Privacy Policy

Last updated January 1, 2019

The short story is that we never share your data, and we only collect what we need to operate our service.

This privacy policy applies to the website and service. For the policies of instances hosted on our service, please see their individual Privacy Policy pages.

What we don't collect

On the website, we do not collect information about visitors, besides what's listed in the Visitor Statistics section below. We don't collect information about our customers besides what's required to communicate with them and accept payments.

On individual WriteFreely instances we host, we do not collect information about users, besides the information they voluntarily provide in the course of using the instance. Before we built this service, we built — by default, we offer the same privacy protections you get there for the users of any WriteFreely instance we host.

A note about your privacy on instances we host

While we provide as much privacy as we can to the users of any WriteFreely instance, as a user of one of these instances, your privacy ultimately depends on how your administrator runs it.

Always be sure to check your instance's privacy policy first (at https://{}/privacy). If you need more privacy, you can take steps to protect yourself, such as witholding your email address when you create an account there, and always connecting with a VPN or Tor.

What we collect

We aim to protect free expression on our platform by collecting as little user data as possible, and encouraging our users to use the protective technologies available to them, like a VPN or Tor.

We consider the necessity of every piece of data we keep, only retaining what we need to give you a smooth experience. This data will never be used for any other purpose.

We don't use any third-party services that might put cookies in your browser.

Email Address

We ask you to provide an email address when you sign up for our hosting services, so that we can communicate with you, set up your instance, and provide future support. We store this information for as long as your account is active. We only use your email address for personal communication that is essential to operating your WriteFreely instance.

Log Files

We store log files, or data about what happens on our servers. This helps us prevent abuse and ensure no one is accessing our servers that shouldn't be.

Our web servers temporarily store information about what IP address connected when. This data is accessed exclusively by our system administrators and developers as needed.

If you email or otherwise contact us, our customer support team may retain information you'd find in an email, like first and last name, email address, and any online handles. This data is accessed exclusively by customer support and developers as needed, and helps us provide support, fix things, and generally talk directly to you.

Visitor Statistics

We use an open-source application, called Matomo (formerly Piwik), to analyze visitor statistics on the website. We do not include it on any instance.

Our business team and developers use Matomo to see where visitors come from, how they navigate around the site, and where they potentially get stuck.

Matomo uses cookies, or small text files saved on your computer, but it also respects your browser's Do Not Track (DNT) setting. If you don't already have the setting enabled, you can opt-out of Matomo tracking on all A Bunch Tell sites here:

What we share

We will never share your data for advertising, marketing, or world domination purposes. We will never change our stance on this.

Access to our servers requires a valid search warrant signed by a judge. We will comply with lawful orders for the small amount of personal data we have on our users, but we (and our lawyers) will critically review every request we get, and promise to reject requests with insufficient legal backing.

Our quarterly warrant canary on also applies to It is used to notify users of any secret warrants we receive.


We'll announce any major changes to this policy on the Twitter account. You should also see a prominent notification on the site the next time we update this.


Our founder, Matt Baer (that's me), personally wrote this privacy policy. If you want to discuss or ask anything about it, please don't hesitate to get in touch.