flipping docs

Timelines, post visibility, local-only posting

If you aren't familiar with Mastodon/Hometown, or if other servers you've joined work differently, the various feeds and visibility options at flipping.rocks may be confusing. Here's a quick explanation.



  • Home: all posts from the people you follow, plus posts they boost.
  • Local: all public posts from everyone else on flipping.rocks.
  • Federated: all public posts from people that anyone on flipping.rocks follows, plus posts they boost.

Here is a more detailed explanation:

Title: What makes up each timeline? Text: This flow chart might help explain. To look at it from the other direction: Your public toots will always be in your instance's local timeline. If even one person from example.instance follows you, your public toots will be visible in the federated timeline for everyone on example.instance. (Replies don't make it into the public or federated timelines.) Flow chart: Start: Public toot by @Foo. Am I following @Foo? Yes: Toot shows in Home timeline. No: Is @Foo on my instance? Yes: Toot shows in Local timeline. No: Does someone on my instance follow @Foo? Yes: Toot shows in Federated timeline. No: Did someone on my instance boost @Foo's toot or search for it with its URL? Yes: Toot shows in Federated timeline. No: @Foo's toot never reaches my instance. If you choose "unlisted" instead of "public", your toots will be seen by followers and be visible on your profile but they won't appear in the timelines.

Post visibility options

Post visibility options: public, unlisted, followers-only, and mentioned people only (direct message)

If you post something unlisted, your followers will see it, but it won't show up in Local or Federated timelines, or in searches for any hashtags in it. This is good for long threads, for example.

Direct messages, where only people mentioned can see them, are not end-to-end encrypted, and theoretically I could see them if I really wanted to. (In reality, I don't actually know how, also I am far too lazy and I just don't care.) If you need a secure communication channel, use something like Signal.

Local-only posting

Choose federated or local-only posting by clicking the chain-link icon in the posting area

The flavour of Mastodon this server runs on, Hometown, has an extra feature: local-only posting. This means that the post will only be visible on flipping.rocks; it doesn't get sent to other servers. It will not be sent to followers on other servers, and it won't show up in other servers' federated timelines. If the post is public or unlisted, it will still show up on your profile page if someone visits it in a web browser. You can make a post local-only by clicking the chain-link icon below the post field. If you are using an app that doesn't have that option, you can use the custom emoji :local_only:: Local-only emoji