Outside of a Dog

Where it's not too dark to read




BookWyrm logo

Outside of a Dog is a generalist Bookwyrm instance. We welcome users from all over the world, commenting on books in any language. Audiobooks are books. Comics are books. Cookbooks are books.

Please read our Code of Conduct to see if this instance is a suitable fit for you.

Outside of a Dog is operated by @futzle@old.mermaid.town.

Code of Conduct


Outside of a Dog welcomes people of any location, ancestry, gender, religion, etc. While the server is located in Sydney, we are not an Australian-focussed instance.

Registrations are currently open. You will need to provide a reason to join, which will be read by a human. Members can also generate invitations.

Terms of service

Many thanks to scholar.social and mastodon.social, from whom I took/adapted many policies.

The following guidelines are not a legal document, and final interpretation is up to the administration of Outside of a Dog; they are here to provide you with an insight into our content moderation policies:

  • The following types of content will be removed from the public timeline:
    • Excessive advertising
    • Uncurated news bots posting from third-party news sources
    • Untagged pornography and sexually explicit content (no matter if photographed or drawn)
    • Untagged gore and extremely graphic violence (no matter if photographed or drawn)
  • The following types of content will be removed from the public timeline, and may result in account suspension and revocation of access to the service:
    • Racism or advocation of racism
    • Sexism or advocation of sexism
    • Discrimination against gender and sexual minorities, or advocation thereof
    • Xenophobic and/or violent nationalism
    • Making any kind of Fediverse indexing tool
  • The following types of content are explicitly disallowed and will result in revocation of access to the service:
    • Sexual depictions of children
    • Content illegal in Germany and/or France, such as holocaust denial or Nazi symbolism
    • Conduct promoting the ideology of National Socialism
  • Any conduct intended to stalk or harass other users, or to impede other users from utilizing the service, or to degrade the performance of the service, or to harass other users, or to incite other users to perform any of the aforementioned actions, is also disallowed, and subject to punishment up to and including revocation of access to the service. This includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:
    • Continuing to engage in conversation with a user that has specifically has requested for said engagement with that user to cease and desist may be considered harassment, regardless of platform-specific privacy tools employed.
    • Aggregating, posting, and/or disseminating a person's demographic, personal, or private data without express permission (informally called doxing or dropping dox) may be considered harassment.
    • Inciting users to engage another user in continued interaction or discussion after a user has requested for said engagement with that user to cease and desist (informally called brigading or dogpiling) may be considered harassment.
    • Any sort of automated scraping of the site for user data.

These provisions notwithstanding, the administration of the service reserves the right to revoke any user's access permissions, at any time, for any reason, except as limited by law.

Rights regarding content on Outside of a Dog

User-submitted content, including profile information, avatars, uploaded media, posted content, replies and any other information submitted to Outside of a Dog remain the property of the user who submits it (provided they owned it to begin with). As much as is legally possible given the nature of this service, it is the policy of Outside of a Dog that users retain complete creative and legal control of their own submitted material.

Longevity pledge

Outside of a Dog is committed to providing long-term service to the academic community, and has no plans to shut down.

In the case that Outside of a Dog shuts down, users of Outside of a Dog will be given an advance warning at least six months before the site is closed.

In case of downtime or data loss

While we strive to provide continuous service and avoid errors and data loss, Outside of a Dog provides no guarantees regarding uptime and cannot be held responsible in the case that account data is lost or corrupted. It is recommended that you export your own data archive periodically. Backing up your account is your own responsibility. Users whose accounts are suspended for breaking our Community Standards will not be given an opportunity to download a copy of their archive.

Does Outside of a Dog use cookies?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer's hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow). These cookies enable the site to recognize your browser and, if you have a registered account, associate it with your registered account.

We use cookies to understand and save your preferences for future visits and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information for marketing purposes or to generate revenue. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. Australian law does not always permit us to tell you if we have released your information to law enforcement; in particular, warrant canaries are illegal in Australia.

We are hosted on Linode in Sydney, Australia. Media is stored on Linode in Singapore.

Use of Outside of a Dog for research

Researchers who wish to study Outside of a Dog or our users by collecting data using the API or through any other means that does not involve an "opt-in" from individual users are required to submit their protocol, analysis plan and all relevant ethics approval documentation from their institutional review board or departmental internal review documentation by email to: deb at mermaid.town. You may also be required to submit code you plan to execute so that it can be tested to ensure it does not degrade the quality of service to other users.

At the admin's discretion, you may be asked to submit your research protocol, and the institution that is providing ethical review, even in the case that it is an opt-in survey. Failure to disclose your research plan may result in closure of your account, or having your network banned from our service.

Outside of a Dog instance blocking policy

Outside of a Dog will suspend other instances in cases where an instance publishes material that is illegal for us to publish.

Instances that consist entirely of spam-bots, follow-bots, or who appear to be scraping the Fediverse or doing other potentially malicious data-mining will be suspended.

Blocking of other instances will also occur in cases where another instance's policies are fundamentally at odds with those of Outside of a Dog. This includes, but is not limited to: explicit anti-queer hate/racism/sexism, the embracing of Nazi hate, exploitative depictions of children, toleration of harassment, etc.

Other instances may also be blocked in cases where the admin of another instance has abdicated responsibility for moderating their users' behaviour, either in a public statement or on their instance "about" page.

Server rules

  1. We are progressive and will not tolerate racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, casteism, any kind of queerphobia, or hate speech. "Free Speech" is not a priority of this instance. Don't be a sealion or a concern troll.
  2. Be aware of power imbalances and intersectionality, and act accordingly. Don't tone police.
  3. We use content warnings liberally. Please consider content warning topics that could cause distress to others. You are not expected to use content warnings on your lived experiences of marginalization.
  4. Don't say anything that will get you or outside.ofa.dog in trouble with The Law. We are located in Australia, and our privacy laws are stacked against us.