Exclude certain categories from the Trust Levels

Ah sorry… I read TL as topic list… for trust levels I’m not aware of an existing solution.
In any case, maybe better to spell out trust levels in the title?


yeah sure, just changed it. Thanks anyway :slight_smile:
I hope someone can help up.


Did read through the topic you referenced… I wonder if you’re looking at that in the most simple way. If you’re fine with default trust level accession, then most members that come back repeatedly will be rewarded member tl (15 non-consecutive days I think). Whereas to reach regular tl, a member needs to visit 100 days in a row. So I don’t see how activity in specific areas would change these basic attendance calculations much. By default member is not supposed to be such a big hurdle for anyone participating. While as regular requires quite an outstanding commitment.

That said, you could also look at

Could probably change a few settings with this plugin out of the box. Or ask the maintainers to add a setting for you.


Hey @Shirly_Nowak,

This is possible, but it won’t be straightforward. I’d urge you to consider a different approach. If you’re dead set on it perhaps @merefield or @Ahmed_Gagan is willing to give it a shot (they’d be your best bets).


For example you could define conditions with a custom badge. E.g. “Honorable Member”… didn’t pay money but did xyz and is rewarded free membership.


Hi everyone, and thank you for all your inputs.

The issue is this is something we do need if we want our community to be fair for all its users. I will try to explain a bit further:

The community is for every person who wants to buy a membership, its not for free
Once you are in, our incentives for participating and being a goob member is that the better you are (and the higher your trust level is), the less you’ll pay - being so that the members in trust level 4 don’t pay.
But (and here is when this feature is needed for us to make it fair): inside the same community we have a specific category for our students, where they can get support about the studying materials, etc. The problem we see is that if all members enter in the same conditions (even if you are a student and have access to this special category), the students have an advantage at scaling trust levels since they can access more content in the community (a whole category), they can read more, comment more, like more, etc… Something that a member that isn’t a student, can’t.

We have tried to approach this in different ways to avoid getting to this point, and we totally understand that Trust Levels were created as another concept, but the truth is for us it seems much more fair to have that specific category excluded - that way: students can interact with its content as much as they want, but their progress in the community will be measured equally to any other member thats not a student.

For us, this seems the most fair option.


Thank you very much. We have tried to explore different approaches, but this seems to be the only option that would be the most fair and balanced for our kind of community. I explained in this same topic why, in case you want to know or think about another way to achieve it.


There is no way to reach trust level 4 with participating in the forum, you need to be promoted manually.


Yes, we know that. The members that reach trust level 3 and are most valuable to the community will be promoted by us (admin) to trust level 4 (just like in any other community with Discourse, that doesn’t change)

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hi @nolo , do you think it could be possible with badges? I mean: if I created a “honorable member” badge, what conditions could this badge require? Because I would need it to be not just “posted X times” or “read X posts”, I would need a more complex badge that met several conditions (that’s why we went for trust levels in the first place, but maybe we could find an alternative…)
Thank you in advance for all your help, I love this community :slight_smile:


In my understanding badges can meet as many conditions as you are able to write in a SQL query. I’m aware of two topics with examples:

In addition you’d probably need to use a plugin like Discourse Automation or Data Explorer to connect the badge with a resulting action, either automatically or manually.

In that regard you could also skip the badge and just use a recurring SQL query with the Data Explorer to manually reward free membership to the users that match the query.


Have you considered using Group memberships?

Adding a Student to a Group. You can create Categories that are only accessable to a particular Group. You can set a group owner(s) that can add and remove members as needed.

In category permissions you can change security to only allow a specific group(s) to have access.

With @nolo badge idea if not mistaken the acquired badge can likely add a member to a group?


Thank you @nolo , I think what we’ll have to figure out now is if we could specify in the query of a badge conditions that are similar to the ones in trust levels, such as: time spent in the community, likes given or received,… which I think might be complicated :confused:

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Hi Dan!
Yeah, we actually have a group for the students but our problem is that the group can access some content that others can’t - so their stats can get higher more quickly than other users that aren’t in the group.

We could try to create a badge but I’m not sure if it could include that many and so specific conditions (for example: a badge that’s granted when a user posts X times + responds X times + received X likes + gave X likes + etc… an all that is JUST in some categories, not all of them).


@ganncamp polished up a query in a similar area, which may give you something to work from?


This seems interesting. I’m no expert in coding so can feel quite lost in all this info, but maybe this could be helpful. Doi you think we could link this query into a badge? Meaning: when a user achieves all that the query marks, a specific badge is granted. Do you think that would be possible?

Sorry if it’s a newbie question, I’m totally into admin stuff but the coding I just get lost in it…


Depending on your hosting situation, it is possible to create your own automatic custom SQL badges - Triggered custom badge queries

Though it’s also possible to run a similar custom query in the Data Explorer, and export the results as a CSV to feed into the Bulk Awarder on the relevant badge page. @pfaffman also recently suggested this process may be able to be finessed with use of the api, but I haven’t explored that option yet. :slightly_smiling_face:

I think the missing link is then how to add these badged users automatically to a group. Possibly the automation plugin, as @nolo suggested, or maybe using the api?


You likely won’t be able to do that yourself… but the idea here is that rather than making a marketplace request as:

We need a custom plugin that alters trust level behavior

you could just state a request like:

We need a SQL query that gives a list of users having met conditions xyz. We want to use that query for a badge or just run with the Data Explorer.

and that will cost considerably less and practically come without future maintenance costs or complications to your setup.


Thank you very much @nolo , will try this out and see if it works out for us :slight_smile:


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