderators on Stack Exchange are not employees, they are volunteers who have special privileges and powers that help them moderate a community. They are identifiable by the diamond ♦ next to their username, and they have either been appointed by the company or elected by their peers. Moderators generally hold their position for life but they are free to resign at any time they please.

Under egregious circumstances, the company may decide to strip a moderator of their privileges, this has lead users to say that a mod was fired (AmEng), sacked (BrEng) or dismissed but these terms imply that the moderator was a paid employee; nothing could be further from the truth. As a result, the act of demotion or degrading a moderator is called demodding, and to be downgraded is to be demodded.

Searching online, there is an example of its early usage, dated October 10, 2004, in Urban Dictionary, under the entry of DanSTC

DanSTC, when will you learn that nobody respected you or thought your opinions mattered before and after you were demodded and banned?

From January 17, 2005

Ok, The Reason I Want Stryder Out Of Admin is because he demods me from media because i do the simpleest mastakes known to life on earth, ok today 1.16.2005 I got demodded from media, ok here is the reason, I asked dan why we couldnt have HTML he said it was Dangoues i kept asking y is it Dangoues he said nvm each time, so i tell him I am going to make a poll about it in Rants/Raves (By The Way Where Anything Goes) So I Go Making A Poll, If lndforums.com should have html off or on and about 10-20 minutes later on Msn he goes and says your Demodded, i mean 4 gods sake he didn't even give me a warning, so can you please sign this petiton to help me get rid of stryder from admin, I'd Really Like It If You Would Sign This Pentiton!
By Stephen


The term “mod” can also be modified with a different prefix re-, as in remodded. The citation below is dated February 2019

When the new discord was created, Nermal joined and eventually became a new mod after proving himself. He was promoted as a full mod until March 11th where he was demodded for a short period of time for homophobia. He was remodded by Kirbizia, which was one of the only times Kirbizia was in the right.


  • Glossary
    Dangoues = a typo or misspelling of dangerous
    y = why
    nvm = nevermind
    4 gods sake = for god's sake
  • Would the spelled-out form of this verb (in past tense) be demoderatored or demoderated or something else? The focus of the term certainly seems to be "removed from the position of moderator" (hence "demoderatored") rather than say "stopped from moderating" (hence "demoderated"). That is, it seems to hinge on removal from an official position rather than from performing certain actions. But perhaps there is a more nuanced sense of the term that I'm not aware of.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 17:56

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