What is the reason to not use reputation points?

Stack Exchange, Reddit and a lot of forums have reputation points. It shows other users who’s been active and posting quality content and it creates an incentive for people to post and reply.

It creates a positive feedback loop. Why would Discourse not use this good mechanism? Do you guys see something I am not seeing?


Not always a good thing.
Are you replying to get reputation points or because you genuinely have something to add to the topic?

Lots of other forum things … gallery, index page with widgets feeding from forum, rewrite Farmville.

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Can’t we just continue that discussion here?

Based on the anecdotal evidence of having participated in many such communities, I think reputation systems have a high tendency to create an involuntary “I’m better than you”-effect, similar in nature to the “IT’S OVER 9000!-post count”. Think the /r/thebutton experiment - a self-formed class society of “Greys” and “Reds” - without the “we’ll all laugh about this afterwards” roleplay factor. It’s borderline creepy sometimes, the effect a number (compared constantly to other numbers) can have on someone’s psyche.

Yes, these concepts exist on a forum like Discourse as well; post counts are still there, as are trust levels, but they’re hidden by default. They’re played down, not up, and that makes a big difference. Discourse distinguishes between “Member” and “Regular”, but it doesn’t distinguish between RegularUserX and RegularUserY, which is the point where you may start to value your worth as a community member based on an arbitrary number that’s inflated by behaviour that doesn’t necessarily benefit the community as a whole.


No. That topic is about proposal and critique and a different system. I did try to reply to your post as a linked topic but the system kindly did not respond in any way, so I opened a new topic :confused:

If your post/comment doesn’t add anything to the topic, how is the person going to earn reputation? It is by default given by the community and it is earned.

If you are replying to get reputation points but in the process add something to the topic is that a bad thing?

If a user is posting useful content, how are they supposed to get consistent feedback for their positive actions?

I see your point and agree that there are cases where it is a really bad thing, but it seems good to me at the places I visit at least.

Okay, fair enough. I quoted the exchange in its entirety so the “philosophical” discussion can continue here instead.


I’ve been a member of a lot of forums over the years, some use the reputation system.
I’ve never been interested in giving or receiving.
I do however use the LIKE button on Discourse forums.

It might be the word “reputation” and the fact it is calculated and could be manipulated.
Cliques of users giving each other rep points. One user with multiple logins …

I prefer the current trust level system. Perhaps these should be extended between levels 2-3.

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That’s yet another different discussion :wink:

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Now I’ve read the discussion in the links you provided. Thanks.
Because of the privileges given at TL3 the gulf between the two levels is necessary.

So ignore my posts and give me negative reps.

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When we have a really flexible badge system why rely on something as crude as upvotes?


I like badges and TL very much and obviously dislike point or posts numbers as @erlend_sh has explained that very well:

but why don’t think to a default organization for badges, by level, as I have already suggested here?

it could be a good a good alternative.

Continued here: