User Trust Levels

What is a Superuser? What is a Moderator? What are Trust Levels?

All great questions! You will find the answers in this topic.

The Codecademy Community, like so many communities, functions because of contributions from peers. In our community, each contribution counts toward unlocking a trust level. Each trust level shows your standing in the community.

(This post was based on the original post on Discourse Meta here.)

As documented in Community Building on the Web.

User trust levels are a way of…

  • Sandboxing new users in our community so that they cannot accidentally (or intentionally!) hurt themselves, the forum, or other users while they are learning what to do.
  • Granting experienced users more rights so that they can help maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute so much of their time to.

The User Trust Levels we offer:

  • TL0 - New are brand new to the forums and have just created an account

  • TL1 - Learners are active readers of posts and topics

  • TL2 - Rising Stars are regularly helpful members, contributing both questions and answers

  • TL3 - Superusers have contributed so much, and so well, they’ve unlocked a private area for discussion about community content. They have ALL the tools to moderate the forums. These are the top contributors and greatest community members.

  • TL4 - Moderators are the administrative keepers of the realm. All moderators are superusersm but not all superusers are moderators. New moderators are democratically elected.

To read the full description of trust levels, please see this blog post.

We also have Badges. Badges are earned throughout your journey. One Badge is called Codecademy Team Member. That badge is reserved for those who work for Codecademy HQ.

Learn More About Trust Levels, Perks, and Benefits

Trust Level 0

Users at trust level 0 (New member) cannot…

  • Send private messages to other users
  • Reply as new topic in the right gutter (UI removed)
  • Flag posts
  • Post any images
  • 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

Tust Level 1: Learner

What it means to Codecademy: You are an up-and-comer who is newer to the forums and/or developing your product knowledge.

What it means to Discourse: If you stick around long enough to read a bit, Discourse now trusts you as a basic user.

You can get to Trust Level 1 by:

  • entering at least 3 topics
  • reading at least 15 posts
  • spend a total of 6 minutes reading posts

Users at trust level 1 can:

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

Trust Level 2: Rising Star

What it means to Codecademy: You are a member and have jumped into one of the many forum posts, answered a question, and participated in existing conversations. You have also posted a new thread, or at least thought about it. You now are turning your focus on your posting style, quality of answers, and relationships with Top Contributors and Rising Stars.

What it means to Discourse: Members keep coming back to the site, and have participated long enough to earn complete citizenship.

You 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

Trust Level 3: Super User

What it means to Codecademy: You are one of the most knowledgeable and active forum participants and have been active in the forum continuously. We think you’re incredibly awesome.

What it means to Discourse: Regulars are the most active readers and reliable contributors over long periods of time. Getting to level 3 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 15% of posts created in the last 100 days, must have read 15%, must have received 50 likes, and given 50 likes. (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.)
  • 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

All of the above 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 6-month grace period immediately after gaining Trust Level 3 during which you will not be demoted. After this grace period, the Mod team will vote to lock you at TL3.

Users at trust level 3 can:

  • recategorized and rename topics
  • have all their links followed
  • spam flags cast on TL0 user posts immediately reach the action threshold

As a TL3, you will now have the following extra experiences available to you:

  • Access to a private Super User category in the Codecademy Forums
  • An invitation to join the private Codecademy Community Leaders Slack Workspace, a shared space with Codecademy Moderators
  • Open door access to Codecademy Community Managers and HQ staff
  • Invitations to Codecademy company events and roundtables
  • First to know about Codecademy product updates, plus special beta testing opportunities

Our criteria for choosing Top Contributors may change over time as we learn what truly makes a Top Contributor “the tops.”

Trust Level 4: Codecademy Moderator

When you’re not answering questions in the forums, you might be testing new features or advocating for product changes. Codecademy Moderators are Super Users from the community who have been democratically elected for a permanent leadership role. (All Moderators are Super Users, but not all Super Users are Moderators.) You must be a consistent Super User in order to be considered for a Moderator position.

If you are interested in becoming a Moderator, I would like to suggest that you try to earn the “Super User” Badge, which gives you Level 3 access, almost as much as a moderator, first to then be considered for a “promotion”.

Some qualities you have as a Codecademy Moderator:

  • Helpful: Each Codecademy Moderator answers thousands of questions to educate and help others, to foster community engagement, and to influence the future of Codecademy’s products.
  • Knowledgeable: Codecademy Moderators are trusted partners, connecting regularly with Codecademy to stay in-the-know about new and improved product features.
  • Technical: Codecademy Moderators know the ins and outs of Codecademy’s products. Many Codecademy Moderators specialize in a specific product, while others share their expertise across several forums (and sometimes across several languages)
  • Provide help and advice to new users, help forum newbies, and anyone interested in learning more.
  • The Moderator should have related coding experience and have knowledge around the Codecademy courses and products.
  • The Moderator should have enough spare time for forum modding! (We don’t request you log-in every day, just give some spare time to keep the forum in order and help other users)
  • Theme control: The moderator must create an open discussion atmosphere in the forum he/she moderates, trying best to write posts, transfer relevant articles and reply to users’ questions. It is the moderator’s responsibility to establish and keep the forum style and theme according to the board layout.
  • Maintain order: The moderator must mediate irrational quarrels occurred in the forum he/she moderates to maintain normal order. The moderator should take a neutral stand and pose a fair attitude in settling disputes, particularly when involved in controversial topics.
  • Keep forum clean and tidy: Monitor your forum for abusive posts, unauthorized spam or advertisements, copyright infringements, any sort of harassment, and any other violations of the forum rules and edit or delete posts that violate these rules.
  • Increase forum popularity: Foster a sense of community, caring and responsiveness in your assigned forum. This can be done easily by getting involved in discussions, responding to posts (especially those no one else responds to), and offering your support. NOTE: You do not have to reply to every post. This is especially crucial for new and inexperienced users to feel welcome.

Moderators have all the benefits of TL3 Super Users, plus:

  • Codecademy Pro for the length of your service as a Mod
  • Access to a private Mod Only category for conversations about the Codecademy Forums
  • An invitation to private channels in the Codecademy Community Leaders Slack Workspace

Becoming a Codecademy Moderator is invite-only. Our team monitors the Forum closely and periodically extends invitations to those who emanate the Super User attitude as identified above.

Thank you for learning about the Codecademy Community trust levels!