Mastodon User Guide

How does post/account privacy work on Mastodon?

Privacy controls on Mastodon are a little complex. They've been heavily tweaked in order to fit the needs of the user, meaning users have a lot of control over how their content is shared on Mastodon, as well as who is able to see it.

To start, users can set their accounts to be private or public. This setting dictates who can follow your account; a public account means that anyone can follow you, while a private account means that other users can only request to follow you. When a user requests to follow you, you have the option to allow them to follow you or to decline their follow request.

Where Mastodon differs from many other social media platforms is in that posts here have individual privacy settings. Any post, regardless of what kind of account you have, can be public or private. When a post is marked as private, only people that follow you, or that are tagged in the post itself, will be able to see the post. The "boost" button is also replaced by a padlock icon, which restricts anyone from boosting the post. Private posts are also never displayed on the local timeline, or to the "Whole Known Network".

Posts on Mastodon also have several other options for how they're displayed:

Other important notes about posting privacy:

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