Understanding Discourse Trust Levels

Originally published at: Understanding Discourse Trust Levels

The user trust system is a fundamental cornerstone of Discourse. Trust levels are a way of… Sandboxing new users in your community so that they cannot accidentally hurt themselves, or other users while they are learning what to do. Granting experienced users more rights over time, so that they can help everyone maintain and moderate…

For a detailed list of trust level permissions, please see Trust Level Permissions Table (inc Moderator Roles)


What does it mean for an ability of Trust Level 3 user below? What is “…in sufficient diversity…”?

  • TL3 flags cast on TL0 user posts in sufficient diversity will auto-silence the user and hide all their posts

That’s a good point, the terminology could be clearer… what it means is you need a minimum number of different TL3 users to cast the flag on the same post for it to take effect. In other words, you need consensus from multiple TL3 users.


What is the idea behind the “Post more than 1 image” limitation for new users?
If I create a spam entry it actually does not matter if this entry contains 1 or 5 images or even one large image which shows the same content as 5 small ones.

You don’t get a warning about this limitation during the creation of a topic and It is frustrating for new users to compose a long thread just to find out at the end that you are not allowed to post it.


It’s a thing that spammers do, and discourse does a bunch of stuff to thwart spammers by default. If you know better for your community and want to police it, You can change newuser max embedded media.


We are new to Discourse and would like to learn more about the Trust system. One leading question is our ability - as admins - to disable it fully or partially. What options exist for that?

One scenario: someone’s english is not great so they are liked less frequently than fluent English speakers and move up more slowly or not at all due to low numbers of likes.


The good news is that we’ve already accounted for communities that are stingy with likes, and the like requirements are extremely low for everything except TL3 :slight_smile:


You could modify the trust level promotion requirements to make it impossible for a user to reach. Then admins would have to manually promote users to different trust levels. There’s also a site setting to give new users a trust level other than TL0. Be very careful changing that setting, especially if signups are public, as it makes it much easier for spammers to mess with the site.


Do you know if the change to allow “Invite others to this topic” for public topics is planned for an upcoming release?


I believe @tobiaseigen has worked on that recently and would know better than I.


Hi Joel! We are going to be making changes soon to the invite to topic feature so that it uses our newly improved invite system, instead of having its own separate UI that tries to accommodate existing users as well as email addresses of people who are not yet users. We are also prioritizing simplifying the invite system as much as possible along the lines of what discord and other similar platforms are doing.

Can you elaborate a bit on your use case? Are you using the feature as it exists now, or are there specific improvements you are hoping to see?

For now, TL2 users and above can indeed use the invite to topic feature at the bottom of topics to invite people to the topic, whether or not the people they are inviting are users on the site already or not. I just tested it and this is how it functions. (It reflects the min trust level to allow invite admin setting which is TL2 by default)

The new invite system, accessed via your user profile menu, allows only admins to specify a topic to send the invitee to upon login, as well as groups to add them to.


@JoelZaslofsky I’m not sure if this is what you were referring to but @tobiaseigen this is the change I’d love to see.


Hello there!
How will I know that I skipped a level? I have been working on skipping from level 0 to 1, but I don’t really know that it happened.


Hi Clara,

I’m not really following your question. Trust levels aren’t generally skipped - a user will progress from one to the next as they meet the requirements. Users will receive a badge when they reach a new trust level, plus a PM for certain promotions. A user’s current trust level can also been seen on their profile.


When I said skip, I meant to go through level 0 to level 1 doing the requirements.

I just wanted to understand what else I need to do do go to 0 to 1, because I’ve already done everything required to go to level 1.


I’m assuming you’re talking about another site - not meta.discourse.org. This post covers the default requirements to move between trust levels. Site admins can modify these requirements, making them higher or lower. It is also possible for an admin or moderator to lock a user’s trust level. You’ll need to reach out to the staff of the site in question for more details.


Hey Joshua,

I’m talking about FRTTO, which linked me to the guide of trust levels to your website: Understanding Discourse Trust Levels | Blog

Is FRTTO part of your website?


Hey Clara,

I’m going to assume you’re talking about https://talk.frt.to/. They use the Discourse software, yes. However, as I mentioned above:

Even though FRTTO uses Discourse software doesn’t mean they haven’t modified the default settings. You’ll want to contact one of the staff members listed at About - TALK.FRT.TO, or use the email under Contact Us to chat with them.


2 posts were split to a new topic: How to manage / tweak trust level settings for a small community

Hello. I have registered to this forum because I’m interested in this topic, since I’m an user from a somewhat popular spanish forum which is based on Discourse.

I have been registered in that forum for more than 4 years now. I’m still a basic user (level 1). There are users that earn the status of member (level 2) in 1 year, despite having way lower statistics than me (much lower number of posts, likes, reading time, etc). And since the admin of that spanish forum just ignores me when I ask him about the trust system, I did a bit of research and I ended up finding this forum.

My question is: can the administrator of a discourse forum, for example, intentionally block the progression of specific users to force them to stay at trust level 0-1, or increase his/her thresholds to ridiculous levels to effectively block that specific user from progress to further levels? Thanks!