Is it possible to completely disable trust levels?

I would like to completely remove the Trust system from our forum because we unanimously hate it – everything about it.

Is there an easy way to do this?

We just want a normal forum where only mods or admins can edit (other member’s) posts, etc. Don’t want anyone getting additional privs simply because they spent time reading posts, etc. Don’t want anyone’s privs auto changing – only manually done by admin(s).

I am hoping it’s as easy as deselecting a checkbox like for disabling the badge system (first thing we did).

Please tell me there is a simple way to completely disembowel Trust Levels from Discourse.


Make it so default trust level is trust level 1, make it impossible to attain trust level 2 via site settings and you are done.

Also bask in the glory of the automated spam and floods of crazy you get cause you are default trusting everyone :slight_smile:


Thank you very much – I will look into that in the morning.

One forum I mod (SMF) has no such features yet I can’t remember the last time I saw spam or bot activity. Another forum I used to admin (vB5 – don’t get me started) was the same – hardly any spam or bots, and the odd time there was, me or one of the mods would take care of it.

Why would you automatically conclude a forum will turn into full on anarchy if Trust Levels were disabled?

Not full anarchy, but skipping TL0 is very high risk if your forum has any large levels of exposure. If only a few people know about it you are probably OK, if not, spammers can log in and post a big pile of stuff unchecked (like posts with 100 links to the current top flavors of viagra and what not)


@sam Ok, that makes sense. Let’s say we were to follow your suggestion about making it impossible to reach Level 2, and the forum went to hell in a hand basket just as you predicted. Can we easily revert back to the default Trust Levels without major side effects?

I do not predict that, but you are introducing risk. Yes you can undo some of the damage, but default trust level 1 is very hard to undo, cause you will have a bunch of dormant accounts at TL1 that really should be 0

The biggest risks here is:

  1. Skipping TL0 means that a bunch of accounts go through no trivial vetting process. (we are talking 30 minutes here)
  2. Skipping TL2/3/4 means that a bunch of hard work is left only to moderators. TL3/4 allows some super duper active and liked users to pitch in on moderation like activity.

The main thing is to not skip TL0 and TL1. You can disable TL2 / TL3 without any risk, but you give up on some automatic community moderation features. TL4 is manual promote anyway.


Understood. My original plan was to disable TL0 and TL2, and make TL1 the default. However, I think I will look at keeping TL0 but relaxing its restrictions a bit, but still disabling TL2 and up.

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If it helps - my recommendation would be you keep TL0, TL1, and TL2.

I wouldn’t bother much with the TL0 -> TL1 transition myself (on a forum with any activity this is trivial to overcome for real users, but YMMV), poking at the TL1 -> TL2 transition might be worthwhile.

But at TL2 your users can invite people to the forum, and you could consider changing the default invited user level to TL1. So if you’re reasonably sure your users won’t invite spambots to the forum (or some other undesirable member, who wouldn’t get from TL0 to TL1), your TL2 users can bring in new people at TL1. So you skip TL0 for users you’re reasonably okay with being TL1 immediately but keep it in place as a spam protection measure.

Ya know, let the built in system work for you a bit, even if you don’t want to use the whole thing.


I’m just curious is TL4 only achievable by manual award from admin?

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Above says… yes.


Thanks, much appreciated!

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I’m new here and just set up my forum. It is to be a smaller, invite only working group. I understand the logic behind the trust system but there are reasons some people would prefer not to use it. With our group we don’t want badges or hierarchies and we’re not really into gamification and behaviorism. However, I realize that if I were trying to create a large community open to all this becomes more difficult. Discourse looks amazing though. I’m looking forward to using it!

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Badges can be disabled completely without impacting the trust system.


Similarly if you have a very trusted internal community you can just have everyone at TL3 or 4, effectively disabling the system.


2 posts were split to a new topic: How to make all signup TL3 by default?