Privileges: MVP

This is a starting point, culled from discussions elsewhere.


  • Be generally permissive. Users should be able to do basic operations from day one.
  • Ramp up on limits – start small and increase based on a successful history.
  • Don’t remove privileges once granted (except by moderator intervention).

MVP proposals (with some hedging):

  • A user can ask N+1 questions per day, where N is the number of questions that user has already asked that have non-negative score and are not deleted.

    • Implication: a new user can always ask a question (once per day).
    • This does not impose a penalty for downvoted questions – just that those don’t count for the positive record.
    • We might need to do something for bootstrapping; when we open for business we should expect people to come in with more than one question ready.
  • Upon reaching 5 questions per day, the user earns the “unlimited questions” privilege and no longer has a personal rate limit. (The system might have general rate limits.)

    • Reasoning: this is meant to be an easy ramp-up and not something that is forever dynamically computed.
  • (Do we need a metric for answers, or do we allow any number?)

  • A user can initially post (picking a number here) 10 comments per day.

  • When a user has posted at least (picking a number) 20 comments and has had no more than 20% deleted by other users (e.g. through flags), the daily limit is removed.

    • Again, ramp-up and then remove the dynamic limit.
  • Third-party edits initially must be approved. When a user has had (picking a number) 20 approvals with no more than 20% rejections, the user gains the “edit without review” privilege. (I am assuming that edits will bump.)

  • A user imported from SE, where the SE user qualifies for the association bonus, starts with no personal limits on posts, comments, flags, or votes. (Based on this discussion.)

We’ve talked broadly about question closure but not mechanics. I think for MVP it’s sufficient for moderators to be able to do so. Once the community can, there’ll be a privilege path there.

I have not included any limits on flagging.


I presume downvoted here really means “negative score” == “more downvotes than upvotes”. A single downvote on a question (or answer) that has multiple upvotes should not be treated as a “bad thing”.

I think it is a good idea. My concern with Answers is spammers, as opposed to Questions where spammers are a concern but also poorly formed questions, which can happen with the best new users even with the best of intentions. So for answers it might be a higher number - perhaps 2x - 2 the first day, work up to 10 a day and then unlimited.

I think the edit process should be similar to SE - i.e., a new user’s edits of another user’s content requires review/approval until ‘x’ edits have been completed. I would suggest that the approval could be any of:

  • OP
  • A single Moderator
  • Two high-rep (i.e., high privilege level but not moderator level) users

Yes I meant negative score, thanks. I’ll edit.

On edits, I got hung up on the idea of review queues (sounds like more complexity than we want in MVP) and didn’t consider that edits can be offered in-page (edit pending, click to see it, say yes/no). Keep it simple. I agree with your proposal.


I was actually thinking of the Review Queue, but showing it on page is much more direct and I think will be more effective. Need to (not sure if it happens now - probably not given that even “On Hold” doesn’t notify!) have the system notify OP via Inbox, but also show it on the page so that any Moderator or High-rep/privilege user can also take care of it.

Yeah, we’ll need to tackle reviews more broadly, but even with that we’d want some in-page alert for pending edits, like SE has, so we can do just that part for MVP while we think about reviewing (and who can do it, and how that UI works) for a later phase.

I edited to add editing (ha!). I also added a bypass of new-user stuff for SE imports, based on another thread.


Mostly agree with this; just adding two more privileges that should be included:

  • number of votes cast (we definitely need to prevent spam accounts downvoting or upvoting a specific user)
  • flags raised

In general, just about everything should have some type limit that ramps up on the basis of rep/privilege, time on site, etc, up to a global (or site-based) max.


I like this progression based on activity in each area. I think most / all privileges should be based like this. (Post MVP ofc)

I remember getting 20k reputation and thinking, “I can edit tag wikis without requiring others to verify my changes. I’ve never edited a tag wiki, what do I do when I inevitably get it wrong! Post a question on meta asking people to check I didn’t break everything?”

The way I read the above is the N+1 happens when you want to post a new question. This would solve the bootstrapping problem too. It would allow people to post 5 questions on the first day, if none of their posts are negative, and get the unlimited ask perk unlocked.

To avoid someone posting 5 questions straight away it may need to be changed so N is positive scoring questions.

I don’t see why you wouldn’t want this, if someone asked a good question why would you want to limit their progress? If it happened to me I’d be de-incentivized, and leave. Rate limiting people is telling them to leave, so clearly you’d want me gone. But I may never come back, because I’m being punished for doing nothing wrong.

I don’t think this is needed, unless you expect a lot of spam near release.


Yea, this is one area of how to use the sites where I suspect most users who have earned this privilege aren’t sure what to do. I think it would be a better idea to gain this privilege after say 50 successful accepted suggested edits to tags and tag descriptions/wiki pages instead of basing it on overall rep. And we gotta count rejected suggested edits somehow so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands (like 1000 rejected, 50 accepted).

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Speaking of which, where will tags come from in the MVP?

The “Requirements: MVP” page states: “Anybody with a certain privilege can create a tag.” The “User Privileges” page mentions a “scaling factor for ‘small’ or ‘new’ sites, so privileges are achievable” but doesn’t mention tags in particular. Will a (non-:diamonds:) privilege to create a tag be part of the MVP? Some other means to request that a :diamonds: create a tag? Or do we expect early instances’ tags to come mostly from Stack Exchange data imports, and thus implicitly, new instances to share a topic with some SE site?

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The only problem you mention for answers is spam. The rest of your comment seems to apply to questions, even though the issues is whether to rate-limit answers.

I think we should be extra careful to not piss off someone coming to a site and volunteering their time by answering questions. Spam wasn’t much of a problem on the SE sites I was on. It tended to get flagged quickly, and deleted altogether by active users that had the delete privilege.

There needs to be a spam flag anyone can raise. Perhaps initially, any spam flag suspends your account completely until a moderator can sort it out. That means spam flags must not be raised lightly, but real spam is really obvious. Moderators can apply sanctions if someone misuses spam flags.

In any case, let’s not slap volunteers in the face unless they actually have abused the site. Delayed action on spam, if any, should be minimal.


Privileges/trust levels are being further discussed (with proposed functional spec) on MVP Proposal: User Trust and Reward System - #78.