User Trust Levels

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:
01 (Learner) → 2 (Rising Star) → 3 (Moderator: Codecademy Moderator, (Pro) Advisor, Super User, Staff) → 4 (Administrator)

We also have a Badge called Codecademy Team Member. That badge is reserved for those who work for Codecademy.

Let’s break it down!!

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

Keep scrolling down to learn about other trust levels!


Level 1: Learner

What it means to us: 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.

They 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


Level 2: Rising Star

What it means to us: 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.

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


Level 3: Super User

What it means to us: You are one of the most knowledgeable and active forum participants and have been active in the forum continuously.

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 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…

  • recategorized and rename topics
  • have all their links followed (we remove automatic nofollow163)
  • spam flags cast on TL0 user posts immediately reach the action threshold

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


Level 3+: 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 that are meant to be mostly made up of Community. (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. Moderators get swag and other awesome benefits :slight_smile:

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”. We do consider promotions without having the Super User badge, but getting that is almost like a right of passage, if you will, and helps make our decision easier.

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: Monitor your assigned 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.

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.


Level 3: Pro Advisor

Pro Advisors
Advisors are Pro only support staff online on the forum on in our courses on to help with debugging, code reviews, and more. Advisors will also work with you to determine the best way to go through your path recommending other resources and making sure all your questions about your learning journey are answered. Our Advisors are very familiar with our content and can help you with any issues from beginner to more advanced.

Advisors are eager to help out when you need it. Advisors can:
• Recommend extra resources
• Help with tech issues & questions
• Give guidance on big-picture questions
• Help decide what to learn next
• Customize your path to include more, new, or different courses
• Explain tricky concepts
• Review your code and help you understand difficult exercises

You also get access to extra resources and projects to take your skills and learning to the next level.


Level 4: Administrator

Those in this level are a few members of the Codecademy team who help moderate, edit and clean up the Forum. They keep up the maintenance of the architecture and keep the quality up.

They can get to trust level 4 by…

  • Working for Codecademy or proving yourself to be an outstanding “Heroic” Moderator.

Users at trust level 4 can…

  • edit all posts

  • pin/unpin topic

  • close topic

  • archive topic

  • make topic unlisted

  • Split and merge topics

  • Edit category permissions and details