About the category moderator feature

When we select a group of users as the manager of a category (for example, group A), they can act on the topics of that category like a TL4 user.

Now suppose the level of trust of the user who is a member of group A is TL3. This means that it can move any topic from the other categories to the desired category first, for example, close it and then return it to the previous category.

We have not used this feature yet and I raised this issue based on speculation. Could such a thing happen?


Can anyone confirm or deny this?

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Yes, that is exactly how the feature was designed.

You should not put a user as a category moderator of you don’t trust him/her, like all staff powers.


Yes, this is true, but there is practically no difference between being a category moderator and being a site moderator for TL3.

In other words, if TL3 becomes the category moderator, it has actually become TL4

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Did you know you can remove the TL3 topic edit power in the site settings?


No, I forgot that :sweat_smile: I think you mean disabling trusted users can edit others in the site settings.

The ability of tl3 users to change titles, categories, and tags is a great help to manage the community. Especially in large forums where more than 1000 topics may be posted daily. But this good feature will disrupt the work of the category manager or in the future the tag manager.

I must say that automatically increasing the system trust level in users and increasing their capabilities is different from our trust in the managers we choose.

There are various ways to prevent the disruption of these two golden abilities, and I think in the future, Discourse should pay attention to them.

For example, I think with the following features, we can provide some facilities to some people with a little more precision.

  • Ability to give more detailed access to groups (such as changing titles)
    With this feature, you can have better control over the selection of managers.

  • Automatically join users with special badges in groups (such as registering users who have been tl3 for more than a year)
    With this feature, the system can control group members automatically.


Hello :blush: I am forseeing the same issue on my site, as all Users start at Level 3. And we are realising we do not want TL3 users to be recategorizing and undoing the good work of our TL4 Leaders.

We noticed that disabling this site setting below, also means that TL4 Users cannot recategorize or edit other Users posts, which is not ideal.

Is there a now setting which allows us to control what Trust Level Users must be to recategorise or edit Titles/Tags?

@JammyDodger I noticed you have been the fastest in responding to @Nesha’s posts, which we all are very grateful for at Stats :pray: hoping you could help us out again, thanks!

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This is the problem, TL3 should be attained through effort. You’re breaking trust levels entirely by doing this.


Thanks for your answer. To put it in our context:
We got a gated forum for NZ data research community, where all users are verified and approved by Staff, and must login into the forum. After long discussion we concluded that barrier to entry is enough of a protection, and to encourage participation we decided to start with level 3 for all the users. That enables all users to post topics, which on our forum typically are knowledge sharing topics, or questions to the community. In short, users post when they have something useful to share, or have a question someone can answer.

From you answer I can deduce that level 3 users should have earned (in our case have been granted ) enough trust to be allowed to re-categorise topics. Personally I can see the logic in that, but we will discuss with our team what potential consequences this can bring…

Also, I think allowing this functionality to level3 users goes a bit against the grain of granting bulk topic/posts edit capabilities for level 4 users (Leaders), which your team has introduced few months back.


What does TL3 give these users which TL2 doesn’t though?


Hmm good point thanks, but even if we might have advanced Users too early, there is a potential problem regarding the above where TL3 can override the good work of promoted Category moderators. What are your thoughts on this aspect? Do you have plans to review it?

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I don’t represent CDCK, so can’t comment on that.

That said there are plenty of scenarios where this can be made to work without changing discourse. I think you need to revisit your implementation of trust levels. It sounds almost as if you’re handing them out for status or prestige.

TL1 and TL2 are perfectly adequate while users learn the ropes. TL3 is mostly “moderation lite”. You appear to have confused trusting the users as people with trusting them with capabilities they don’t or won’t need.

Moderators and category moderators can manage most housekeeping if you don’t want to tune TL3 acquisition. I would recommend the latter though.

TL4 users can also be made moderators or category moderators if you don’t want TL3 users to be able to assist.

Work with the trust level system, rather than against it.

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As Stephen says, it is unusual for users to start at TL3. The perks it grants are more for your members who understand how the day-to-day running of the forum works (eg. What topics go where, how your topic naming conventions work, what gets tagged with what, etc). In the normal course of events, people would be auto-promoted based on their recent participation, which is generally a good indicator that they know how you like things organised. :slight_smile:

I think there is some talk of seperating this out and having something for TL3 and something for TL4, but there’s no timeline on this yet:

Though I think in your case it may be that you actually want your users to be TL2 and to just be participants rather than assist with organising and housekeeping?


Hmmmmmmm, this is a very good point @JammyDodger. Admittedly, the decision to grant level 3 to all the users was made more than a year ago, and you have changed and improved many things since then. Looking at your comparative table of what users at each trust level can do:

It appears that if our ordinary users are starting at level 2 they would not be at a noticeable disadvantage. We are already investing in education our level 4s - Leaders to be able to manage the content in categories and work with tags. We have to discuss this with our team.

But (and you know us by now) the next question would be: if we decide to downgrade our user base from level 3 to level 2 (about 250 users and growing) what would be the easiest way to do that?

Thanks for you help

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