Policy of Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat

From Whonix

Whonix ™ Platform Goals[edit]

Developers believe that everyone has the right to private and secure browsing, communications, and hosting of services on the Internet. The Whonix ™ platform has been expressly created to achieve these intended goals. As outlined on the Main Page, the primary user groups are:

  • People who value privacy as a fundamental right.
  • Average computer users in repressed or censored environments.
  • Investigators and whistle-blowers.
  • Researchers, government officials and business-people.
  • Journalists.
  • Political activists.

If there is any doubt, Whonix ™ was never designed to hide users who engage in criminal/unlawful acts.

Whonix ™ Website and Chat Goals[edit]

Reminder: The primary forum aims include: education, fostering innovation and cooperation, resolution of Whonix ™ problems, further improvement of Whonix ™ security and privacy for all users, and assistance to individuals so they can safely achieve their (legal) goals.

Before engaging in the forums or requesting assistance, first thoroughly search the Whonix ™ documentation. Many common questions have already been addressed in relevant chapters. See also Support, Free Support Principle, Bug Reports and Software Development and Support Request Policy.

If suitable information cannot be located, please refer to the following rules before posting. Users who violate these rules may have their accounts suspended or deleted without notice.

Whonix ™ Website and Chat Non-Purposes[edit]

  • A free speech platform.
  • Immortalization: the posting of comment(s) does not grant the author a permanent publishing right.

Whonix ™ Website and Chat Usage Rules[edit]

Account names:

  • Using a pseudonym that is not used elsewhere is recommended.
    • Person of public interest user account names which draw controversial attention to Whonix ™ project due to their off-site activities are prohibited at the discretion of the moderators. [1]
  • Users participating in forums, issue tracker or chat must use either a pseudonym and/or their real name. Minimum user name length is 3 characters. [2]

User avatars, user profiles:

  • Offensive, contentious or disruptive user avatars and user profiles are prohibited at the discretion of the moderators. [1]

Do not post topics or information which:

  • Reveal the end purpose of utilizing the software such as for example political goals. [1]
  • Violate trademarks or copyright.
  • Contain pornographic or violent language, images or media.
  • Are intended to further unlawful/illegal activities.
  • Abuse other users, for example:
    • Personal attacks that have nothing to do with technological or development discussions.
    • Reveal private information of other users.
    • Impersonate other users.
    • Encourage self-harm or suicide.
  • Promote or invite spam. This includes:
    • Selling Whonix ™ usernames or other account information.
    • Malware/phishing.
    • Repeatedly post information unrelated to Whonix ™ and associated activities.
    • Duplicating content across sub-forums.
    • Purposefully post false or misleading content/links.
    • Promote third-party software or services purely for personal benefit.

Users who create multiple accounts to sidestep these rules will also be banned.

This list is inexhaustive. The moderators reserve the right to remove material and ban user accounts which engage in inappropriate or illegal behavior which fall outside of these guidelines.

A ban in Whonix ™ chat for minor violations such as unwanted topics does not necessarily extend to a ban in Whonix ™ forums. Major violations equal ban everywhere.

If you have any questions or suggested improvements regarding this policy, post in Whonix ™ forums [archive].

Whonix ™ Website and Chat Unwanted Topics[edit]

The following subjects are currently banned: [3]

The following topics shall not be discussed:

Whonix ™ Chat Purposes and Non-Purposes[edit]

The Whonix ™ telegram / matrix chat is suitable for the following topics:

  • Simple questions / support requests.
  • English language only.

As a rule of thumb:

  • If it's an easy support question, it's suitable for Whonix ™ chat.
  • If you want Whonix ™ software or Whonix ™ website to change, it's unsuitable for Whonix ™ chat and needs to be discussed in Whonix ™ forums as that requires time for careful review, focus, tracking ticket and cannot be decided or accomplished in a real-time discussion.
  • For more considerate support, use Whonix ™ forums.

The following topics must be directed to Whonix ™ forums [archive] instead:

Unwanted topics which must be moved elsewhere:

  • Debates.
    • Examples:
      • Debates about features and security of closed vs Open Source Software are unwelcome.
      • Small talk.
      • Surveys.
      • Fundamental debates on security, anonymity, privacy, philosophy, politics.
    • Reason:
      • Avoiding endless, circular, non-productive debates.

Unwanted topics:

  • Personal issues.
    • There will be no "interrogation" of individual users in the chat.
    • Example:
      • Why does user X use software Y? Please re-phrase in a way that doesn't refer to individual users in the chat such as: what are the merits of software Y vs Z?
    • Reason:
      • Only the technology should be discussed. Not people.

