If you run an instance that has closed invitations (by policy, not temporarily due to load or spam), I'd be interested in chatting with you about why your instance is closed, and how/if you allow new members, and what you do for people who you can't/won't let in. (I run a closed instance myself and LOVE it, so I'm just looking to get a sense of current practice, not for debate.)

And I suppose I'm open to non-Mastodon admins as well, but I'm unsure of how closed/open registration works in other federated servers. I'm willing to learn, though!

@darius I keep a single-user instance so no registrations. There are a lot of reasons for it, as it is the 3rd instance I've used on Mastodon. Mostly, I just want total control over my own data.

@kao98 Nice! I see you have 7 users. Is it just for you and some friends?


- why your instance is closed: harassment, abuse, fascists

- how/if you allow new members: we have a sign-up form on our website

-what you do for people who you can't/won't let in: nothing, because the only reason they wouldn't be let in is if they are a known harasser or gave otherwise pro-fascist answers on the sign-up form

@darius our instance is invite-only and always was, I guess that was the idea of the tiny community. It's in anabiosis now.
If I made an instance, I would check people manually. Otherwise you just open doors for spammers and nazis.

@darius potential users of MSP Social can send an email, the link is on the front page, and I generally send invites to people requesting them along with a brief introduction explaining this is not a generalist instance. I don't think I have outright refused to let someone sign up that has requested—the introductory email alone has been enough to deter people.

@darius I run an instance of which I’m the only member. I decided to host my own as an exercise and I had a spare domain to use.

I’d let friends and people I know use it, if they wanted to. I don’t want to end up being an admin for a bunch of people I don’t know - if not only because its running on a fairly light server.

This instance that I am replying from is closed because it is my personal pub, which I am experimenting with.

I also have another account on so I can compare the experiences.

@darius I closed my instance after a bout of spam users and never re-opened it. I figured people are better of on other instances where one doesn't have to deal with my sysadmin skills. I'm the only active user on my pod.

@darius We went invitation-only after a rash of spammers posting links to pirated movies on our local timeline. We've also found that making people contact us to ask for invites is a great way to get to know people as they come in.

@darius I'm also in the I wanted an instance on a domain I controlled camp.

I still sometimes think I'd open registration if I ever finished CoC/CoE policies, but procrastinate.

I've offered to friends and family but so far no interest (in Mastodon generally, really).

@darius I keep my instance mostly-closed because I have stalkers and I don't like harassing bigots shitting in my living room. It just seems like a curated place is better for me and for the people I'd invite in.

@darius My instance is almost single account (people who support my other work financially get an invite because this is probably the fastest way for them to ping me on issues now that I've closed/locked down other social network accounts) but this is mostly just me wanting to not have to worry about someone else's instance going down (if mine does, it's my own fault and I can fix it if I want to) and wanting to keep server costs low.

@darius I run a closed instance that previously had a few friends on it but now is just me, happy to answer any Qs!

@darius mine is just for me. Anyone else would be too much responsibility. 😉


Although we have not yet gotten around to assigning it to @lyrabon as a to-do for them while connected to the human internet, we plan to use closed registration with an application form to ensure that we do not have 15 folks sign up to be Rarity and no one to be Granny Smith—ask them who they plan to be and if they can maintain character.

@darius For those who don't make the cut, we will either just remind them that it is for remaining in-character or suggest other ponies for them to be (if our rejection was for balance issues rather than behavior issues).

@Celestia Oh neat, I haven't had any RP-related responses yet so this is really interesting and helpful. Thanks!

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Friend Camp

The decentralized web is about trust. You should only join Friend Camp if you personally trust Darius Kazemi with your social media data. You probably only have that level of trust if we are IRL friends or have been internet friends for a long time. Generally speaking this is a small, closed community. In the end, Darius is the arbiter of what is allowed here. If you don't have a good idea of the kind of behavior that flies with Darius, again, you probably shouldn't join this instance. In the interest of specificity, we do have a code of conduct and privacy policy which you should read. Friend Camp features several modifications that were requested by our users. * you can log in via any subdomain, which means you can log in to multiple accounts in the same browser session (for example, log in once on and then as another user on * they are no longer called "toots", they are now "posts" * if you have a locked account and you get a follow request, a reminder appears under your "post" button (on normal Mastodon mobile it is otherwise buried in a sub-menu and you might not see it for a long time) * the emoji dropdown is a neutral smiley face instead of the cry-laughing smiley @mentions are rendered as "@user" for a Friend Camp user and "@user@domain" for remote users. This helps clear up when you follow two people who have the same username on different servers. * there is a "never ask me again" checkbox on the confirmation for clearing your notifications -- more info here * When an mp3 link is in a post, we also embed an inline mp3 player. git commit here * 500 characters of profile text git commit here, requested by @deerful Important Bit from the Privacy Docs: If you want decent privacy (the info doesn't leave this server), the only way to do that is to set your account to private, only accept friend requests from other users, and only ever @ mention other users. Once you start talking to people on other servers, all bets are off. Any private message you send to someone on another server could be looked at by the admin of a different server. This is kind of like email: if you are on a private email server, and you send an unencrypted email to a gmail account, congrats, Google now has the content of that email. But also, you do this every day, so, hey. The internet! Our beautiful icon is based on photo3idea_studio from, licensed CC 3.0 BY. It has been modified by!