How Discourse trust level works?




Thank you @pfitzseb, it seems that the privilege of admin is only granted by existing admins regardless of the trust level, can you confirm?


No, but you are most probably right :slight_smile:


Yes, I think that the source of all issues on this forum regarding lack of politeness in the comments and other things all boil down to the fact that the board of admins is made of a small group of people on one side of the equation. It lacks diversity.

If admins are chosen by merit, however; everyone is treated equally, and the code of conduct would be respected. I don’t see other solution to the current situation.


First let me clear up some definitions here:

  • admin: Technical maintenance of this discourse forum.
  • moderator: Traditional discussion moderation

The list of who is part of these two groups can be seen here:
Everybody who has a shield next to their name is a moderator. (As you might notice I do not have that and my primary role here is of technical nature).

The choice of admins and moderator is mostly historic. Admins are people who have the know-how and ability to manage this site and are well known and longstanding members of the Julia community. Admins have read/write access to everything, so it is very intentional to keep the group small. Moderators were originally chosen based on who used to full fill these roles on the old mailing list and it again consists of well known and longstanding members of the community. The group is again intended to be kept small.

The philosophy of discourse the software and what I have tried to advocate for is that the platform offers tools for the community to self-moderate. As an example flagging a post brings it to the moderators attention, but you can also choose to contact the person personally. Furthermore if several people flag a post (and here the trust level system comes into play) that post gets automatically hidden and put into the moderation queue.

Trust-Level 0 to 3 are based on activity and other factors in this forum and they are automatically granted. Trust-Level 4 is something that an Admin can give to a user and is a basically a moderator, without access to the moderation queue. We have given that out only to a few community members. I think primarily to the community Stewards (which function outside this forum).


Also see this post Admins, Moderators and Trust Levels


Thank you @vchuravy for taking the time to reply. You are one of the most respectful members of this community, and I am always very happy to learn from your answers since the beginning of Julia. My point remains in that no progress is possible without a system that evolves by itself. We need this for a more diverse community and more civilized conversation.

I wonder if another platform exists that would provide similar features and would still be fully based on merit where the feedback from the entire community is taken into consideration, not only a small group of people sharing similar views. Friends won’t flag friends, and that is what is happening.


I think that the kind of diversity that builds a community already exists here. We can all say our minds and disagree. Best idea wins.
Allowing for a looser stewardship and administration would make things less efficient.
Do you really feel like you are marginalized?


I disagree. I feel that many users are being disrespected with impolite comments, and that the code of conduct is not being applied to everyone equally.


I know what you mean. I’ve seen it. But i think this isn’t much more of a case of:
Us users getting prime attention from top developers all being involved in the front interface of a cutting edge tool. Then there are tons of cases i would just class as culture shock/ clash. I personally would be a lot more harsh if I’d shed my fake politeness. I try to make an effort despite my genuine opinion that it’s less efficient to be so polite. But… We are all different and being more polite brings love to these forms.
I agree that some of the replies could be more polite, but then they really don’t owe us a response. The ones less polite tend to be the people I’d rather have developing Julia rather than answering my (honestly) uniformed questions.
Then it could also be v1 fever and stress related. In any case, i know what you mean. You’re not alone. They are overly harsh and set in their ways at times. But it’s also kind of fine. I for one would rather have a slightly smarter and powerful developer than a bunch of me’s…


Please don’t confuse contribution to the language with being a good citizen in a community forum, these are completely orthogonal skills. I am not saying they are doing a bad job as programmers or committers, they are just doing a terrible job on this forum.

Also, politeness is never enough. Take senior contributors like Tim Holy, and younger incredibly smart people like Chris, they have both skills and are always incredibly resourceful here when they answer. If a developer is stressed or too busy to give a polite answer, the solution is to not answer.


No, i understand. They are bad at replying and amazing at contributing. But do you really mean that you’d rather not hear their opinion if it wasn’t offered more politely?


@juliohm, one thing that you can do, if you aren’t doing it already, is to flag those rude and unnecessary posts.
I just started doing this…


I’d also like to point out that is easy to perceive the forum as a fair environment by just looking at the “likes”. The problem is that the likes are also coming from their friends, who happen to be the most active on the forum (i.e. moderators). So at the surface everything is working perfectly, but the opinion expressed by the likes is the opinion of a few people, not necessarily the opinion of the community.

Some time ago on a related issue, members messaged me privately saying that they were leaving Discourse because they couldn’t keep up with the current situation (these people are highly educated Ph.D.). I am thinking of doing the same, and I am not a random user, I’ve been around for a while now defending Julia and spreading the words where I go.


Thank you @favba, I am doing the same, that is a very good point.


I’m curious what you feel that moderators should be doing differently. What should they be doing that they aren’t or are they doing that they shouldn’t?


I think the issue is the Discourse platform and the limited number of people with moderation power. It will never scale to all views of the community.


That doesn’t really answer my question. What specifically do you feel is not working the way you would like and what could moderators do differently?


I think I answered your question, the whole Discourse model is flawed. No community will ever be represented by 5 people, and whatever they do, it will not be effective.


It is clear that the current situation calls for a merit-based forum where people gain moderation power based on their trust level, not by invitation.