Restrictions on postings by new users

Hi there!

When posting a new topic, I encountered an error stating:

Sorry, new users can only put 2 links in a post.

I’m guessing this is necessary to fight spam.

I have a couple of questions:

  1. According to the rules of this forum, how long is a new user treated as “new”?

  2. For users no longer categorised as “new”, is there an upper limit on the number of links that can be included in a new topic posting?

Reason for asking: I’d like to post an RFC (for a new library) that has several links to documentation. I’m happy to rewrite it if necessary, but also happy to wait if the restriction can be lifted simply by waiting a few days.

Many thanks!


As far as I know we’re using the standard discourse Trust Levels:

So to get to the basic level you need to:

Get to trust level 1 by…

  • Entering at least 5 topics
  • Reading at least 30 posts
  • Spend a total of 10 minutes reading posts

Even at higher trust levels there are still some limits like your posts and replies need to be longer than just a few words (I don’t know the exact number) and there are like, edit, and flag limits but I don’t think those are very restrictive.


Thanks @jaror, that’s really helpful.

It looks as though creating this topic may just have been enough to remove the limitation. I’ll try to post again and see if I have any luck. Thanks again!

I feel this isn’t a welcoming restriction strategy.

Posts by new users could simply be actively moderated, awaiting approval by a moderator.


Indeed you are now on level one, which should allow you to post the RFC in the style you prefer. PM a moderator if you need further help.

The requirement is literally read a bit before posting, far from a tall ask. Trust level 0 also offers a slightly more streamlined Discourse experience for newcomers.


The user in question is doing Haskell longer than me and I’ve worked with him in 2 Haskell companies. He’s been lurking the forum anonymously for a long time.

So this still seems arbitrary and unwelcoming.

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Many thanks @f-a! I’ll try posting again in a bit.

I can definitely empathise with the need for some kind of spam protection.

The main obstacle I encountered is that when the error appeared, I wasn’t able to easily find out what steps I’d need to take to lift the restriction. I did search around the site for a few minutes, but wasn’t able to find any obvious answers. (But could be because I was looking in the wrong places.) It was only after I created this thread that the system sent me a message with the various user levels. :laughing:


Correct and actionable feedback, I will file a report over at Discourse and see if we can make the UX better!

edit: thread


Is active moderation not actionable?

  • level 0 takes cares of other spam attempts too (e.g. users cannot add link to their bios);
  • level 0 proviedes a slightly different, simplified UI for newcomers;
  • the most common scenario (a user asking questions about recursion or something similar) preemptive moderation causes more friction (waiting until a moderator is online, depending on timezone and mod availability could be a long time) than the alternative (ask your question right away, but without too many links in it).

This is just my opinion, I don’t call the shots. What happened to @jonathanknowles, although not a common occourrence, highlights UX problems, hence why I am writing to Discourse! They have the experience and knowledge, I am sure they can help.


Is there any evidence that this system is preventing actual spam?

Active moderation has worked for ages on public mailing lists.


@jonathanknowles we have put a link to the “Understanding Discourse Trust Levels” page alongside the error. It should help long time lurkers without premoderating newcomers. Let’s see how it works, if it is not enough we can do more.

Thanks for bringing this up!

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Thanks! I think this is already very helpful. If a new user sees the error, they can immediately click on the link and see an explanation of what’s going on.

You’re welcome!

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