How many TL3 users do you have? Do the TL3 requirements really make sense?

So, if TL2 would get title regular even they would be happy then :wink: So, it is more matter of title than TL and what rights such user has?

I’m sure here is few regulars that will use those lightway moderator rights, but the most never do I reckon.

Well, this isn’t that big question because every admin can and should adjust those limits and thresholds. And this is kind of culturel question too — my users don’t know what is theirs title/TL. They just give shomething about badges and TLs — and that is propably the strongest reason why I have a little bit difficult to understand why we are in this topic at all :grin:


Ha. I don’t think that would cut it. :slight_smile: Though the ‘perks’ aren’t that much fun [1], so aren’t the main driver of why people want the bump. I think it’s the recognition that they’re a part of the furniture and are recognisable personalities within the community that’s the main ‘feel good’ element to it. Not everyone who attains it is as fussed, but quite often when someone new gets it they celebrate a little. :slight_smile:

I didn’t mention the post/topic counts. I don’t have the graphs for these, but the About stats are saying:

24hrs 7 days 30 days
Topics 7 40 200
Posts 300 2.1k 9.5k

  1. Edit topic titles and categories, make wikis, squash TL0 spam posts. There’s no Lounge ↩︎


When I started giving them TL3 it was for Have all their links followed (we remove automatic nofollow) but since that time it seems that perk is now given to all by default. Also as I noted it keeps their perks locked in, every time they come back what they can do does not change. Another change I did was to always allow a TL3 user to edit their post forever, there is no time limit before a post is locked.


Our site is 10+ years old and recently imported to Discourse. There are a lot of inactive account and many people who exclusively lurk which is why TL1 is so high

Non-default settings:

(Default 10)

(Default 12)

Maybe the extra duration is helpful. Personally I think if you’ve been active enough to reach TL3 you deserve to be there for a while

I’ve actually found TL4 to be useless in my case. Currently its just redundant with the moderators


default for TL3, slightly increased TL1 and TL2 requirements


Answering your question directly… I do think the TL3 requirements are fairly high, and I do think some instances may not have & not need them. For example, I can imagine that if you manage a forum, which supports some software or service, most people would come to ask just one question that bothers them. In contrast, if you manage a thematic community (s.t. a user is likely to be interested in what others discuss), then TL3 is pretty manageable while the community is relatively small. But again, as others have argued, the TL3 benefits are mostly “recognition” of active users, and if you’re in a former category chances are your users don’t seek that kind of recognition.

Also, now that you’ve brought this, I checked my requirements and I see that posts read is 1174 while posts read all-time is 500, which, at least for me, doesn’t make sense. Now I need to think if I want to lower the post read requirement…


Thanks all for the discussion and the sharing! This has been very helpful!

What I take from this is a confirmation that something’s off in the default TL3 requirements - at least for high-volume communities. It’s been very interesting to know that a lot of you who have TL3 users promoted at least some of them manually - even in lower-volume communities than we have.

Thanks @Falco for your suggestion that I work at adjusting the requirements based on our top users. In fact, that’s what I had been looking at, using the TL3 gap report I shared about a year ago. With that report, I’m able to add additional columns with different criteria to see whether/how much different values change the outcome. E.G.:

SELECT  pr.user_id, 
        greatest(50-coalesce(pr.visits,0),0) as "Days visited gap",

        greatest(10-coalesce(trt.replied_count,0), 0)  as "Topic reply gap",
        greatest(5-coalesce(trt.replied_count,0), 0)  as "Topic reply gap2",

        greatest(tclhd.all_topics-coalesce(tva.topic_id,0),0) AS "Topics Viewed last 100d gap",
        greatest(150-coalesce(tva.topic_id,0),0) AS "Topics Viewed last 100d gap2",

        greatest(200-coalesce(tvat.topic_id,0),0) as "Topic viewed (AT) gap",

        greatest(pclhd.all_posts - coalesce(pr.posts_read,0),0) as "Posts Read last 100d gap",
        greatest(250 - coalesce(pr.posts_read,0),0) as "Posts Read last 100d gap2",

Where I’m at so far is

  • 50 days visited lhd (last 100d) - most of the users I would expect to see at tl3 meet this already
  • 5 topic replies lhd

I’m still struggling with the criteria that are related to community volume. Right now I’m at

  • 150 topic views lhd
  • 250 post views lhd

That would get us to… 3 TL3 users. And while 3 users seems small to me, I would have to go far lower on topic views to increase that number. So this is probably where we’ll land.

