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What is Treehouse Town?

Treehouse Town is a small, private social network.

Here is an incomplete list of things we want people to feel comfortable doing on Treehouse Town:

  • hanging out, having casual conversation about books, movies, games, TV shows, current events, posting pics of a cool hike or a recipe they made or their dog or anything like that
  • sharing creative work in progress, for the fun of it, or to get constructive feedback from a caring community
  • thinking through and discussing sensitive issues where we might not all agree

Things we don’t want to be a part of Treehouse Town:

  • the high-stakes dynamics of larger social media websites like Facebook or Twitter
  • the worry about what will happen if family or colleagues or whoever see our personal posts
  • harassment of any kind

Getting started

Create your account

Treehouse town is by invitation only. To create an account, click on the link in your invitation email and follow the instructions.

Set up your profile

After creating your account, follow this link to configure your profile. This is where you add your name or handle, an avatar and header image, as well as other information and links. Optionally, you can also lock your account, which means that you will have to approve other users’ requests to follow your posts.

Set your posting defaults

Treehouse Town supports local-only posting. Local-only posts can only be seen by other Treehouse Town users. We recommend you make your posts local-only by default. This way you only have to think about how other Treehouse Town users will feel about your posts, as opposed to literally everyone forever.

To make your posts local-only by default, follow this link to change your posting defaults, then uncheck the box labeled “Allow my posts to reach other instances by default.”

The posting box

You can still make posts public on a case-by-case basis (see below).

Start posting

Follow this link to go to your Home timeline, which is where the action happens. From Home, you can see other users’ posts in chronological order, and you can make posts of your own.

Posts go in this box:

The posting box

Posts have two kinds of privacy settings. To change the visibility of a post, click on the globe icon:

Post visibility settings

To change whether a post is public or local-only, click on the chain link icon:

Post local-only settings

Any questions?

Let us know! Send a message or an email and we’ll respond with an answer or set up a time for a quick chat as soon as we’re able.

Treehouse Town Code of Conduct

All users of Treehouse Town are required to agree with the following code of conduct, as well as the Terms of Service. Administrators will enforce the code of conduct. We expect cooperation from all users to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Privacy of Treehouse Town local-only discussions

Treehouse Town supports two kinds of posts:

  • “Federated” posts are public, and can be seen by anybody on the internet. Treehouse Town users must have no expectation of privacy for federated posts.
  • “Local-only” posts are visible only to other Treehouse Town users.

When discussing local-only posts outside of Treehouse Town, users should treat follow the Chatham House Rule: Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. The Chatham House rule should be followed for local-only posts unless the poster explicitly states otherwise, in which case the desires of the poster should be respected, including the desire for posts to be completely private or “off the record.” If there is any doubt, ask.

Data privacy

The data you post on Treehouse Town lives on a server that Beau Sievers runs. He promises that he won’t look at your private data unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g., a legally enforceable court order). You are just going to have to trust him on this.

Treehouse Town is an ActivityPub federated server. This means that other people on other federated servers can find you, send you messages, etc. This also means that your posts can become “federated”—a copy of a federated post gets put on any server that reads that post.

If you want your data to never leave the Treehouse Town server, the only way to do that is to set your account to private, only accept friend requests from other treehouse.town users, and only ever @ mention other treehouse.town 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 email to a Gmail account, then Google now has the content of that email.

Please see the Terms of Service for more detailed privacy information.

No harassment

Treehouse Town is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, and religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Users violating these rules may be sanctioned or have their account deleted from Treehouse Town without a refund at the discretion of the administrators.

Harassment includes offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of any discussion, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Users asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the administrators may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or deletion of their Treehouse Town account with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an administrator.

We expect users to follow these rules at all Treehouse Town-related social events, both online and offline, regardless of venue.

Reporting Code of Conduct violations

If you are being harassed by a member of Treehouse Town, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an administrator (listed at the top of this document) directly or file a report using the Mastodon reporting system (click the “…” on a post and then use the reporting feature).

Right to refuse service

The Treehouse Town administrators reserve the right to refuse service to any user, for any reason, including past behavior, behavior outside Treehouse Town, and behavior towards people who are not Treehouse Town users.


The administrators reserve the right to update the Code of Conduct at any time. Updates to the Code of Conduct will be communicated to users via email and posts from admin accounts. If you have any concerns about or suggestions for the Code of Conduct, please contact an administrator.


The inspiration for Treehouse Town is Darius Kazemi’s Run your own social. Portions of this document were adopted from the Conference Code of Conduct, the Friend Camp Code of Conduct, and the Chatham House Rule.

Tree icon by Hilda Kalyoncu from OpenMoji – the open-source emoji and icon project. License: CC BY-SA 4.0