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Eugen @Gargron

If text search is ever implemented, it should be limited to your home timeline/mentions only. Lack of full-text search on general content is intentional, due to negative social dynamics of it in other networks

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@gargron agreed. too bad there's already someone running a full text search engine :/

@Gargron I respectfully disagree. Users should be allowed to have public information when they want it (and choose to go past content warnings), even if someone thinks it's unpleasant or problematic.

@Gargron and in practice, how can you stop broader search from being implemented by someone in an open system? If users want it, someone will provide it.

@Gargron I am curious what you think the threat is. Are you thinking of how searching on Twitter shows lots of anti-BLM nastiness?

@Gargron and just to link it here, I've opened an activitypub issue on this:

@sandhawke @Gargron should it be up to the instance provider to decide whether their instance participates in any global search? That way instances (for example, ones specialising in marginalised communities) can keep their content private?

@torgo @Gargron that makes sense as a default, but should users be able to change it? And is the setting advisory, so bad actors can ignore it, or is it enforced, and if so how, given that it might be boosted, or maybe someday forwarded or quoted? See

@Gargron It's not too late and backtrack and say "My Mastodon will never have search for keywords, only for #hashtags it's just dangerous in any context" and publicly call it out as something NOT to do. You can say there's an ideal version still open to risks and stick with that or say it should never happen and safety is paramount to this project now. Your choice.

@Gargron @Wulf I would like to search my own timeline, like @Gargron described. If I saw something, I'd like to be able to find it again.

@ryanprior @Gargron If it's not tagged with a hashtag, let it be temporary and transient like it's designed to be. There's nothing stopping me from following you and searching for political or personal keywords and using words from months, years ago against you. It's a tool for harassment with no positives for a lot of users. You want search? Tell people to #hashtag
I'm not in the business of letting useless, dangerous tools become standard for your convenience.

@Gargron @Wulf searching my timeline is a core use case for me. I often find I went to reference threads I've seen or links that were shared, and I go searching for them, except on Mastodon where I can't yet.

I also recognize the problem of abuse, and I have a script automatically deleting my tweets that are more than a year old. That's a feature I would also recommend adding to Mastodon.

@ryanprior @Gargron If you truly recognized the problem of abuse you wouldn't argue for this feature to exist in any form. One follow and a quick search for "sads" "depression" "mental health" quickly reveals at risk folk you can seriously do damage to. Mastodon is not other social media. It doesn't have to last forever. Tumblr is great for post permanency.
And yes, I've wanted Tweetdelete for Mastodon since I've got here as well.
It shouldn't last forever.

@Wulf that seems like an equally good argument for not allowing new followers to read your whole timeline.

I was able to verify in about 15 seconds this toot is the only time you've used the word "sad" in your TL just by clicking and using "ctrl+f" in the browser.

Timeline search would make that kind of operation maybe twice as fast? And no faster at all if we're talking about people using scraper scripts.

@ryanprior Let me make this abundantly clear: If you implement any keyword searching in any capacity more than a functional version of the hashtag search we already have, we can work from the data we already know from existing social media options.
People will die. There is no getting around this. Keyword search will be unnecessary deaths. This is not hyperbole, this is facts. This is already known information you can find. Let's learn from previous examples and do better.

@Gargron I don't think you can prevent anyone from searching public toots. They're public after all.

@Gargron what sort of negative social dynamics? Harrasment? Commercial profiling? Spam?
What would be the upside of search on general content? I'd say finding peers, upscaling community.

@Roos ik weet het. Maar ik vrees dat het eerste hier de overhand krijgt.

@Gargron I could see text search of mentions being incredibly useful -- text search of the home timeline could still be pretty easily abused by followbots though

@Gargron As a person who listens on social media to help people during disasters, I'm sad to hear that. If that is true, I hope you would add instance server location to the instance database so that digital humanitarians can try to listen for people sharing disaster info, needs, requests for assistance, etc...

@Gargron secondly, lack of searching of the fediverse makes us stay in our local bubbles and not discover new people to talk with.

In my opinion, this is the wrong solution to a real problem, and it will happen (already happens).

@Gargron you should add this kind of notes to the documentation or an founding papers of an overviewinig entity. Cc @aral

@aral @Gargron @Jelv thanks, we will. been writing some mission statement / design principles, should be able to squeeze it in there

@Gargron can I assume you mean this only within the context of this particular community/instance? conforms with choices by admins

if GENERAL, however, what about PUBLIC APIs, both REST and WSS? Do you mean Mastodon should NOT support those on the whole?

@Gargron (apparently down now) allowed me to find people of my own city, which is positive in my opinion.

I can't stop google from indexing public pages but there's a difference between "possible" and "convenient". There's already hashtags for when you *want* to be discovered via some keyword.

@gargron i was pretty sure google does respect a robots.txt

@synth yeah but it or some other crawler could choose to ignore it lol

@Gargron though getting people aware of the importance of using hashtags is a cultural shift, as people are used to full-text search...

@Gargron Hashtags are so 2007 and people don't expect the search to work only on hashtags :/

@Gargron especially since I seem to vaguely remember from previous jobs that Google has a habit of ignoring robots.txt telling it to go away

@theoutrider @Gargron I've never had a problem with Google not respecting a robots.txt file. It's always important to make sure you have the file formatted correctly, though.

@Gargron it would be nice if it would be possible to 'follow' hashtags so they'd appear in your 'Home'. a bit like diaspora did. great way to discover content without having to manually search it out.

@Gargron Google en Bing bots respect robots.txt. The NSA and Palantir are a different breed..

@Gargron Hashtags not working accross instances is not intentional but "not yet implemented" though, isn't it?

@Gargron I get what you mean, and I do not disagree. But whatever you choose to do, if it's "possible" we are only one-person-coding-a-script away from "convenient".

@animeirl @gargron You mean other than the fact that most web crawlers actively ignore it nowadays?

@animeirl @Gargron It's not much use unless -every- instance employs the same robots.txt or at least the same rules? 🤔

@Gargron giving users the option to have a robots.txt apply to their page should be possible i'd think

Euh, @Gargron ,

not if ...

it already has been done ...

It is limited to public toots, but that's about it ...

toot ! 🐘


and talking about negative social dynamics...

I'm afraid the entire GinnyMcQueen harassment story is proof Mastodon can't be the promised safe Heaven it appeared to aim at...

It is not that no-one did try to help her out, but it seems to be more complex to address the problem than the volunteers could anticipate...

I hope that now she has started her own instance, she can rain in the negativity the way she likes...

toot ! 🐘

@Gargron This might be worth a blog post or patreon post, I think it needs a long-form justification. I am interested what you are thinking here, and how this solves problems of abuse.

@Gargron What about a per-toot option of “sure, go ahead and index this”?

This isn’t abstract to me — some of the things I’m interested in are never mentioned on the home timeline of my small instance. It’s *very* hard to find people on Mastodon to talk about these topics with.

@Gargron If I was the peeps at #DuckDuckGo I would jump into #Mastodon *now* and make a search engine for it. They could contribute to the community while also promote themselves, it would be a perfect win-win for them.


Unless we are talking about hashtags and the search/sharing of hashtags is enabled on the instances that want to be searched I suppose.


@Gargron You cannot prevent an admin to crawl and index everything that goes through his instance.

@Gargron Suppressing "negative social dynamics" sounds a lot like censorship. It's silly not to have a feature that people want. Search is extremely valuable for many reasons.

@Gargron isn't the negative dynamic the primacy of @ replies rather than the search?