The aptos user trust system plays a significant role in Discourse by utilizing trust levels to achieve two objectives: providing a safe environment for new users to learn and preventing any unintentional harm to themselves or other users, and granting more privileges and responsibilities to experienced users as they contribute to the community’s moderation and growth over time. This progression of user participation in the community is a well-documented phenomenon, as discussed in the book Community Building on the Web.
Discourse has implemented a user trust system comprising of five trust levels to ensure user safety and community moderation. Users can view their current trust level on their user page, while a summary of all trust levels is presented on the dashboard.
New users are informed about the trust system via a welcome private message that includes a link to a blog post on the system’s functionality and safety measures. They are also invited to start an interactive training conversation with @discobot.
Users receive a congratulatory private message upon transitioning to trust level 1, which includes a link to the blog post and an invitation to complete their user profile or start a new topic. The same happens upon transitioning to trust level 2, with an additional link to a blog post on tips and tricks. Upon transitioning to trust level 3, users receive a detailed private message outlining their new abilities and an invitation to join the lounge category and interact with other users at trust level 3.
Trust Level 0 —NEW.
At the outset, all new users start at trust level 0, which means that they have not yet earned trust within the community. These users are essentially visitors who have recently created an account and are still in the process of understanding the community’s norms and functionality. To ensure safety and prevent confusion, new users are limited in their abilities, and any “advanced” features are hidden from them.
Users at trust level 0 are unable to send personal messages to other users, use the “Reply as new topic” via Link button, flag posts, post more than one image or attachment, include more than two hyperlinks or mentions in a post, post more than three topics or ten replies, or edit their own posts after 24 hours. However, administrators can modify these restrictions by searching for newuser and first_day in site settings.
Trust Level 1 —BASIC
At Discourse, reading is prioritized as the most fundamental and healthy activity within any community. New users who invest some time in reading are quickly promoted to the first trust level.
To achieve trust level 1, users must enter at least five topics, read a minimum of 30 posts, and spend a total of 10 minutes reading posts. Once these thresholds are met, all new user restrictions are removed, and users at trust level 1 can use all core Discourse functions. Additionally, they can send personal messages, upload images and attachments (if enabled), edit wiki posts, flag posts, and mute other users.
Trust Level 2 – MEMBER.
Members are users who consistently participate in your community over a period of several weeks. They have not only read but also actively engaged long enough to be considered trustworthy citizens.
To achieve trust level 2, users must visit the community on at least 15 days (not necessarily consecutively), give at least one like, receive at least one like, reply to at least three different topics, enter at least 20 topics, read at least 100 posts, and spend a total of 60 minutes reading posts.
Once these requirements are met, users at trust level 2 can use the “Invite others to this topic” button for easy onboarding of new users, invite outside users to group personal messages, have their daily like, edit, and flag limits increased by 1.5x, ignore other users, and edit their own posts for up to 30 days after posting.
Trust Level 3 - REGULAR.
Regulars are the valued contributors and dedicated members of the community who have been actively participating in discussions for several months or years. They are considered reliable and trusted members who can help maintain the community by organizing and cleaning up content.
To achieve Trust Level 3, the following conditions must be met in the last 100 days:
Visited the community on at least 50% of the days.
Replied to at least 10 different topics, excluding personal messages (PM).
Viewed at least 25% of the topics created in the last 100 days, capped at 500.
Read at least 25% of the posts created in the last 100 days, capped at 20,000.
Received at least 20 likes and given at least 30 likes from a minimum number of different users (1/5 the number) on different days (1/4 the number). Likes cannot be from PMs.
Did not receive more than 5 spam or offensive flags confirmed by a moderator.
Was not suspended or silenced in the last 6 months.
Trust Level 3 can be lost if any of the above criteria are not met in the last 100 days. However, there is a 2-week grace period immediately after achieving Trust Level 3 where demotion will not occur.
Users at Trust Level 3 can:
Recategorize and rename topics
Access a secure category only visible to Trust Level 3 and higher users
Have all their links followed (nofollow is removed).
Have their spam flags on new users’ posts immediately hide the post.
Have their flags on new users’ posts in sufficient diversity auto-silence the user and hide all their posts.
Make their own posts wiki (editable by any Trust Level 1+ user)
Daily like, edit, and flag limits increased by 2×.
Trust Level 4 - LEADERS.
Leaders are experienced regulars who have demonstrated their positive influence on the community through their actions and contributions. They have earned the highest level of trust within the community and are almost moderators themselves. If you need guidance or advice, leaders are the go-to people.
To achieve Trust Level 4, manual promotion by staff is required. In the future, an election system may also be developed to promote members to this level.
Users at Trust Level 4 can:
Edit all posts.
Pin or unpin topics.
Close, archive, unlist, split, merge, and reset the bump date of topics
Increase daily like, edit, and flag limits by 3×.
Any TL4 flag cast on any post immediately takes effect and hides the target post.
Send personal messages to an email address.
The trust system has been successful in building strong and sustainable communities by empowering members, regulars, and leaders to curate and lead their own communities. It is a unique community feature that sets Discourse apart from others. As experience with communities grows, the trust system will continue to evolve, and any changes will be updated in this post.