Excluding certain categories from the trust levels

Hi everyone,

I have a quick question:

Is there a possibility to restrict the level up in trust levels to some categories. I’ll explain: have a category that any interaction in it doesn’t count for the trust level of the user.

Any help would be great.

Thank you!!

PS. Forgot to add that the users that can access to this category are all in one group, in case there’s a chance to use that too for this case.

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Unfortunately no I’m afraid. Unless you made a plugin that changed the core trust level behaviour which sounds like a complicated plugin, you can’t adjust what content affects the trust level levelling up.

Do you mind me asking why you want to remove the interactions in this category from counting towards the TLs? There may be another way to achieve what you want that doesn’t rely on the TLs.


I imagined it wouldn’t be easy, my client tends to complicate himself too much :sweat_smile:

I’ll explain briefly: we are creating a comunity that will have different type of users: some will be students from our online courses and some will be just members of the community (not students).

The case is a part of our Discourse will be exclusive for these students (a closed category just for the group of students), where they will get support from us as teachers. This category will be mostly for reading, although they could post some questions if needed.

The thing is: we are relying on the trust levels for the rest of our community, and not so much for this category of support for students. We want to prize the members that participate in the whole community, and want to avoid having members that by just participating in the support category will get high trust levels (it would be unbalanced and unfair for the rest).

Basically we look to reward the users of the whole community, not just that part.

Any ideas on how we can manage that ?

Thank you so much in advance for the help, this community is being a total lifesaver :slight_smile:

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Do you manually review each students registration ?

If so, you can lock their trust level. In their profile next to the TL, there is a lock button

Ah, I see! This would be tricky. Can you give more detail on what you mean by

That may help give more insight to a better answer.

We will review each registration by adding them manually to the group (so that they can acess this category), but what you suggest wouldn’t be it because if the students do participate actively in the rest of the community, we want them to be treated equally and gain in their TL “count”.

The case is to have their interactions in a certain category to not count for their TL “counter”, since it could alter the overall balance with other members that can’t access this category. Quite complex, I guess…

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Very interesting as well.

I guess all LTI site would something like this.


We are creating a big community about a general theme, and it will include a specific category that is locked only for some members (in this case, our students). Each student will be added to a group, and that support category will be available just for them. They can’t create new issues in this specific category, but they can read, respond and like.

In the rest of the community, where all members can participate, we will share content, create collaborative docs, etc.

So, we are looking to rewart the members that participate the most in the whole community with higher TLs and therefore more exclusive treatment (for example: there is a monthly fee for being a member, but when you achieve a certain TL you can access for free).

What we fear is that the students who have this exclusive category will get higher TLs without actually participating in the whole community, but just asking or reading in the support category.

I hope it’s clearer now (sorry if not, it’s the mix of my not very good english and the complexity of the community we want to build :sweat_smile:)

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If this turns into a feature request, I can see a use for it too. :slightly_smiling_face::raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

A forum Games category can have a pretty high turnover of posts (eg. a rolling A-Z game), and it would be nice if those posts weren’t counted towards the read count for TL3, as it can significantly push up the threshold for everyone else.


I don’t really understand what all LTI site means… :roll_eyes:

So this is a key factor. You should put the rewards defined by the TL levels front and center and find a way to deduce the extra activity in the exempted category, and subtract that from the TL activity, so you create an adjusted TL for your students separate from the Discourse TL.

If this sounds like it could work, you can create a data explorer (DE) query for seeing the activity in that specific category and do your calculations accordingly or even create a more complex DE query that does the checking and calculations for you. You’d either need a separate support topic for that or a #marketplace post as its complexity may require payment.

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Awesome, thank you very much @osioke :slight_smile:

Will check it out with my client and see if it’s a go or not.

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Thought about this as well after having seen the related topic in the marketplace. I actually think it’s a bad idea to use trust levels for rewarding users with special perks. From all the engineer’s comments it’s technically not straightforward. But conceptually it also seems unclear. From the blog post explaining trust levels:

Unfortunately, I believe the idea of using trust levels for rewards unrelated to community health and user rights come from the one bad example Discourse gives by granting regulars access to a Lounge category. I think what would be much better is if Discourse could provide a different mechanic for that Lounge access. One that community managers could actually pick up and easily replicate for their own reward scenarios.


That is an interesting opinion! Whether it is right or wrong is more or less for them to decide, a tool is a tool, and Discourse is a tool. Lets try not to judge too critically on how it is used :wink:


Oh sure! I didn’t intend to judge what the op is trying to do. In my understanding the search for a specific solution was moved to the marketplace topic. I chimed in there with a few suggestions.

My comment above was intended as a general observation: that trust levels are often looked at to realize some automatic rewards. Because trust levels are the only automatic groups for regular users. But that approach has downsides in that Discourse actually has a strong opinionated design in place for trust levels. And it’s neither straightforward nor very flexible and in that sense not generally recommendable to tweak it.

But Discourse has really good support for rewarding badges based on automated conditions. So if there could be an option in groups to automatically assign membership based on a badge, similar to what’s already there with email, that could provide a both more accessible and flexible solution to building reward scenarios:

E.g. Discourse could reward access to the Lounge based on a badge like Aficionado or Respected. And I think that would give a better blueprint on how to realize such rewards with Discourse than the current correlation with the Regular trust level.


Ah! My bad, thank you for clarifying :sweat_smile:

The idea makes a lot of sense! It would be better off as a #feature request though, would you mind making a new topic for it?

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hi there @JammyDodger , I did post it in #marketplace , in case you want a follow up :slight_smile: > Plugin to exclude certain categories from the Trust Levels


Actually our reward would be totally related to the community health, although it might seem as it isn’t. In any case, I explained a bit further the reason why we need this for our case in particular, in case you want to know more: Plugin to exclude certain categories from the Trust Levels - #8 by Shirly_Nowak


Maybe you could use the students group’s PM inbox as some kind of category (with some notification tweaks probably and without tagging unfortunately)

We didn’t consider this option so thank you :slight_smile: but the thing is that we created a whole category since it’s a helpdesk with more than 150 posts in it, that’s why it’s a category (with subcats, actually) so it’s organized and easy for the students to consult (with specific tags, etc…)