I think people are exaggerating the manual aspect of it. We do not sit around and look for people to demote. Doing one bad post isn’t going to get you demoted but if we see a history of behavior which goes against the guidelines of the community we may need to take action.
Trust level is like your grade in the sim. There are specific time based requirements which must be met in order to be TL3. If you decide to take a month off from the forum, your trust level might drop. Like the sim, being active again can raise it up again. For various reasons we do not publish the requirements.
A few months ago there was an adjustment to the requirements which caused people to lose TL3 status but many got it back because they were “on the bubble”.
Hope this helps clear things up.