They've been with us since near the beginning. Most players have seen at least one of them and many have talked to one. They're usually not scary or intimidating and, for the most part, they are just like the average players. They're Player Moderators, the easily distinguishable and old policing force of the RuneScape community.
The word old is significant due to change they have undergone. Player moderators began as a way to disrupt, solve, and prevent rule breaking in RuneScape. They could appear and stop the dispute and/or rule breaking, show up and solve the problem by sometimes muting the problem solver or sending a near instant report to a Jagex Moderator, or prevent anyone from breaking rules by their mere presence in the area. These abilities resulted in their privilege of having their chat appear regardless of what someone's public chat filter was on. This was, at the time, a deserved and needed privilege for them to have because they, in a sense, were the police force of RuneScape. However, that was at that time and now the times and situations are indeed different.
Not only are the times and situations different, but the basis of what a moderator is has shifted entirely. This shift, as some may not know, is the shift from the policing moderator to the community-oriented moderator, who instead of being solely a police is now strongly involved in community activities. Although the screening is just as strict, the "requirements" for a good moderator have shifted off of honest, mature player to more about if the player has a positive and popular community image to improve the image of moderators along with promote community events and therefore Jagex. The change has not been a negative one, but according to many players, a positive one. Although a change may be positive, it does not mean that it can occur without other changes being made for adjustment purposes.
More and more players are becoming moderators due to the changes to the system and in turn more and more players are not the police force, but in fact the promotion force. This is causing a massive influx in the amount of chat that will show through the public chat filters and with the shift, the chat is becoming less and less business based and more fun loving, sometimes disruptive, and even abusive of the privilege (not that abuse is rampant, but it nonetheless shows negatively of the moderators Jagex has been choosing). Obviously a few bad apples slip through Jagex screening, but it's becoming more apparent that some moderators do not deserve their status and do not possess the attitude of a moderator. That however is another issue entirely so I digress. As chats are becoming more flooded with content unrelated to the players, especially in popular places like the Grand Exchange and Dungeoneering worlds, players are beginning to wonder what the purpose of this privilege is now, since it is not being put to good use that often.
This leads players to question whether the ability to show through chat filters is needed now or not. Of course in certain situations it is, but that depends on what the moderator is more focused on: whether it be policing or promotion. Yes one can add them to their ignore list and have the certain moderator not show through anymore, but more and more players are having to add advertisers who spam clan chats and private chats even with price manipulation clan advertisements to their ignore list and are thus running out of room. Are the new moderators who aren't somewhat business based important enough to deserve that privilege or should it be restricted to those who actually need/use it? Are the new moderators even deserving of the full privileges right after their one-month transition phase to their powers regardless of their role? In the end the question is, should this be every moderators privilege as they have the possibility to do police work or should it be restricted to those who actually do police work (and thusly deserve/earned it) and don't goof around once they have their crown, like some do?