User levels - and capabilities

Continuing the discussion from Librem 5 USA - Read Before Ordering:

Personally I think there is a valid perception point made here that accounts with the ability to re-title threads and move them are moderators; low level moderators that cannot edic the content of posts not delete them and when flagging posts as inappropriate that is escalated to a higher tier of moderator but this is still a form of moderation.

The perception that these actions reflect on purism is one I agree with.

I think it should be re-assessed as to whether or not users should be granted these capabilities just for being active for a while. I do not believe this current configuration scales well and there are currently what I see as significant downsides.

Using this linked thread as an example; I happen to agree with the OP that it should not have been moved and I have the ability to move it. If I did that @irvinewade would have no way of knowing whom moved it nor why as there is currently no visibility into that for those of us granted this from forum activity. There is no private forum section where we can discuss those actions, no history for us to see whom did what nor comments for that history for us to note why for one another. It is also possible that all of us with this ability could just keep renaming a post and/or moving it indefinitely which is not productive.

While I am on-board with non-employee moderation; I do think granting moderation powers, even limited moderation powers, simply for being an active user is flawed and can result in users that are patient and then perform a significant amount of malicious actions before their account is disabled (as it currently cannot be deleted)…

Overall, while I think that the current method was intended to reward long term good behavior, I think there are other ways to accomplish this and that either these capabilities should be scaled back OR they should be expanded to include a subforum with guidelines for using these abilities as well as a place to discuss the actions taken.


While I agree with some of your points, Discourse only offers the functionality that it offers and at this stage of the game I would not want Purism spending time improving Discourse.

You are right that if someone moved it back, the original other forum user would not know who did it or why. However I myself wouldn’t choose to get into a stupid game of moving it back and forth.

I would question your stated assumption around Purism’s motivation in allowing moderator type actions and I haven’t seen any explicit documentation of when that becomes possible for a forum user.

The perception that these actions reflect on Purism could be partly addressed by making it clear that it is community “moderated”. I would suppose that Discourse does not itself make that clear (and there’s nothing that we can do about that) but this fact could at least be added to a “sticky”.

I agree in theory that moderator type actions could be carried out maliciously, I have never noticed this actually happening. So there should be some limits on what effort we expend to solve a problem that may not be happening.

Clearly any direction for change in this area needs to come from Purism.

Ironically, this discussion is public even though the original topic is not.


I make no claim to purisms motivations, only comment on the perception/optics of the current situation.

That’s as precise as is communicated.

I very much agree that purism should not fork and customize discourse at this time, and that any changes must come from purism noy the community; but I do believe this is the best place for feedback to purism on this topic :wink:


I also agree with this.

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FYI Some of the external forums removed OP’s posts as well.

"… Thread below states the Purism thread is marked private, not deleted. Fully understand a decision like that…and of course this makes this post inaccurate, which is yet another reason we don’t allow third party forum drama.

A user is welcome to share their well written, polite, shipping stories here. Especially if there’s proof (going off the IMGUR below). I don’t have a Purism device, I don’t know their shipping schedule and whether or not they are on time, and I don’t currently plan to get one. I am not getting involved with a “they advertised this” and “they advertised that” kind of discussion.

For years, we’ve seen people make unfounded complaints about Purism long before they shipped things. …"

All good. N people are not always going to agree. There was at least one other forum user who also agreed with the OP (I mean other than the OP who is never going to agree with an unfavourable moderation decision in this scenario and clearly did not).

I don’t think that a public discussion is necessarily the appropriate way of reviewing such decisions - and there does not seem to be an alternative.

That might not have made any difference in this case.

That’s what happens when you turn over control to computers and algorithms. :wink:

I don’t think it’s that big a deal. If Purism tells me not to move topics then I won’t move topics, regardless of whether I am technically eligible to do so as per the forum software implementation.

… which leads to the question: how do you get to “trust level 3”?

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Seems like you missed this one.

There’s no good reason to keep inaccurate information around while we wait for shipping updates.

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FWIW the other thread was referenced not to re-hash it, but rather to reference the issues around having “regulars” able to move and rename it and similar threads.

The discussion of that thread, and its merits, can go ahead and stay in that thread.


Understood, apologies.


I do agree. My point is that we need Bona Fides like Irwin to clean out “inaccurate information”.

Now this right here is part of my point. As there are no guidelines to go with these abilities it is purely at the discretion of the users with these permissions and that discretion reflects on purism whether intentional or not.

You deem something just and cleansing another seems it unjust and muddying the waters. Neither party is wrong as there’s subjectivity involved (I’m talking hypothetical here to get away from this single example since there are other examples in these forums as well).

As such anyone’s actions that reflect on purism should, in my view, at minimum be following guidance from purism.

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Common sense is also guidance.

There is some explicit guidance publicly available. This might inform a decision about whether a post is a contribution, adds value, “improves the discussion”, or not.

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They could make a D&D table, with a certain number of experience points to go up in level.

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The user irvinewade suggested that I post my comment in this thread (in what I thought to be a rather snoody tone, btw). So reposting my thoughts here:

Allowing regular users who don’t represent Purism moderate this forum is going to continue to lead to confusion. Especially since there doesn’t seem to be any transparency or accountability when manipulating and changing posts as evidenced by this thread. Whoever from Purism allowed such a thing should reconsider.

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I would like to present at least a counterargument.

By allowing some users who have no formal connection to Purism to make moderation-like decisions, Purism gets increased (free) resourcing and better timezone coverage.

I have seen in the past, Purism developers doing moderation work - and while it is entirely Purism’s business how they operate - that does delay the day when I have working camera, working GNSS, working convergence, … so I am much happier if developers are relieved of having to do this.

I agree that it would be preferable, even important, if it could be communicated clearly that moderation-like decisions and actions are not being taken by Purism i.e. community-moderated when that is the case.

It would be good to be clear also about the exact actions that can be taken by community members (move topic, retitle topic, but is there anything else?) and the other actions that can only be taken by Purism (???sin-bin or deactivate users, hide or delete post, … really I have no idea - would have to read Discourse documentation).

You would be surprised (or maybe not) how many BS accounts get created solely for the purposes of making one BS post e.g. spam. That of course is not unique to this forum.

I would suppose that when move or retitle topic occurs, the OP is notified but I don’t know what content is in that notification or whether it can be customised???


I’d just like to chime in to say I personally was not aware that users automatically received permissions based on trust levels. I strongly disagree with this but I digress.

I thought moderators were specifically chosen by Purism employees.

Due to this, I apologise for grouping both my issues of shipping estimates and moving the thread into a private section with yourself @irvinewade I can see that these were unrelated and you are simply a user that was given low-level moderation powers.


Are you willing to comment on the last paragraph of my previous post? e.g. paste the text of any notification that you received when your topic was moved.

This is all I received in my notificarions.

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LOL. Yes, OK. It’s a bit minimalist. However unless someone wants to start hoeing into the source code for Discourse …