PSA: I'm turning the "likes" thresholds back on for trust levels

Normally, one of the parameters Discourse uses for promotion higher trust levels[1] is number of “likes” received and given. This makes sense as a signal — and, especially, “likes received” is a great signal for good fit with the community overall.

Back in 2021, I enabled the reactions plugin and added

:classic_smiley: :bluethumb: :party: :eureka: :totally: :fedora:

as well as no-longer-active “:question:”. As you’ve probably seen, you can use these instead of the default “like” :heart:.

When I did this, I disabled this threshold, because at that time, only the :heart: actually counted as a Like. Upstream Discourse did this for two reasons: one, the system was kind of bolted-on and not supported (I think Discourse founder Jeff Atwood was very skeptical of their value!), and two, since the reactions are customizable, they might not be positive signal after all.

However (especially with the removal of the question mark), all of our reactions are different flavors of positive. So, I think they should count. And, now, with updates to Discourse, we can configure which reactions are counted.

I have added all of our reactions to be counted in this way. So, soon, I will turn this requirement back on.

This will probably have the biggest impact on people interacting with Fedora Discussion primarily by email. Here’s a tip: you can send “likes” simply by replying to a message with (only)


This won’t go into the topic as a post; instead, it’ll :heart: the post you’re replying to.[2] (Sadly, no way to add the other reactions.)

Also, I’m going to take a look at existing Trust Level 3 members when setting the thresholds, to make sure no one gets downgraded by surprise.

  1. See Trust levels on Fedora Discussion (from newbie to super-hero!) ↩︎

  2. You can also watch, track, or mute a topic this way! ↩︎


Hi @mattdm ,
Can we also have a thumbs down in the popup of like variations? Or is that too negative for the current concept of use of the “likes”

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I absolutely agree with this, as a disagreement neither promotes hate or arguments. Many folks here are very subjective and intellectual, harboring good points for/against topics. Typical sarcasm abound yes, but in fairness a dislike button should be warranted.

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I’m pretty wary of adding anything negative. I feel like it offers an opportunity for drive-by dumping on something without thought. In our consensus process, you can’t -1 a proposal without giving some meaningful, constructive alternative. So, I think:

  1. If the post is really bad, flag it.
  2. If you disagree or dislike something, but don’t have (or can’t be bothered to have) something constructive in response, don’t say anything at all
  3. If you disagree or dislike something and do have a constructive response, a :-1: doesn’t add value over your thoughtful response.

But if we did decide to do that, the mechanism allows us to have them without counting them as positive towards trust level promotion.


That’s more or less why I asked. Personally, I have been used to the word “no” for some time, and constructive criticism is a useful part of communication in general. Just like observation and coaching.

Thanks for the reasoning, it flows well from the founding principle of Friends.

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