I wanted to make this post to explain the concept of trust levels in Discourse, which is the forum framework we use.
Discourse has 5 trust levels
- TL0 - New
- TL1 - Basic
- TL2 - Member
- TL3 - Regular
- TL4 - Leader
The trust levels are setup in such a way as to prevent spam and reward more active users with more privileges. For instance, new users are instantly placed in TL0. This limits them to creating 3 topics per day, can not post attachments, and can not flag posts among many other restrictions. TL0 is so restricted to prevent spam on the forum.
Once a user looks at 5 topics, read 30 posts, and spend at least 10mins reading posts the system automatically upgrades them to TL1. The removes all restrictions that where in place on TL0 as well as allowing the user to now send PMs and flag posts among other privileges.
In general the system handles moving users up trust levels, with the exception of TL4 - Leader. This trust level is a pseudo moderator and is meant to be gifted to the most dedicated users in the community by the admins. This trust level is allowed some limited admin actions like the ability to edit posts, pin/unpin topics, and make topics unlisted to name a few.
If you want more detailed information I encourage you to check out this post: