What's the proper translation for "moderator"? As in website moderator, e.g. Chinese.SE moderators.

Some dictionaries suggest 版主, however this appears to be more suitable to "(live) forum moderator", a role closer to a presenter, or director, of a panel of speakers.

mdgb.com does return 版主 for "moderator", along with "webmaster". However "webmaster" is perhaps closer to 网站管理, someone who broadly administers a website.

As a matter of fact, some Chinese native speakers I consulted also think 管理员 is the right term, but that sounds more like "admin" to me.

In case of the Stack Exchange network, or also Reddit, Hacker News, and similar message boards, a moderator is a user with extended privileges who is tasked with handling flagged posts, and cleaning up spam and problematic content. This role doesn't necessarily imply website ownership, or site administration at large.

What is the correct term for "moderator"?

4 Answers 4


Beside Tieba, another similar site is Zhihu. Although it doesn't flag a post, it has users who are tasked with cleaning up spam and problematic content.

Specifically, such a user is called 内容审查员(内容审核员) who censors the problematic content in a post.
Generally, such a user is called 管理员(or 版主) who has more privileges than 内容审查员.

  • 1
    管理员 is the term used at Reddit r/ChineseLanguage, see e.g. 1; 2.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 0:08

I think in China and Taiwan, for sites allowing people to express their comments, there must exist a position called 调解人 or 仲裁人, which is there to ensure the users are sticking to the objective and rules of the site.


Simply put,

admin = 版主

moderator = 管理员

Although the opposite is true in Facebook, I still consider "moderator" a more appropriate term for 管理员. In many Chinese website communities a 版主 is the "owner" and chief moderator while a 管理员 plays a plain moderating role.


In case of the Tieba (What is tieba in China?) network, 吧务 is a user with extended privileges who is tasked with handling flagged posts, and cleaning up problematic content.

  • By the way, 吧务 contains 吧主 and 小吧主. They are only used in 贴吧. In SE or Reddit, 版主 is ok, and 斑竹(the same pronunciation) is its millennial style form.
    – Krahmal
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 6:09

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