🌸 Tempchan | About

Last updated 2022-10-03.

What is Tempchan?

Tempchan is a tool for making throwaway discussion boards, which are:

How do I use Tempchan?

If you are given a link to a Tempchan board, just load it in your browser and start posting. Or, create your own board by going to the homepage and submitting the form—your board will be created instantly. Either way, no login is needed!

What are some situations where Tempchan is useful?

With anonymity, privacy, and temporariness, Tempchan can help you have more open and free-flowing conversations than would otherwise be possible. For example, you can:

What are "writeable" and "read-only" links?

Every board has a writeable link and a read-only link. Both links show the same board with all the same posts—the only difference is whether submitting new posts is allowed. Anyone with the writeable link can both submit and read posts, whereas someone who only has the read-only link can only read and cannot post. (Thus, the read-only link can be shared with a much larger audience than the writeable link.)

When you first create a board, you are taken to its writeable link; from there, there is a link to the read-only link. For convenience, the read-only page may also show the writeable link—but only if it is already in your history. If you follow a read-only link but have never seen the corresponding writeable link, it will not be shown.

Posting guide

How can I use text formatting in my posts?

Separate paragraphs with a blank line,

like this.

Separate paragraphs with a blank line,

like this.

you can use single line breaks,
like this.

you can use single line breaks,
like this.

Link to a post in the same thread like >>1

Link to a post in the same thread like >>1

>Lines beginning with > are green text.

>Lines beginning with > are green text.

What does "writers only" do?

If you check the box labeled "writers only," the post will be visible only to people with the writeable link, and not to people with the read-only link. When viewed via the read-only link, the post will only appear as [Visible to writers only]. Such posts are mainly useful for sharing the writeable link for another board when it is desired that only the writers (and not the readers) of the current board should be able to post on the other board.

How does moderation work?

Unless specified otherwise when created, Tempchan boards are Unmoderated. This means that the creator of a board has no special privileges over the other members. Keep this in mind when deciding whom to entrust with your board link!

If a board is marked as Moderated, the creator can set posts as "hidden" as well as mark their own posts with the label "Moderator" (rather than the default "Anonymous"). Such hidden posts appear to others as [Hidden by moderator]. However, the board creator still cannot ban people or edit the content of posts, the board title/description, or its lifespan.

What are "directories" and how do they work?

A directory is a list of board links. Unlike the boards themselves, a directory does not expire at a pre-set time—it stays up as long as any of its listed boards are still active. Therefore, a directory may survive indefinitely as long as people keep adding new boards to it.

Directories are an easy way to continually share a collection of boards with the same group of people, without having to share a new link every time you create a new board. If you are given a directory link, you will always be able to access the directory at that link, even if all of the boards have been replaced with new ones since then.

Other things to note about directories:

How does the RSS feed work?

To be notified of new posts on a board, you can subscribe with your RSS reader of choice by way of the "RSS" link on the board's homepage. However, because all content is encrypted, the feed will only contain garbled text; in order to read the posts, you must separately load them in your browser. If you follow the links from the feed, you will be able to read the posts as long as the board's secret link is already in your history.

How secure is Tempchan?

Tempchan is designed to disclose as little information as possible to the server. All posts, board titles, board descriptions, and board links added to directories are encrypted locally using the key contained in the secret link, which means that nobody without that link—not even the server admins—can read them. The server only sees the date and time of each post, its approximate length, and how the posts are grouped into threads and boards. (The server also sees which boards are linked from which directories, but not the secret board links themselves.) The secret links are never known by the server; no cookies or analytics are used.

Is Tempchan being actively worked on?

Yes! Several features are currently in the pipeline, such as moderation and board directories.

How can I contribute?

Tempchan is open-source. You can contribute to the project by opening tickets and pull-requests on GitHub, or by setting up your own instance. The README on GitHub also contains a link to a "Tempchan Meta" board where you can leave feedback.

Is anyone making money off of this?

No. Tempchan is offered free of charge and without advertisements, in the hope that it will become a widespread tool for improving the quality of conversations online.

Source code | Released under AGPLv3