Trust levels on Ask Fedora (from newbie to super-hero!)

Welcome to Ask Fedora! This site is powered by Discourse, forum software which encourages community-based moderation. Key to this is the concept of “Trust Levels”. There is official documentation, but here’s a quick intro (and some details about how we use them here).

Trust Level 0: New User

This is where all new users start. It’s basically a “safety” level to prevent spam and other trouble from bad actors, and also to help you learn the ropes. You can’t send personal messages, flag posts, or post a lot of links or images. You also can’t edit your post after 24 hours. (This keeps spammers from posting something innocent at first, but then editing in something bad later, when they think we won’t notice )

Trust Level 1: Basic

This level is meant to be really easy to get to. Spend some time reading posts on the site and just looking around in general and you’ll automatically be upgraded. The above limitations get removed. Sorry that they’re frustrating, but experience shows we need them to prevent persistent spam attacks. [1]

Trust Level 2: Member

Visit at least 15 days (not necessarily in a row) and generally engage, and you’ll get this easily. At this level, you can fix typos or other mistakes in your own posts for up to a month.

Note: obtaining this trust level or higher normally requires giving and receiving a number of :heart: “likes”, but currently the system doesn’t count the fancy new “reactions” like :party:, :fedora:, or :bluethumb:. We have removed this requirement until the forum software is updated to take the other kinds of reaction into account as well.

Trust Level 3: Regular

This is the exciting one! It’s for people who have been meaningfully active for at least half of the last 100 days.

Once you reach this level, you automatically get a lot of power. Here are some of the key abilities:

  • You can now rename and re-categorize posts. Please do! New users sometimes pick titles that are too broad (“Problem with Fedora???”) and editing them to be more specific is a good way to make the site better.
  • You can hide spam posts immediately by flagging them. (Again, please do!)
  • You’ll be invited to The Lounge, a “secret” room. (Full disclosure: this is not a super-elite perk, because the Fedora Way is to default to open. So it’s no secret cabal. But it is fun!)

Note that this level isn’t permanent; if you don’t stay active, you can drop back to Member. That’s okay; the idea is for it to be granted to people who are really involved. We hope that’s you, but it’s also cool if you’ve got other things going on in your life.

Trust Level 4: Q&A Leader

This is almost a moderator level. It’s for folks who have been around the community, understand how we do things, and want to help out. Unlike the others, you get this by manual promotion, not automatically.

Q&A Leaders can:

  • Edit all posts. And again, please do! You shouldn’t change meaning, but if you see a typo, a misspelling, or an language mistake where the meaning is clear, go ahead and make the correction.
  • Split topics. Discourse isn’t great with really long winding conversations, so it’s best to split out tangents. This is also a good idea when someone replies to an existing question with something actually unrelated. When you see these things, you don’t need to ask. Just do it!
  • Merge topics. You can also combine things. If you see someone asking something that has just been solved, linking the topics helps everyone find the answer quickly.
  • Pin/unpin topics, and close topics or archive topics, or even make them unlisted. This is probably a less frequent thing, but you’ll be trusted to do it if need be.

If you are a site Regular (Trust Level 3), and

  • would benefit from having these powers, and
  • would use them for good, not evil…

… the process is simple. Post your interest in The Lounge — the secret room for TL3+ — and if no one objects (either publicly or privately to staff) within two weeks, we’ll hand you the promotion. Then, pitch in and help grow the community even more!

How can I see my level?

Click on your avatar (the user icon) next to any post — the first badge shown will indicate trust level. Or go to your profile and click “Expand”. This will show a summary line with the date you joined the site and some other information, including your current trust level. (When viewing a profile other than your own, this line is expanded by default.)

  1. Fundamentally, it needs to be more of an investment to get started on making an account and building trust than whatever incentives spammers have, and because there’s more spammers in the world than there are Ask Fedora site moderators, it has to take significantly more work to create a spam account than it does to zap one. ↩︎