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How Private & "Safe" Are My Posts Here?

First off:

Privacy and safety are two different things.


Your posts on the public side of the forum are not private, but public.

That means anyone with an internet connection can access them -that's how you were able to end up on the forum in the first place, after all-.

That being said, humans are generally biased to overblow the risks:

1.2 But It's Relatively Safe to Write is a popular website in the social skills / strategies / dating niche (and power dynamics, of course), but it's still a niche website.

It's great that you stumbled here, but your path is atypical.
The vast majority of people, including a huge chunk of people who could gain a lot from it, are never going to end up here (and that gives you a good competitive advantage, BTW).

Furthermore, it's only a tiny minority of this website's readership who even ventures into the forums, let alone read it, let alone stick around long enough to start piecing together enough information to know it was you.

Still, if you're very concerned about privacy, then write in a way that cannot be easily linked to your real-life persona.


Any thread on the public side of the forum is also indexable by Google.

Which means that if someone were to type a combination of keywords on Google, they might end up in the forum.

So unless you don't care about privacy, don't use any personally identifiable information in the title of your forum threads.

That being said, don't overblow the risks: it's highly unlikely that anyone will end up on your posts from Google.
And it's close to impossible that someone can end up on a thread of yours by actively searching for information about you.

See here for more:


For PU alumni and subscribers there is a private area of the forum with far higher privacy.

However, that area is for more extreme cases in which you need to post screenshots or personal pictures and you need to do everything in your power to minimize any chance someone you know might read that post.

Instead of opening threads there: remove personally identifiable information, make up names of the people in the events you're describing, and post them in the open area of the forum.
And chances are high that you will be totally fine.


Always consider you can't.

The legalese in the various T&Cs are similar on all forums, and they say that content generated on the service provider platform becomes the property of the service provider.

So just to be sure, please consider that your posts and threads might not be amended in the future.
This is because:

  1. Value loss: Many threads become valuable to the community and to the website, and removing them is a loss for all
  2. Time loss (for me): Deleting and editing threads takes time -and I'm very jealous of my time :)-
  3. Bad precedent: this is power dynamics: once an exception is carved, then everyone feels entitled to the same special treatment, and then the "please delete my 3 years old post" become the norm

Now, that being said, this business is quite "human" and collaborative, and I'm happy to help, support, or find a middle ground if requests are fair and if there is a real reason to intervene -it happened already-.

But, just to be on the safe side, please consider that what you write stays.
So think about what you're OK sharing and what you're not, and just share what you're fine with.

4.2. So, Are My Posts Here "Forever"?  

Most likely not.

Before we begin, keep this in mind: in the long run, we're all dead.
So that should already put things in perspective when it comes to privacy :).

It's also possible, maybe even likely that this forum software will stop being supported, and that switching to a new forum software will mean that only a few hand-picked posts will moved over -just the best of the best-.

It's also possible that might discontinue the forum, or that the website might lose all its readership, or totally cease operations one day for one reason or another.

And it's also possible, even likely, that you'll move on to do different things with different people, and whatever you've written in the past won't be relevant to you anymore, and not a social threat if discovered.


If you're not worried at all about privacy, then you might be too naive, not aware of the potential costs, or not taking advantage of this medium deeply enough.

But if you're too worried about privacy, then it's possible you can first work on:

  • Mindset / attitude: being overly concerned about anything non life-threatening is often a poor use of your mental faculties, plus makes for a generally poorer life
  • Congruency: there is more power, mental health, and confidence when the overlap between your public persona and who you really are increases
  • Personal power: what's higher personal power, the one who's afraid of writing on a forum because "someone might find out", or the one who prioritizes personal growth, learning, and social effectiveness, and he's not too worried/scared because he can own it?

Ideally, you'd reach a point where your mindset is:

I'd rather people I know don't find out what I'm writing and learning, and I'll take reasonable steps to minimize that chance.
If they do, that's not the best outcome, but it's not the end of the world either. Fuck it, I'll own it, and I might even learn something from it.
My priority is personal growth anyway.

So if it was so embarrassing that you wrote about someone you know that they behaved like a POS and they confront you on it, then your mindset, and a good retort, would be:

Yeah, you read that on, good for you, great website. You did indeed behave like a POS, I hope you understand that now.

Matthew Whitewood, John Freeman and Stef have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodJohn FreemanStef
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?