An operator, also known as a moderator, is a player designated by admins or other operators to moderate a multiplayer server. This is done to help keep control of the server from unruly players and griefers, and even reward trusted players. Players are assigned as operator by using the
/op <playername> command, or by editing the ops text file (ops.txt) in the server directory, then restarting the server. Operators have access to a variety of server commands, which aid them in their policing duty. These are activated by typing them into the chat with the appropriate arguments.
 Problems with untrustworthy operators
Operators have access to all commands, meaning they can stop the server, exploit commands, change game modes, and kick/ban players including the admins and server owners. This can be avoided in modded servers with a permissions plugin. This allows particular operators unable to use certain commands.
On SMP servers, untrustworthy operators can also be tempted to go into creative mode. This can result in griefing, an unfair balance, and disagreement among players. Once again, this can be combated using a permissions plugin.
Operators are also able to edit command blocks, so be wary that they may be changed by untrustworthy people.
 See also