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Mastodon's UI and Features for Users

Subset of supplemental documentation for Mastodon users.

This section documents features and processes maintained by Mastodon. For issues related to these features and/or processes, please reach out to the Mastodon team directly on the Mastodon project’s GitHub.

For issues with this doc page itself, please reach out to us on Hachyderm’s Community Issue tracker.

The documentation in this section is meant to supplement, not supplant, Mastodon’s documentation at This section of the documentation is specifically for the Mastodon UI and features that are used by our general, non-moderator, users.

1 - Content Warnings

Describes what the content warning feature is and how it operates.

This page documents features and processes maintained by Mastodon. For issues related to these features and/or processes, please reach out to the Mastodon team directly on the Mastodon project’s GitHub.

For issues with this doc page itself, please reach out to us on Hachyderm’s Community Issue tracker.

What are content warnings?

Content warnings are a feature that allows you to obscure your content in such a way that it is hidden by default in other users’ timelines. Instead, only the text of the content warning is displayed. To put it another way, if you were to put a content warning on one of your posts that read “descriptions of war violence” while discussing current or past wars, users would only see that description and could then choose to click through the content warning to view the content (or not).

How to apply a content warning

In order to apply a content warning use the “CW” in the post field:

Screenshot of the post field with the CW circled and with
an arrow pointing to it

An example post with a content warning on the text and image looks like this:

Screenshot of a post with content warning 'Politics (CO)' and the
blurred out content labeled 'Sensitive Content'

Threads with a content warning

Whenever someone replies to a post with a content warning, by default their response will carry the same content warning. Here is an example:

Screenshot of a thread with an example content warning,
that reads Example Content Warning, showing that when a user
replies that content warning is pre-populated

This is the default due to the nature of the content warning: if the top-most post of a thread needs a content warning due to what’s being shown or discussed, then the rest of that thread probably needs the same content warning. This is true both for when you respond to your own posts or when other users respond to your posts.

When you reply to a post with a content warning you can manually disable and delete the content warning, but please do so with care. When you remove the content warning from your post all replies to you will also no longer be behind a content warning by default, even if they should be.

When are content warnings used

Content warnings are generally used to either hide spoilers or to provide a buffer when it is psychologically safer to choose to opt in to a conversation as opposed to being opted in by default (seeing it in a timeline). For more information on the nuance for how and when to use content warnings, please take a look at our doc on how to use content warnings.

2 - Mastodon User Profile and Preferences

What Mastodon’s user profile and preferences are and how to configure them.

This page documents features and processes maintained by Mastodon. For issues related to these features and/or processes, please reach out to the Mastodon team directly on the Mastodon project’s GitHub.

For issues with this doc page itself, please reach out to us on Hachyderm’s Community Issue tracker.


This documentation page covers the customization options available to you via Profile and Preferences settings. The majority of the article length is due to screenshots that show the main view for each settings page. All of the settings shown in the screenshots are the default settings, done for the purposes of this article. This document only provides explanation text where the feature being enabled / disabled is not self-descriptive.

Profile Settings

In order to edit your profile settings, you can click the “Edit Profile” text beneath your handle on the left side, like so:

Screenshot of left Mastodon navigation bar with search field,
user's avatar, user's handle, and the text Edit Profile. The
Edit Profile text has a large, red arrow pointing to it.

Alternatively you can go to the settings/profile endpoint directly in your browser.


When you go to settings/profile, by default you will be taken to the settings for Profile Appearance:

Screenshot of the complete profile settings configuration options, including but not limited to
the bio text area, the uploads for avatar and page banner, check boxes to control follower and
following activity, metadata for URLs, and so forth.

To recap the above, here is where you can:

  • Set your display name
  • Write your bio
  • Upload your header and avatar images
  • Enable or disable follow requests
    • Disabled by default. Accounts will be able to follow your account without explicit approval.
      When enabled, you will be prompted to approve or deny follow requests.
  • Set if you’re a bot
    • Disabled by default. When enabled, your account displays with the word “bot” next to your handle and display handle on your profile. There are no other changes to your account.
  • Suggest your account to others
    • Disabled by default. When enabled, your account will be recommended to other accounts as an account to follow.
  • Hide your social graph
    • Disabled by default. When enabled, other users will not be able to see who you follow or who follows you.
  • Write your profile metadata
    • This allows you to input information that is rendered like “key: value” tags.
      Relevantly, when you add URLs these are also where the text area highlights green when verified.
  • Migrate to a different account or link to an account you’re migrating from
  • Delete your account
    • ⚠️ Account deletion works differently than account suspension. When you delete your account your data is deleted immediately and not after a 30 day window. Also, there are inconsistent reports when deleted accounts are resurrected as they may not federate correctly depending on how servers remote to that account update their information about the account no longer being deleted (or not).

Featured hashtags are your ability to direct which hashtags appear on your main view. They are configured by the Featured Hashtags settings located on the nav menu underneath Profile Appearance. This page can also be accessed directly via settings/featured_tags.

Featured hashtags settings with descriptive text that states What are featured hashtags as well as the
text area field that allows you to input hashtags. Two example hashtags of Hachyderm and Nivenly are shown.

When you enter hashtags to feature on your main view, they appear in the lower right:

Screenshot of the profile / post view for Hachyderm's Hachyderm account. In the lower right reads the
text Hachyderm's Featured Hashtags with the Hachyderm and Nivenly tags underneath.

Note in this case the descriptive text “Hachyderm’s Featured Hashtags” refers to Hachyderm as the account display handle and not Hachyderm at the instance-level.