@piffy I like the idea of expanding the tl3 duration and will probably do that too, so thanks for sharing it!

Regarding likes, some people here have questioned it, but after some thought, it makes a lot of sense to me to require that users get likes (as evidence that they’re actually positive contributors, rather than just prolific spewers). It also makes sense to me that we require high-level users to encourage others, which is kinda how I see giving likes. We’ve looked briefly just Friday at the Reactions plugin which may…? be a way to address cultural reluctance to stick a red heart on something…? @Ed_S do you think the option of a :+1: versus a :heart: would make a different for your users?

To answer your question @tobiaseigen, the reason this has come up in our community is what I shared originally:

Staff are all granted TL4, but we wondered what our colleagues’ “natural trust levels” were and started digging into that. That’s when we realized that Colin and I - whose full time job it is to work in the community - are the only people who would ever make TL3 with the default requirements. And it kinda seems wrong that it has to be your full-time job in order to meet the requirements for TL3.


Good question. I might ask some of our more regular members - but first I should check with my co-moderators what we think about the whole thing. I give out likes (hearts) very liberally so I think everyone will have received a like, and got the notification, and maybe even got a badge. I think no-one who’s at TL2 will be unaware that likes exist and can be used as reward, encouragement, or recognition.


All TL settings are default. My site is 10 years old and was migrated from phpBB to Discourse about 2.5 months ago. There are about 1/2 to 2/3 more or less inactive users and the one TL4 user was manually set.


Thanks for sharing @Roi!

BTW @Ed_S it turns out “reactions” aren’t counted as likes.


This was already here in the forum some weeks ago. Regardless of this discussion here reactions should be treated the same way as likes are treated. I think the reaction plugin it is a very common plugin and when I look into my forum reactions are used more often than likes are used. As reactions can express more than likes can.


For TL3 granting purposes, I agree, but as an admin option.

I run several instances of my own and they would greatly benefit from this, but I’m also a moderator on an instance where reactions counting for TL3 granting (or the same as likes in general) would be detrimental to the community. In fact part of the reason the reactions plug-in was enabled on that instance was to discourage people from abusing the like function trying to gain TL3 and the various *Love badges as quickly as possible.


An option which can be enabled or which stays disabled would be the perfect solution, yes! :slight_smile:


I agree that it would be nice to choose to have reactions counted as likes.


Just realized that the likes requirements are last-100-days. Now I’m re-thinking the volume there… :sadpanda:


Some days I realize just how much has fallen out of my brain. I knew this but it fell out.

For any public Discourse site just add /about to the base URL then scroll to the bottom to see site statistics, e.g.


Currently we at have 35 TL3 users, it’s been as high as ~50 but it fluctuates quite a bit.

2023-03-06 15_57_54-Admin - Blender Artists Community

TL3 users get a lot of perks on our site- notably, they get to vote on artwork to be “featured” and receive extended visibility on the top row of the site (this is partially an art-sharing forum). Voting seems to be highly motivating; most users that become TL3 stay TL3, even if they drop off for a period they almost always come back.


Thanks @Joseph_Hansen! It’s really helpful to hear from a bigger / higher-volume site than ours. Did you adjust your TL3 requirements, or are they still at the defaults?


They’re still at the defaults, but it’s a tight-knit community where quite a lot of people visit every day and lots of likes are given/received. We don’t use the reactions plugin, though, so liking is the only option, which may be a factor. I agree that reactions should probably count towards TL3 requirements


Did this lead to something? :grin: I would really love to see this.


Not as far as I know. Not yet…