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

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…


I think if reactions are activated either the limits for the trust levels must be adjusted or the reactions must be counted into the likes as well.

With only two TL3 users it has to be some reasons. And when I check what is used, reactions are used a lot more often than likes. So this can be the main reason here why almost nobody reaches TL3.

Btw, can I somehow check the already reached requirements for the users and what is missing? Are there e.g. data explorer queries or something like that?

Another question and also to be 100% on this: Can trust levels again be revoked (not talking about manually revoking by admin)? I read something about last 100 days which count into an elevation into the next trust level. Or does the TL stay when reached once? I do not understand 100%.


If anyone reads this, please, if this is going to change to make reactions count, please either make it an optional value in the formula, or let admin to set some “score” for reactions used.

You can check the user’s trust level requirements levels by going to
/admin/users/{user_id}/{username} and scroll to trust level values.

Example of one of user's stats

As for the topic, this question came to mind several times during forum growth for the past couple of years. At first, I found TL3 basic requirements intimidating a bit. Now, going forward, I think default values are totally fine. This brings up a pack of people who we can trust into user to user interactions as we surely know they are truly appreciated by other members and they know their way around the forum (and more in our case), which makes them a nice group of valuable and loyal users.

If you aren’t satisfied with your TL distribution, why don’t you play with some settings? I would suggest understanding the “frequency” of your community. How frequent the messages are? If they are infrequent by your measures, reduce the time window of “tl3 time period”. Adjust the “tl3 requires days visited” accordingly.
May be the “tl3 requires topics replied to” of 10 is too much for your community?
I can continue The settings there are for you to adjust.

tl3 promotion min duration setting is what you’re looking for.


@Roi I published a TL3 gap report about a year ago and have updated it a few times since then:


Yes, as mentioned earlier, this definitely should be an optional setting. :+1: Also it should be talked about if only positive reactions should count or all reactions which could include e.g. a :rage: reaction I have active in my forum (as the only negative reaction). And if reactions count 1:1 or maybe less than the built-in likes.

As mentioned, in my particular setup, without having the reactions counted, the trust level system is not very functional with the default values or even at all, because:

Ah, thank you! :slight_smile: I was not aware of that button. Maybe also because I do not see the button for TL1 users, only for TL2 and TL3.

I checked half of our TL2 users and I saw that for 9 of them, the only reason for not being TL3 is because “Liked Given” and/or “Likes Received” is lacking a small or even bigger number.

So in my forum the “problem” is the reaction plugin and people liking the reaction emojis better than only the heart for the built-in likes.

Now I know what the “problem” is. But is tweaking the values here is the proper solution? I think that interacting (“liking”) posts is important and as I mentioned above, just adjusting the default values do not make sense here. Because interacting with other emojis is the same for the user and has the same importance for the community and also should be treated the same. If that would be the case, the default settings perfectly make sense.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Also thank you for that, I will try later in the evening. :slight_smile:


First and may be correct thought is to reduce the threshold for qualifying likes to receive.

Yeah, very much a proper one. You can always experiment with those until you fine-tune the formula of yours. In addition to that, admin can trigger promotion job via Sidekiq to try the changes right now without waiting default daily job to do it sometime later. The job name is Jobs::Tl3Promotions

In any case, if you feel like you got too many TL3 users for some or another reason, you can always:

  • Raise the thresholds back to whatever/default values
  • Decrease the tl3 promotion min duration period to how quick you want to get rid of excessive mass of TL3 users
  • Trigger the sidekiq job manually (optional)

You may have a point, sure, and there are certainly others who support this idea. But you never know when this may/will get rolled out to future versions and have a lot of time to experiment with TL3 settings and group members :slight_smile:


I thought it might be helpful to post how it looks in my forum using the report of @ganncamp - here it is:

As you can see: For 10 of my 20 TL2 users it only has to do with the likes and almost no other values. And as I follow all topics and posts closely at the moment I know that my users are giving more reactions than likes.

Sorry, that was not well written and easily to misunderstand. I meant that half of the TL2 users lack likes and almost nothing else, as explained above.

I still do not think that this is the correct solution. Or in other words and more open: This is a valid and good solution for many forums. But also for as many forums, it is not.

So I still think the best would be to have an option to cound the reactions. 1:1 or with a certain percentage, choosing the reactions which should count at all and which not (to not count negative reactions as well).