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How to protect your Discourse Forum from bots and Sybils with Gitcoin Passport

We are proud to announce that Gitcoin Passport now offers a robust, easy-to-implement solution to enhance the security of Discourse forums. Our new plugin safeguards against Sybil attacks and bots, preserving the integrity and credibility of online communities. Forum administrators can set trust levels based on Passport scores, accumulated from digital proofs known as "Stamps," to allow tiered access to forum features. Mainstream web3 organizations like the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) have successfully implemented Gitcoin Passport to enhance their community's security while maintaining user anonymity. Read further to learn how to implement the plugin into your own forum.

Introduction

In an era where online communities are the driving force behind groundbreaking innovations and grassroots movements, ensuring the credibility and integrity of these spaces is crucial. Discourse has emerged as a leading platform for decentralized governance, providing a home for vibrant community discussions among web3 enthusiasts, developers, and thought leaders. However, like any digital gathering space, Discourse forums are not immune to Sybil attacks and the activities of malicious bots.

That's where Gitcoin Passport comes into play.

Gitcoin Passport is the premier solution for easy-to-use identity management tools that protect communities from Sybils and bots. Today, we are proud to announce that forum administrators can effortlessly layer in a robust security infrastructure that allows members to establish online credibility and reputation without sacrificing their privacy.

The Need for Fortifying Forum Security

In the realm of decentralized governance, the quality of dialogue is integral to the evolution of a project. Discourse excels at fostering such dialogues, but the integrity of these conversations could be compromised if they are infiltrated by bots or Sybil accounts.

Such bad actors could manipulate discourse, provide misleading feedback, and subvert community proposals. Therefore, the need for a robust, easy-to-implement security solution has never been more pressing.

This is where Gitcoin Passport shines as an anti-Sybil and anti-bot solution, tailor-made for the unique requirements of Discourse forums.

The Gitcoin Passport Integration with Discourse 

Leveraging its proven track record in Sybil resistance, Gitcoin Passport has developed a plugin specifically designed for Discourse forums. The plugin allows administrators to set trust and access thresholds based on users' Passport scores, which are accumulated from an array of digital proofs known as "Stamps."

Specifically, the integration makes it possible to:

  • Require a score over a certain threshold to create an account
  • Require a score over a certain threshold to reply to topics
  • Require a score over a certain threshold to create topics
  • Provide a scheduled date where scores will be required

All this creates a tiered-access system, ensuring that only verified humans contribute to the forum’s governance, thereby preserving the quality and security of community interactions.

Case Study: ENS Forum

Mainstream web3 orgs trust Gitcoin Passport to protect their forums.

The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) protected their ENS Discourse forum with Gitcoin Passport. 

They wanted to preserve user anonymity while increasing Sybil resistance. So, they leveraged Gitcoin Passport to deter fake or multiple accounts from influencing conversations or votes while protecting the identity of genuine participants.

Their use of the plug-in employs a tiered system, where points accumulated from providing Passport Stamps enables different levels of access across the forum. This automates a process that had to be done manually in the past, making the management of the forum more efficient and secure.

Implementation

Head to this comprehensive installation guide to install the Gitcoin Passport Discourse plugin into your forum.

If you’d like to implement the Passport Integration with Discourse, we suggest:

  • Topic Protection - Require users to have a score of 20 to create a new topic in any category
  • Reply Protection - Require users to have a score of 20 to reply to any topic in any category
  • Implementation Date - Start to require these new score levels at minimum two weeks after giving your community notice that the new requirements will be turned on.

We also recommend culling feedback and reviewing the integration every three months to confirm its effect.

Your community is the cornerstone of your project's success, and its safety should never be compromised. So, let Gitcoin Passport provide the peace of mind you need to focus on what truly matters: fostering a thriving, authentic community on your Discourse forum.

Support

We understand this integration and plugin involves a few steps, so if you’re in need of extra assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the passport-dev-support channel in Gitcoin’s Discord: https://discord.gg/gitcoin.

If you’d like to explore other ways of protecting what matters to you with Gitcoin Passport, head to our developer documentation: https://docs.passport.gitcoin.co/

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