Behavior rules:

  • Do not comment on spam.
    • Reason:
      • As this adds to the disruption already caused by spam. Admins will delete spam messages. Focus on the actual topic, Whonix ™. Ignore spam.
  • No vulgar language.

No Development Chat Channel[edit]

Whonix ™ Chat is a user support chat. Not a development discussion chat.

No development decisions are derived from discussions in chat. Reasons:

  • High chat volume does usually not resolve in git commits and/or documentation enhancements.
  • Chat history is not actually but effectively "ephemeral". New users joining don't scroll up (a lot) and read lots of past discussions. In contrast, forum posts are read much more and wiki pages even more.
  • Many developers including the lead developer and contributors are not using the chat for developments.
  • It would be bad for transparency to base development decisions on chat discussions as this would be opaque to tell later people who ask about it "refer to this chat discussion".
  • Asynchronous discussion permits wider input and more carefully thought through write-ups.
  • Unorganized by categories and topics.
  • Nonetheless if a good idea does transpire in the chat, the topic will be migrated to the forums for a better environment conducive to development.


Permissible topics are kept very narrow by design to keep the total amount of communication volume flowing through the website and chat low. Due to complex legal issues around permitted speech in various applicable jurisdictions, it is unwise to simply allow the free flow of debate unmonitored.

High volumes of off-topic discussions easily lead to lots of arguments, counter-arguments, and then parties demanding the retraction of certain statements due to these being allegedly untrue while the author often disagrees. Such investigations are a bad use of time for admins since it cannot be used for development. Removed posts easily lead to debates on unjust removal, rules and laws resulting in high volumes of off-topic completely dominating anything on-topic, real user support or development.

This is being elaborated on the Limitations on Free Speech on Whonix ™ Website and Whonix ™ Chat wiki page.


The personal opinions of moderators or contributors to the Whonix ™ project do not represent the project as a whole.

Chat Private Messages[edit]

Unwanted Private Messages[edit]

In case of unwanted private messages from one user to another user in the same chat:


  • Use the block user feature of the messenger.
  • Don't give energy to trolls. Don't waste time with trolls. Ignore trolls.
  • Don't mention it in public chat.
  • Don't post screenshots of it.
  • If that is not good enough:
    • Consider only allowing people from your contacts list to send private message or disabling the private messaging feature of the messenger if that is technically possible.
    • Consider using a different, separate account, chat client only for that chat (or other public chats generally). And then disable the private messaging feature there or ignore private messages.
    • Leave the chat. Don't use the chat. Use Whonix ™ forums instead, where private messages between users are disabled and where there is much less trolling. [5]

Moderation action:

  • In most cases, admins will cannot investigate and will not take sides or ban the accused.


  • Admins cannot investigate because screenshots are prone to manipulation. Trolls could easily fabricate them to falsely accuse users who did not send inappropriate private messages. This doesn't even require photo editing software skills. The accused would probably deny it, tell a different story, might provide fabricated screenshots as counter evidence.
  • A ban of the user from the group does not help much. It doesn't prevent the offending user from continuing to harass the user or other users. This is because the member list of the chat room is public and was already exposed.
  • Discouraging trolling.
  • Such investigations are a bad use of time for admins.

Private Messages to Admins[edit]

Do not private message admins in chat channels without prior permission. See also: Contact.

Moderation and Conflict Resolution[edit]

Complaints on moderation in specific cases such as unjust bans, unban requests are only acceptable by e-mail, not in chat channel, not by private message.

Suggestions for general policy changes are only acceptable by e-mail or by posting in Whonix ™ organizational forums [archive], not in chat channel, not by private message.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 This is to prevent contentious off-topic debates.
  2. Reasons:
    • The only place where this is currently an issue is the Whonix ™ Project Chat. Not using a user name on telegram does not help much to protect one's identity since users have been assigned unique, public visible user id by telegram anyhow - it's just not conveniently accessible.
    • Without a user name it is inconvenient to refer to a user or to check their chat history for moderation purposes.
    • It also does not help much to protect one's identity by not using a user name since contents of public communications are far more risky due to issues described on the Surfing Posting Blogging page, especially Stylometry.
    • Consider using a randomly generated user name or random hash instead.
    • Many years ago the previous forum software used by the Whonix ™ allowed anonymous posting without any account. This was unsustainable because it is counter to community building and due to trolling.
  3. More subjects are likely to be listed in the future.
  4. Kali Linux is designed for digital forensics and penetration testing.
  5. [archive]

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The personal opinions of moderators or contributors to the Whonix ™ project do not represent the project as a whole.

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