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Coming soon: new abilities system and changes to reputation


One of our longstanding design goals is to grant privileges based on people's activity and not just based on a reputation number. We think it's better if you gain abilities based on your track record in related areas, and not because one of your answers hit the Reddit jackpot. We're finally almost ready to roll out this change.

With the new system, all users will be able to participate fully on their own questions -- voting and commenting. We think even brand new members of a community should be able to interact with those who are trying to provide help. Beyond that, users can earn the following abilities (not necessarily in this order):

  • Participate Everywhere: you can now vote and comment anywhere and ask more questions (new users have a limited number per day). You get this ability by having enough well-received posts.
  • Edit Posts: edit directly and review suggested edits. You get this ability by having enough of your suggested edits accepted.
  • Edit Tags: edit tag descriptions and create new tags. You get this ability by having more of your suggested edits accepted (same idea as Edit Posts, but a higher threshold).
  • Vote on Holds: vote to put questions on hold or reopen them. This ability is based on having both enough well-received posts (to show you have knowledge of the community's subject area) and enough accepted flags.
  • Curate: vote to delete/undelete, temporarily lock posts, and handle certain flags. LIke Vote on Holds, this ability is based on both your posts and your flags.
  • Moderator: elected or appointed moderators can perform all actions. (all current moderators will automatically get this ability.)

All of the thresholds for these abilities -- what counts as "enough" -- can be set for each community. We'll provide two default configurations, the normal one and a "new community" one with lower levels. Most of our communities are young and small and would benefit from the lower thresholds, but you can raise them later as your communities grow.

Along with abilities we're rolling out some daily rate limits for various activities. One of these, votes, used to be based on reputation. That was because we didn't think new users who hadn't even posted anything should be able to cast dozens of votes per day. With the Participate Generally ability, that concern is taken care of -- so we can instead just set a daily vote cap for everybody.

We have new help topics coming about all of this, and we also have improved user and moderator tools to navigate abilities. You'll be able to see what abilities you have on your user profile, and you'll be able to see what you need to do to gain the ones you don't yet have.

What about reputation?

We will no longer base your abilities on reputation, but we're not taking it away (yet?). We've heard you loud and clear: some communities and participants want a quick "score" number. Our plan is still to remove it, but we’ll be thinking of reasonable replacements that suit all communities. You can expect a separate discussion thread in a few days.


We know that some people will lose some abilities (temporarily, we hope) when we make this change. Maybe you have a high reputation from good questions and answers and you're used to being able to edit freely, but now you'll have to go back to suggesting edits for a time. We're sorry about that. We looked at what it would take to "grandfather" people in, but it got complicated. We hope that setting lower thresholds will smooth the way here, but if any community is feeling too restricted, please let us know. We can adjust the thresholds on your community or manually grant abilities in cases where it's clear people ought to have them.

Closing words

We've been working toward this for a while and we're excited to finally be rolling it out (soon). We think activity-based abilities are a key differentiator for Codidact. We hope you'll agree.

We've been doing a lot of testing and reviewing, but we've probably missed some things. If you find problems, please tag your bug reports with [abilities] so we can prioritize them. We'll be actively monitoring Meta, per-community metas, GitHub and chat.

We'll make another announcement when the changes are live.

And when you are asking where the sweet technical details are; I've written another blog post abbout how Abilities are designed.


Fantastic! Btw, check out codeproject's rep system if you've never seen it; seems like a similar idea might tie into what you're planning here... ‭shog9‭ 26 days ago

For tech/scentific sites, it definitely doesn't make much sense to make a tight coupling between moderator suitability and domain expertise. If we can manage to separate those, that would be great! Rep should probably(?) reflect domain expertise, nothing else. ‭Lundin‭ 25 days ago

I don't understand the linkage between suggested edits and tag creation. Being good at proof-reading and reformatting text is a different skill to categorisation. Worse than that, not being able to create a tag can block someone from being able to post a question, especially in a newish site. ‭Peter Taylor‭ 25 days ago

Separately, one of the lessons I took from SE was that not allowing new users to comment has negative value. Either they have to abuse an answer to leave a comment, or valid critiques get lost because people don't want to (or remember to) come back after gaining rep from answers. IMO it would be better to limit new users to one comment per day plus a rebuttal to any addressed at them. ‭Peter Taylor‭ 25 days ago

@Lundin We'll need to discuss what rep should become (or how it should be replaced) separately. We'll start a discussion about this in a few days including some suggestions what user cards should look like. ‭luap42 is a ghost 👻 ‭ 25 days ago

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