Account Privacy Setting

User-controlled, easily accessed privacy settings.

How does this mitigate hate?

Some users are more susceptible to being targeted by harassers, so it is important that platforms provide users the option of changing the privacy settings of their account.


When to use it?

Platforms that experience network or campaign harassment, should include this pattern to allow users to hide their information and content from other users.

Including this pattern before the issue arises could help to eliminate network or campaign harassment before it begins by allowing users to hide their accounts and the information and content posted on them, making it difficult for harassers to identify them as a specific demographic for targeting.

How does it work?

Can include options such as: public, followers only, followers of followers.

The setting should be applied to all posts by default, unless specific privacy settings are applied to individual posts.


The option for users to choose who can see their content allows them to maintain privacy in the case that they are being harassed, or want to mitigate the chances of harassers finding their content and targeting them.

If the account privacy is set to hide from public viewing, this pattern can also make it difficult for harassers to find user’s information and harass them on other platforms, or potentially off-platform if they are able to locate users.

It can also make it difficult for harassers to access information that could enable them to take the harassment off-platform, targeting users in real life.


Discord privacy settings for direct messages and adding as “friend”.
Discord privacy settings

(Screenshots taken June 2021)


TikTok privacy settings for commenting and dueting on videos made by the user.
TikTok privacy settings

(Screenshots taken June 2021)


Crumlish, Christian, and Erin Malone. Designing Social Interfaces : Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience. 2nd ed. Sebastopol, Ca: O’Reilly Media, Inc., August, 2015. pp. 118-125

“New DuckDuckGo Research Shows People Taking Action on Privacy.” Spread Privacy, October 3, 2019.