Your Guide to Spinster Privacy Options

Locked accounts, private posts, and blocking.

M. K. Fain
Sep 1 · 4 min read

Lots of you have questions about what privacy options are available to you on Spinster. Here we will go over the three most important tools you have to protect your privacy:

  1. Locking your account
  2. Making posts private
  3. Blocking

Locking your account

What locking your account does:

Locking your account prevents anyone who is not your follower from viewing posts on your profile, and requires you to manually approve future followers. It also sets your default post setting to “private”, which means only followers and people tagged can see them (more on this later).

You can approve follow requests here: https://spinster.xyz/follow_requests

Your profile will look like this to anyone who does not follow you, and to anonymous (logged out) users:

A locked account from the perspective of a non-follower

What locking your account does not do:

Locking your account does not prevent public posts of yours from showing up in the public timeline, or on public views of your profile on other Fediverse software (ex. Mastodon). It also does not prevent users tagged in your posts from seeing them. However, this setting does default your posts to Private, so they won’t be seen publicly unless you individually choose to make them public.

Locking your account will not protect you from malicious followers if you accept them. If you’re concerned about privacy, always be careful about who you accept as a follower. A single malicious follower can mirror your entire profile somewhere publicly, by taking screenshots or running a script.

Other Fediverse servers could also be malicious or buggy. Take care when approving followers from a remote instance. If you find that a remote server is mirroring your private posts publicly, block all of your followers from that server and let us know about it. We’ll block any misbehaving servers we discover on the platform level.

How to lock your account:

  1. Go to: https://spinster.xyz/settings/profile
  2. Check the box next to “Lock account”
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and click “SAVE CHANGES”

Making posts private

What private posts do:

Posts that are private can only be seen by your followers or users that are tagged in the posts. Private posts can not be boosted, and appear with a “lock” icon. Post privacy status can not be changed after the fact, however, new followers will be able to see your old private posts.

A private post

What private posts do not do:

Making your post private does not prevent a Mod from being able to see the post if it is reported. It also does not prevent someone from seeing your post in the future if they later become your follower.

How to make your posts private:

You can make your posts private either by setting your default to always use private posts or by changing the privacy manually on an individual post.

To make private posting your default:

  1. Go to https://spinster.xyz/settings/preferences
  2. Go to the “Post privacy” section underneath the language options
  3. Select “Followers-only”
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click “SAVE CHANGES”
Setting private posting as your default

To change the privacy setting on an individual post:

  1. Draft your post
  2. Click the Globe icon (or third icon from the left)
  3. Select “Followers-only”
  4. Click “Publish”
Changing the privacy setting on an individual post

Blocking

What blocking a user does:

Blocking a user prevents them from seeing your account when logged in, seeing your posts on their timelines even if they are public, or interacting with you. It also prevents you from seeing their posts in your timeline.

What blocking a user does not do:

Blocking a user does not prevent them from receiving notifications from you if you are interacting on a post in which they are tagged. They will not, however, be able to reply to those notifications. Blocking a user also does not prevent them from logging out to view your public profile/posts.

How to block a user:

You can block a user either directly from their profile, or from a post.

To block from a profile:

  1. Click the 3 dots
  2. Click “Block @ user”
  3. Click “Block” or “Block and Report”
How to block a user from their profile

To block from a post:

  1. Click the 3 dots
  2. Click “Block @ user”
  3. Click “Block” or “Block and Report”
How to block a user from a post

A final note on privacy:

While we do our absolute best to ensure user privacy is protected, we can not make any promises — especially since federation essentially means we have to trust other fediverse admins to do the right thing. The only way to 100% guarantee that your data is protected is to not post it in the first place.

Learn more about Spinster in our FAQs:

https://spinster.xyz/about

M. K. Fain

Written by

M. K. is a feminist writer with a background in grassroots activism and psychology. http://marykatefain.com Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/mkfain

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