What Are Badges and Trust Levels?


#1

Badges reinforce positive user behavior and facilitates “learning by doing”. It is a central part of Politiforum’s gamification features.

##Receiving Badges
There are two ways to receive a badge:

  1. Manually granted by an administrative user
  2. Automatically granted by the system

Furthermore, all badges have some optional properties.

  • Allow badge to be used as a title
  • Can be granted multiple times
  • Show badge on the public badges page
  • Show post granting badge on badge page

##Automatic Badges

Automatic badges are granted by special triggers. Discourse comes with a lot of default badges out of the box, but administrative users can also create custom ones. At their most basic, automatic badges are simple “kudos!” for users who are just starting out.

For example:

  • Added a link
  • Received a like.

Certain badges also coincide with new trust levels. When you’ve attained a new trust level, you’ll receive a corresponding badge to notify you of the bump-up.

  • Trust Level 1 --> Basic
  • Trust Level 2 --> Member
  • Trust Level 3 --> Regular
  • Trust Level 4 --> Leader

User trust levels are a way of granting experienced users more rights so that they can help maintain and moderate this community that they generously contribute so much of their time to.

###Visitor → Novice → Regular → Leader → Elder

These five levels seemed like a great starting point for our user trust system, though we changed a few names to make the levels more clear.

Thus, Politiforum offers five user trust levels, and your current level is visible on your user page:

###0 (New) → 1 (Basic) → 2 (Member) → 3 (Regular) → 4 (Leader)

##Trust Levels Explained Further

###New (0)

Politiforum does not quite trust new users, as they are visitors who just created an account, are still learning the community norms and the way our forum works. Whether accidentally, or intentionally, new users can occasionally cause problems within the community.

We also hide any so-called “advanced” functionality from new users to make the UI feel less confusing for them and gently land them on the deeper UI as they get more experienced.

Thus, new users’ abilities are restricted for safety – both theirs and yours.

Users at trust level 0 cannot…

  • Send private messages to other users
  • Reply as new topic in the right gutter (UI removed)
  • Flag posts
  • Post more than 1 image
  • Post any attachments
  • Post more than 2 hyperlinks in a post
  • Have actual links in the ‘about me’ field of their profile (will be silently and temporarily converted to plain text)
  • Mention more than 2 users in a post

###Basic (1)

If a user sticks around long enough to read a bit, Politiforum now trusts them as a basic user.

They can get to trust level 1 by…

  • entering at least 5 topics
  • reading at least 30 posts
  • spend a total of 10 minutes reading posts

Users at trust level 1 can…

  • use all core Politiforum functions
  • Upload images and attachments if enabled
  • Edit wiki posts
  • Flag posts
  • have all new user restrictions removed

###Members (2)

Members keep coming back to the site, and have participated long enough to earn complete citizenship.

They can get to trust level 2 by…

  • visiting at least 15 days, not sequentially
  • casting at least 1 like
  • receiving at least 1 like
  • replying to at least 3 different topics
  • entering at least 20 topics
  • reading at least 100 posts
  • spend a total of 60 minutes reading posts

Users at trust level 2 can…

  • Use the “Invite others to this topic” button for one-click onboarding of new users to participate in topics
  • Invite outside users to PMs making a group PM
  • Daily like limit increased by 1.5 ×

###Regular (3)

Regulars are the most active readers and reliable contributors over long periods of time.

They can get to trust level 3 by…

This is time and activity based, unlike the previous levels. In the last 100 days…

  • must have visited at least 50% of days
  • must have replied to at least 10 different topics
  • of topics created in the last 100 days, must have viewed 25%
  • of posts created in the last 100 days, must have read 25%
  • must have received 20 likes, and given 30 likes.*
  • must not have received more than 5 spam or offensive flags (with unique posts and unique users for each, confirmed by a moderator)
    must not have been suspended
  • These likes must be across a minimum number of different users (1/5 the number), across a minimum number of different days (1/4 the number). Likes cannot be from PMs.

All of these must be true.

Unlike other trust levels, you can lose trust level 3 status. If you dip below these requirements, whether from flagging or the passage of time, you will be demoted to Member. However, in order to avoid constant promotion/demotion situations, there is a 2-week grace period immediately after gaining Trust Level 3 during which you will not be demoted.

Users at trust level 3 can…

  • recategorize and rename topics
  • access a private “frequent flier’s lounge” category only visible to users at trust level 3 and higher
  • have all their links followed (we remove automatic nofollow596)
  • spam flags cast on TL0 user posts immediately reach the action threshold
  • make their own posts wiki (that is, editable by any TL1+ users)
  • Daily like limit increased by 2 ×

###Leader (4)

Leaders are regulars who have been around forever and have seen everything. They set a positive example for the community through their actions and their posts. If you need advice, these are the folks you turn to first.

They can get to trust level 4 by…

  • Community Election
  • Promoted to Super Moderator (rare)
  • Granted by Administrator for Outstanding Community Contribution (exceptionally rare)

Users at trust level 4 can…

  • edit all posts
  • pin/unpin topic
  • close topic
  • archive topic
  • make topic unlisted
  • Split and merge topics
  • Daily like limit increased by 3 ×

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