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Some Notes about Forum Moderation, Forum Levels and Trust Scores


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Hey all,

Several of the moderators have been asked a variety of questions about moderation on this forum, so here are some notes for you. The waiting period is getting close for those trying to attain forum level 2, so a hearty premature congrats to you!

  • Trust levels should be attained by normal community interaction. There are a few things you can do to boost your “score” so there isn’t anything wrong with reading the page about levels and working on it. If you are the type that always comments and never makes a new topic, there are some easy ways to make a post. Don’t copy tips from Google and paste them (against the forum rules) but you can put up and ad or two for your gigs in My Fiverr Gigs, ask for input on a tough gig in Improve my Gig, and even if you aren’t new you can tell about yourself in New User Intros.

  • When it comes to flags, the best way to flag is to do it naturally. If you can tell that a post is against the rules (not just a mistake) then flag it. That does raise your score - but only if the mods agree with you - so choose wisely. Someone who writes a rant, puts it in Tips and gives the username is a good example. Rants don’t belong in tips, but the username is a dead no-no giveway, so flag it!

🏁Last, please note that when you flag, you may see something in your forum messages that says something like this:

“Thanks for letting us know. We agree there is an issue and we’re looking into it.”

Those messages are auto-generated. There is no need to reply to them, because once the moderator has read and made a decision on the flag, they’ve probably archived the message and don’t need to see it pop up again. Those messages are there to let you know that someone human has seen the flag and will act as time permits.


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  • 3 weeks later...

There are have been questions coming in to the moderators about flags and warnings as well as posts about it, so I thought it might be time to add something to this. There is some information about flagged/hidden posts that has been posted before in comments, but may be good to reiterate since Discourse was new to everyone then and it was never the subject of a primary post. Here is the info:

  • Brand new forum users cannot flag or see flagged posts at all

  • Most forum users can flag, but are not at a high enough trust level to see posts that were flagged earlier. If you can see “hidden posts” and click on it to reveal them, you’ve earned a trust score that allows you to view thing that have been flagged by users but have not been completely removed by moderators. This prevents people from teaming up on others to flag posts fast and hide competitor ads and such, so it’s actually helpful for those with higher trust scores and forum levels.

Your trust score can go up and down based on your activities. Trust scores can be affected for better or worse by things like: Writing posts that get genuine likes, flagging external spammers, or earning badges at a normal pace - or - writing posts that get flagged for trolling, flagging a whole series of posts for little or no reason, getting suspended repeatedly.

  • It is normal for any user to have a trust score that goes up and down. Most people are going to make a mistake sometime, including moderators and those with high forum levels. This shouldn’t be a big source of worry for most people since you can just work on raising your score if you get “dinged” or just use the forum normally and your forum levels will go up. As levels go up, you earn more rights and access.

  • Since many users cannot see which posts have been flagged and hidden by those with higher levels, calling out a flagged comment or re-quoting it is not a good idea. The same goes for posting screen shots of forum private messages on the public forum. These activities highlight things that should be kept private or between users with invites to see certain content. If a user at a higher trust level continually exposes hidden or private content, their trust score may be reduced automatically or manually.

  • The use of private messages on the forum can be very useful if users want to discuss a topic with only certain people. This can allow for discussion on controversial topics without bothering others. For example, if you want to make a post about a topic that is interesting but has caused some problems on the forum before, you can do so if your forum level is high enough. You can message other forum user privately and start the discussion and then invite others who have shown interest in the same topic. Moderators cannot see those messages unless they are invited or unless someone puts a flag in the thread. (Staff can see PM’s if they have a need to, so it’s not a way to violate ToS.) Moderators can also convert all or part of threads to PM’s if needed.

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