Trust Levels in Discourse

What is a trust level?

Discourse uses trust levels, that progress naturally as you participate with us. This has a number of applications; from anti-spam to letting YOU, as a user, help us with moderation and how the community works. This is YOUR community now.

You can see how Discourse sets up trust levels by default here (ours will be different, but the basics are the same.) These are completely customizable, and we can alter how they work at any time.


The trust levels are a nice built-in function of Discourse; I wish more forums used them. Curious if you can share any of the plans for tweaking them, especially when it’s expected that most users will only be here 2-3 months out of the year, and someone could be an annual regular who’s very familiar with the forums while still only showing up a few months a year. It doesn’t quite fit the default Discourse pattern, and I’m interested if you’ll stick with something close to the default (so very few users will be Regulars) or come up with something different.

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Possibly! The good thing is, current TL2 (member) is set to be 100 read posts,20 entered topics, 60 minutes, 15 days, 1 like given, 1 like received, and 3 replies. For a reasonably active person, that’s super easy to attain.

TL3 allows reorganizing topics (changing thread titles and moving threads), basically a baby moderator. I’m really hesitant about handing that out easily, you know? Certainly not to someone who only shows up a couple of months out of the year. If anything, I may actually increase the time-based threshold, because that’s not a power I’m comfortable hanging out to just anyone. We may try it with the defaults to see how it works. It may not suit our purposes well, since we have such a large, experienced moderation team and a specific culture.

I do expect that culture to change to a more user-centric one, but I don’t know how it going to work in the mean time.

What I might do is for testing purposes is promote a few of you to give it a test run to see how it works! Wanna volunteer?


This is how I feel about so many things… I was messing around with my notification settings and so on, and realized that I really don’t know how frequently I’ll want them, if I want to be notified about likes, etc. etc… just no way to know until the forums are in actual regular use with the large userbase!

For sure! Happy to help (and get an inside scoop haha) :smiley:

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1 is the only thing I have a problem with about TL3. I think the title changing will be ok. With Discourse’s no-repeats feature, it may not even be an issue. Moving threads should be a power reserved for the Mods, though.

I don’t see the need for 2. Maybe on a board where TL3s actually are baby Mods, but not in our culture.

I don’t understand 3.

4 & 5, it was explained in another thread, will be very hard to abuse.

6 is a great idea for certain kinds of posts!

7 shows that there’s a daily like limit. Not sure how useful that is, but ok.

These, I think are good ideas. Since TL3 can be lost for lack of participation, this might keep a little more activity in the forums during the off-season:

These are bad ideas:

Sounds like a lot of busywork that just won’t work for our culture. Historical Romance authors can’t be expected to read a bunch of Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction posts just to meet some quota. 50+ers can’t be expected to read a bunch of Teen posts, or vice versa.


The good news is that every one of these settings is customizable; I can set exactly how many topics I want people to be able to have interacted with, on a granular level. We may see how we can abuse this function here so we can determine acceptable starting settings for when it goes live!

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I’ve granted both @swenson and @SepiaAndDust TL3 so you can experiment with it!


Can you do that as a set amount rather than as a percentage? Like “In the past 100 days, must have opened 30 threads and read 50 posts.”

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Unless you want to use tl4 as a not quite full moderator, the * trusted users can edit others* setting can take care of of 1 for tl3 and tl4 :slight_smile:

Speaking of, can I have tl4? :wink:

is kidding

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Oh, you’d better watch yourself, or I’ll do it. LOL.

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No, but it can be set from 0 to 100, so we can set it to 0 to remove the requirement. On a board like ours, reading 25% of the topics is just… ridiculous. There are currently 22815 threads on main (and I don’t know if that includes archived, invisible threads. You’d have to read over 5,000!

So that’s probably a requirement I’d set to 0, because honestly, if you’re going to get the other requirements, you’ll be participating at an acceptable level for us.

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Yeah, that sounds like the way to go.


I was thinking just this! 1% would be more like it. :stuck_out_tongue:

I spend wayyy too much time on the forums as-is, and while there’s some categories where I read 90% of all posts… there’s also some that I’m pretty sure I’ve never clicked on in my entire 10+ years of NaNo! Although now I am curious what percentage of posts on the old forums I’ve read…


Since 1 (recategorizing and renaming topics) only applies to our own threads–we can’t change the title of or move a thread started by someone else–I withdraw my objections to that point.

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I got all up to TL3 naturally on the alpha version we had of these forums and this is not nearly as bad it as seems (we had an issue on that site of not having enough posts for TL3). And the percentage is capped. 25% OR 500 topics. 25% OR 20k posts.
And it’s easy to get there. If nothing else you’ll be able to open a large Games thread and scroll to the bottom.


how do you know what TL you’re at?

I definitely really like the idea of TL tho! it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.


It on your profile. It shows as the title, not the TL number.

TL Name (time as active participant)
0 New User
1 Basic User (ten minutes)
2 Member (15 days)
3 Regular (about two months)
4 Leader (Admin assigned)

Just curious. I suddenly see a banner that tells me if it is the first time someone has posted. Is that a TL2 permission?

Yes, it is. :slight_smile:

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Surprise gift then! Thank you~ :slight_smile: