Let us imagine, for a moment, a system wherein there are numerous individual rooms for socializing and chatting. Rather than being handled on a room-based basis, however, moderation is somehow distributed over the community such that every user with moderator abilities is somehow expected to be able to handle any conflict in any room.

Contrived scenario, I know, but bear with me here. In one of these rooms, a small out-of-the-way room that nobody frequents except for three people who (let's be honest here) don't know any better, someone decides to take issue with one of his fellows. This user somehow signals his discontent to the communal moderation system via some means (a "flag", if you will).

At this point, all three users in this poor unsuspecting backwater would glance at the darkening horizon and see coming toward them a...something...of moderators, eager for blood and/or justice.

I have seen mention of the oncoming mass referred to by a variety of nouns. The most recent (and the one that prompted this question) being a "flock". This, however, seems insufficient, as flocks are relatively harmless things: One does not fear an oncoming flock of sheep or cower under a flock of chickens. While a flock of seagulls may pick clean the virtual pavement of our system's parking lots, moderators en masse often leave naught in their path but death, destruction, and maybe some sticky notes to mark their territory.

This, obviously, suggests a "pack" but, whereas a pack of wolves is noble and organized and unified in purpose, incoming moderators often have no clue what they're supposed to be doing. They obediently come running when called, as any good pack of wolves does, but they do so blindly, formless and void.

Which brings to mind, perhaps, a "swarm". They can be both destructive and foreboding, but what they have in quantity they lack in quality. A swarm of ants, a swarm of locusts, a swarm of butterflies, a swarm of bees, yes they can be terrifying to behold but the individual units they comprise are not only tiny, but effectively mindless. Which, as we all know, is hardly becoming of a moderator who is always impressive in both mind and body.

I have Googled collective nouns and terms of venery for this topic extensively (well, for a few minutes, but I type real fast) and the closest I could find is a demeanor of judges. This, however, appears to be a non-standard usage.

So I figured, hey, if anyone would know the appropriate standard collective noun for a group of moderators, logically it would be a group of moderators. So I cast the question out to you all: What is the proper collective noun for a group of moderators?


6 Answers 6


Since being a moderator is a hard and often thankless job, and since people getting moderated will sometimes/often feel unfairly persecuted, I'd like to put forward a term that will be equally appropriate from either standpoint:

A hassle of moderators

  • Moderating is a hassle.
  • Moderators will be hassled by disgruntled users
  • Some users will feel hassled by the moderators

What is the proper collective noun for a group of moderators?

I almost always see this as "moderation team" or "moderation staff" when used in serious settings.

You want your site to have a cohesive moderation team, and come across as unified. You also want to remain professional, which all of your examples do not really accomplish.

Being taken seriously is also important. Keep in mind, for some sites what is "serious" will change significantly.

In less serious situations feel free to use whatever you want for the word. But keep in mind you are going to hurt your moderation team's image if you start referring to yourselves using less-serious terms.


English collective nouns range from the reasonable (a flock of birds), through the strange (a gaggle of geese), to the macabre (a murder of crows). Therefore, I think you can feel free to give your imagination free range. That said, it seems obvious to me that the collective noun for moderators should be a hammer:

I was being an idiot in chat the other day and got hit by a hammer of mods who hang out in the same chat room.

Alternatively, you could refer to a mess of moderators or even stretch gaggle to fit.


Well, from your methodical approach and description only one name springs to mind for me, a murder. That would of course be crows and from your description seems fitting to me should you wish to stick to the animal motif.

At this point, all three users in this poor unsuspecting backwater would glance at the darkening horizon and see coming toward them a murder of moderators, eager for blood and/or justice.

However there are plenty of collective no end available to humans that could be applicable as linked by ChrisF in the comments. I think "horde" is perfectly applicable, possibly a "babble" (though that might make them seem too harmless), a riot (hey they cause enough) of moderators?

In all seriousness I think anything you deem appropriate at the time will do.


If the purpose of your post is to seek out the right term for moderators, I think there are two contexts that are significant, and there should thus be two collective expressions:

  1. A Posse of moderators - people out to seek justice
  2. a Swagger of moderators - just because that's the way many non-moderators think that moderators are... and, let's face it, the Moderators get the swag.

Oh, and what's wrong with just: "the mods" - The mods descended on the unfortunate flagging trio


A murder has already been suggested, but I think it is too harsh. I'd suggest sticking with the corvids though and using a parliament of moderators. Parliament is a term of venery for rooks. Additionally, it leaves the impression of a body of officials who are responsible for making policy, which is a reasonably accurate description of what moderators generally do. Finally, in your context:

At this point, all three users in this poor unsuspecting backwater would glance at the darkening horizon and see coming toward them a parliament of moderators, eager for blood and/or justice.

Maybe it's my American sentiment, but there's something very officious and proper about speaking before parliament. I should think it makes moderators sound rather dignified in their bloodlust.

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