Preferences Settings

The Preferences settings are located immediately under the Profile settings in the left navigation menu.

Screenshot of left navigation menu, including Profile top level option and Preferences with
its sub-items Appearance, Notifications, and Other.


When selected, the Appearance settings (not to be confused with the above) display by default. This page can also be accessed via settings/preferences/appearance.

Screenshot of the appearances settings page including checkboxes for the advanced web interface,
slow media, auto-play, and so on.

To recap the above, here is where you can:

  • Set your interface language
  • Set your site theme (light or dark)
  • Enable the advanced web interface
  • Enable Slow mode
    • This stops the timeline view from refreshing automatically.
  • Enable Auto-play animated GIFs
  • Set to reduce motion in animations
    • This is specific to reducing the motion of animated GIFs.
  • Disable swiping motions
    • This is specific to using browsers with devices that have a swiping feature. When enabled, it stops you from accidentally switching timelines when using a swipe motion to “go back”.
  • Use the system font
    • When enabled, this uses Mastodon’s default font (Roboto).
  • Enable crop image size
  • Show trends
  • Enable the confirmation before following someone
  • Enable the confirmation before boosting
  • Enable the confirmation before deleting a post
  • Set how you want media to display
    • Default is “hide media marked as sensitive”. Specifically allows you to either always show media, always hide media, or hide media only where the poster marked that media as sensitive.
  • Enable if you want a color gradient for hidden media
  • Enable if you want posts expanded with content warnings


Accessible via Preferences Notifications. Can also be directly accessed via settings/preferences/notifications. These preferences are separate from the Notifications preferences you can make when viewing in the Timeline view.

Screenshot of notification preferences that control email notifications and blocking preferences.

To recap the above, here is where you can:

  • Enable or disable email notifications for:
    • Someone following you
    • Someone requesting to follow you
    • Someone boosting you
    • Someone favoriting a post
    • Someone mentioning you
  • Override the above, in cases where:
    • The account is not following you
    • You are not following the account
  • Block direct messages from people you don’t follow

For the two features in the “override” section above, this means if you have enabled notifications for boosts and also enabled “block notifications from non-followers”, then you will only see notifications for when your followers boost you.


Located at via Preferences Other or settings/preferences/other.

Screenshot of the Other preferences, which include boost grouping and supported language(s).

To recap the above, here is where you can:

  • Opt-out of search engine indexing
  • Group boosts in timelines
    • Enabled by default. When enabled, if multiple people have boosted the same post in a short timeframe you will only one of the boosts rather than all of the boosts separately.
  • Set your default posting privacy
    • Posting privacy options are:
  • Set your default posting language
  • Set if you want all of your media marked as sensitive
  • Disclose what application you use to post from
  • Filter languages
    • Note not all languages captured in screenshot, due to length.

3 - How to Verify with Mastodon

How to verify with Mastodon.

This page documents a process maintained by Mastodon. For verification failures, please reach out to the Mastodon team directly on the Mastodon project’s GitHub.

For issues with this doc page itself, please reach out to us on Hachyderm’s Community Issue tracker.

What is verification?

Verification on Mastodon works less like Twitter and more like an identity service. That is, you do not need to prove your association with your own brand to an entity or to pay a fee, you are only showing that you are the owner of one (or more) domains or accounts on separate services to substantiate your digital identity.

Here’s what it looks like when a profile has verified via their GitHub identity:

Screenshot of profile for user quintessence, showing avatar, header
and relevantly the verified GitHub URL field which is highlighted in
green and has a green checkmark next to the URL.

GitHub shows as verified with a green checkmark and complete URL, including username / handle.

What domains or accounts can you verify?

You can verify via:

  • Any domain that you can edit pages for
  • Any online service that recognizes, supplies, or allows you to supply the “rel me” attribute (see below).

How to verify

Verifying with domains

In general, when you verify you will do so by using the following HTML on the page you are editing, like a personal site or blog:

<a rel="me" href="">Hachyderm</a>

If you would like to avoid using a visible link, like the above, you can also put the following in the page headers:

<link rel="me" href="">

After doing either of the above, you will need to add the URL of the site to your Hachyderm / Mastodon profile. You will do that by:

  1. Go to Edit Profile
  2. In one of the four fields of Profile Metadata, add the URL of the destination you are verifying
  3. Save changes

Here is an example profile with two separate sources of identity verification:

Screenshot of profile for user Matty Stratton, used with permission,
showing two sources of URL verification. One is his own website, and the other is his Keyoxide account. Both are
highlighted in green with green checkmarks next to the URL to show
they are verified.

Screenshot of Hachyderm user profile taken with permission.

Verifying with services

We will add more services as requested by the Community either by creating an issue on our Community Issue Tracker or via a direct pull request on the Community repo.

Instructions for current, commonly requested, services are below.

As with the verification process itself: when verifying with a service, that service is responsible for assisting with errors or issues with verification. If you experience issues with the verification process, please reach out to the relevant service for assistance.


In early 2023 GitHub announced support for multiple social URLs, including adding support for Mastodon specifically. In order to verify via GitHub:

  1. Go to your GitHub profile page and click “Edit”
  2. Provide your Hachyderm account URL of the format
  3. Click “Save”

Once you have saved, your GitHub profile should now render your Mastodon account in the format


When you edit, it will look like this:

Screenshot of editable fields on Quintessence's GitHub
profile. Specifically under social fields the full URL for
her Hachyderm account, of the pattern, is

Once saved, your Hachyderm account will look like this:

Screenshot of only the rendered Mastodon handle after
saving the change, of the format