Explained: Trust Levels and Badges

Our new forum has user (1) trust levels and a (2) award badges. Please take a minute to read what it means, you’ll love it.

(1) Trust Levels

Upon gaining more experience in our community, you will rise through five trust levels.

  • Trust levels are there to prevent newcomers and others from accidents during the first forays into our community.
  • Trust levels provide experienced users with more powers to help others and help us maintain and moderate this forum.

All new users start at 0. The first promotion usually happens within 15 minutes. Reading posts, liking, replying, linking, reading the terms of service, reading an entire discussion - the more you do, the higher the forum will rank you. This ensures that you are familiar with the forum before more functionality will be activated for you. Starting with trust level 3 a private lounge area will also be open to you.

We currently stick with default labels for these levels, which are:
0 (New) → 1 (Basic) → 2 (Member) → 3 (Regular) → 4 (Leader)


Description of the individual trust levels and criteria for earning them

  • 0: New user, can’t do much yet, and advanced functionality is hidden to avoid initial confusion.
  • 1: Basic user, is now trusted with most forum functionality. Requires entering 5 topics, reading 30 posts, spend at least 10min reading.
  • 2: Member, have additional restrictions lifted, but need to have been on board for at least a week, have used most functionality and explored a lot of the forum to be granted this privilege.
  • 3: Regular user, have become part of the daily sight. Must show high levels of activity over a long period of time and must have a clean record (no posts flagged as spam, etc.). You can lose and re-gain level 3, but there’s a buffer period. Regular users can edit entire topics and moderate aggressively.
  • 4: Leader, these are model users that are an integral part of the community. They get this level awarded manually or by having a spotless record of activity over a year or more. This trust level puts you pretty much on par with global moderators.

(adapted from a longer post at Discourse meta)

(2) Badges

You can earn badges for activities, signaling your experience within this forum. A very simple one is the “Autobiographer” badge which you will earn once you have tweaked your personal profile, e.g. with a nice avatar.

  • Badges foster positive user behavior through “learning by doing”
  • They are granted by the admin or awarded automatically by the system
  • Some badges can be used as title, be granted multiple times, can be publicly listed
  • Examples for badges: first like received, first internal link created
  • Some badges are awarded upon gaining a new trust level to notify you of the promotion

Click here to see all currently available badges.

This topic is currently under construction. Feel free to ask questions below and we’ll continuously update this guide.

1 Like

Are all those badges working? I’ve just read the Spagvemberfest thread top to bottom so I should’ve picked up the “Reader” badge, and I’ve shared a couple of posts to Twitter and to Google+ too, so I should’ve picked up a “First Share” badge too:

1 Like

Sometimes it will take a while for the badge to be awarded. I myself am still struggling with some, I also don’t know how error-prone the system is, i.e. of you scrolling through an entire topic, will it notice or does time also factor in, etc… I am still trying to figure it out :smile:

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Ah, cool, no worries. :+1:

1 Like

You have it now. When you share something, it gets IDd so if someone uses it, it gets attributed to you. The accomplishments get processed once a day, so there’s always a slight delay.

I want to encourage everyone in here to make use of our Sandbox topic to play around with things and definitely absolutely read the Welcome topic with a few tips, tricks and links. This will help you all a lot, and also speed up your badges and trust level.

I find it funny that my ‘trust level’ is set to ‘basic user’. I have only been here about a billion years :smile:

if it comforts you, so is mine :slight_smile: Gotta learn the ropes, young fella

Haha. Fair enough :slight_smile: I’ll try to stay out of trouble.

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There is now a new group “Contributors” to which I am adding everyone who is at least semi-regularly contributing to the SWDb. Those group members automatically earn the badge “Contributors” as well. The badge as well as group membership can also be lost again.

For everyone’s info, this is the current trust level distribution

What is Trust Level 0?

Trust levels are explained in the first post of this topic.

1 Like

Ah, okay, thanks.

Trust Level 3, hombres! That’s where it’s at. Entitles me to sign using Seb’s signature at all Travelodge hotels, and allows me to wear his swimming trunks at any time, day or night, upon request. I bet he wishes he hadn’t put that incentive in there, I’m on at him at all sorts of strange hours. :wink:


Oh boy! I’m green with envy. Tiger trunks, the Sleepy Bear Den and the Davidson Suite.

Bloody show off

Okay, the following Desperados are tantalisingly close to levelling up to Trust Level Three. I’ve given out any “likes” which needed to be received where necessary but most of you need to give out some “likes” too.:

@The_Man_With_a_Name - Just dish out 12 more “likes”.
@morgan - You only need to dispense 7 more “likes”.
@Carlos - Just give out 9 more “likes”, fella.
@Bill_san_Antonio - same as Carlos, you have 9 more “likes” to give.
@Bad_Lieutenant - Giving out 14 more “likes” will get you over the line, sir.
@AvatarDK - Søren, you only need to hand out one more like and you’ll level back up.
@VanEyck - Nick, you’ve given/received enough “likes”, you just need to view twelve more threads, that’s all.

So there you go. It seems clear that nobody likes to “like” here at the SWDB; the badges and trust levels don’t appear to be stimulating forum use either as far as I can see. Of course, in truth all of you gentlemen above are long-standing members anyway and, as such, obviously don’t need any incentivised encouragement to remain here as active posters; but the badges/trust levels don’t appear to have been embraced by the newer, post-Discourse members either. Maybe it’s a generational thing; it’s probably second nature to those who have grown up with Facebook and the like.

Are the “likes”-related criteria removable from the trust levels, @Admin? They’ve simply not established themselves as a useful forum tool.

If anyone’s interested, the following is from the Discourse site regarding trust levels 2 and 3 (go HERE for a thorough explanation):

##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 ×

##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 nofollow873)
  • spam flags cast on TL0 user posts immediately hide the post
  • flags cast on TL0 user posts in sufficient diversity will auto-block the user and hide all their posts
  • make their own posts wiki (that is, editable by any TL1+ users)
  • Daily like limit increased by 2 ×


I must admit to not really understanding how this all works. I have no idea what trust level I am on but suspect it will be very low as I don’t tend to like, share or engage in any other social media type stuff here. As LC says, probably a generational thing. To not have Bill, BL and AvatarDK at a medium trust level seems daft. Something clearly isn’t functioning as intended in this case I would suggest.

How so? They are one out of many criteria for establishing trust and adding incentive. I only like posts that I find valuable…

Me neither, actually I don’t even want to know for what they are good … :wink: