[update: it sounds like the search respects the profile discoverability opt-out, which federates, unlike the "search engine indexing" thing which does not? That's much less bad than we thought. It should still be opt-IN, though, not opt-out.]

so apparently is doing FULL INDEXING on every post they receive, without consent. It sounds like maybe even non-public posts??

"we didn't get people yelling at us, so it must be okay! but now people are? what the fuck?"


I don't usually make fediblock posts, but uh
yeah if you don't want to be indexed without consent... for fulltext indexing incoming posts.

· Edited · · 13 · 105 · 52

Okay, if you're going to come in and try to tell me "don't let Mastodon kneecap search!" and "but why shouldn't things be searchable?" you are going to get fucking blocked, and possibly /eaten./ And not the fun kind.

This is about FUCKING CONSENT.


And now YET ANOTHER PERSON – this time someone we've actually seen around before, though never really talked to – is coming in like "well search was always here, Mastodon was misleading people!" and HEY, FUCK THE FUCK OFF.

"oh you never actually had control, so you should continue to not have control, and people trying to index your posts are totally in the clear!" What, NO.

Well that's a new one. Yet ANOTHER rando actually /DMed me/ this time, tacked on to the last one, just to tell me my safety doesn't matter.

"Google and Microsoft are already scraping everything; consent, my ass!" Consent, MY fluffy ass. I don't even have a place to begin countering that argument because it fucking MAKES NO SENSE.

But that's not really the point. The point is, who the fuck /DMs you/ just to tell you you don't matter.

The other critters just get blocked. I'm /reporting/ this guy.

quote, fuck this guy 

"Lol. @/Polychrome tried to describe to you how things actually and technically work, and you decided to stay in your own fantasy bubble. Consent :) Not just other Fediverse services index every post they see, but also Google and Microsoft. They have already had everything you ever posted. How about that? Consent, my ass :)"

I uh.
I can't even.

I hope the mods don't just brush off my report with "well Actually It's Okay!".

"staying in a fantasy bubble"? SERIOUSLY, dude??

@IceWolf haha, glad I suspended them a while ago for uh...

admin deletes a few offending posts by a user, but does not take further action against covid deniers and anti-maskers.

@IceWolf Do I interpret that correctly that the issue is that they have full-text search based on the Mastodon Elasticsearch enabled or that they built tools on top of that?

@louis Masto built-in search is fine, /unless/ Gargron recently made it search for everything, which we haven't heard about but considering Gargon it's a possibility.

Normal Masto search only returns stuff you've already encountered, so it's perfect as a "where was that thing again?" tool (and even BETTER than full search on stuff you haven't seen!) /and/ – importantly – can't be used to find randos you don't like and jump on them.

@IceWolf Thanks for the clarification. 👍​
I was worried for a moment. I would want search to be "search everything" either.

@louis Ohhh yeah totally. Being able to search your OWN stuff is actively really nice.

Meta - Misc. 


Some Olympic-level creepiness in that thread, including from one asshole who I already had blocked. lol you know that akkoma and misskey instances can all do fulltext search on all posts right? consent for what? displaying posts? isn't that what visibility is for?

why is it different if someone finds a post in search and if someone finds a post in the federated timeline?

@iro_miya Because if they find a post in the federated timeline, that's like... they just happened to see it.

Don't let people SEARCH for whatever kind of people they don't like and harass them.

Also just like, I'm cool with people /happening/ to find my posts, NOT with them being able to /search/ for them.

If you want to search for my posts, ASK FIRST. It being public is NOT CONSENT.

@iro_miya (yeah I'm kinda shouty. This kind of "well if it's public, that's consent!" is way more common than it should be and it makes me pissed.) I dont really get why you wouldnt want someone to search a post

If they harass you, ban them for harassing... not for searching... it's a question about consent, being able to opt-out of this kind of indexing, that's it

@IceWolf consent to search is actually a complex problem that we've debated on fedi multiple times over the years.

Fedi was never designed to stop people from searching, or viewed searching from instances as bad. You should have been told that when you joined - the fact you weren't informed is the problem.

I agree that freely searchable posts can be easily abused for harassment and that this is a bad thing - but the fact is that ActivityPub (Fedi's protocol) was never designed with privacy in mind. The only consent the protocol considers is your clicking the Post button, with the knowledge that once the post gets out there - it's out of your hands.

For a long time we couldn't even edit or delete our posts - this was only added later and the implementation is not reliable and probably never will be due to the very nature of the system.

The creators of this system never saw search as a bad thing. Which is why almost every Fedi server out there - with the glaring exception of Mastodon - feature some kind of search capabilities.

I think Mastodon's approach of pretending the Fediverse is private and secure is the real problem here - it gave users the false impression that their posts are private, while they are not. It pretends to have privacy settings and tools, but they are barely effective. The truth is, Mastodon is misleading its users. ActivityPub is not private. It never been.

So in conclusion, do I like having my posts searchable? Not really.

But I know that this system doesn't mind searches, and has no privacy tools. So I am fully aware that all of my posts will be fully exposed and treat them as such.

If I want to post something in private... I do it elsewhere.

@Polychrome "You should have been told that when you joined"

No. Fuck off.

We have had TOO MANY PEOPLE, with TOO MANY THINGS, tell us "you agreed, so it's okay!" / other variations of "It's Just Like That, Deal"

No, it is /not/ "just like that", we can make a better world where consent is respected, and... yeah, no. Go with your "but it's Just Like That" somewhere /else/.

@Polychrome Also, there is a MASSIVE difference between "not actively locked down" and "actively searchable".

@IceWolf the point I was trying to make is that fedi was searchable from the very beginning, and it's just part of its spirit of things.

Mastodon is the outlier and its making it look like its not, which is misleading people.

This isn't one of those things where nobody does it and then suddenly some mean techbro lands on us and tells us to deal with it. Search was always here.

@Polychrome It is not "just the spirit of things", and just because it was "always here" does NOT mean that it's a good thing to violate consent like this.

@Polychrome You're going "well that's the way it's Always Been so you don't matter, your privacy and control over your own scope don't matter, just deal with it" and I am NOT HERE FOR IT.



What if I use search to be able to stumble upon some topic in a regular basis? Isn't it the same as subscribing to hashtags? There are valid things to get angry at, and this is not one of them. Just because Mastodon kneecaps any form of useful search doesn't mean the rest of the fediverse should do the same.

Posts received by an instance that are public
should be searchable by that instance. Global search? No, I'm not a fan of that. But this?

@privateger @iro_miya also this is not "kneecapping any form of useful search"

you /don't fucking need to search anyone's posts, anywhere, anytime/

sure, there's critters building opt-in search systems, and I wish them the best of luck

but this isn't that. Wha- No? It's a search of posts federated with the instance. That is a VERY much smaller network than the whole fediverse.
Seriously, don't mix this up, one is a lot worse than the other.

@privateger @iro_miya I don't.

It's "the whole fediverse that they know about". Yeah, it's naturally split up into subgroups. That has absolutely zero to do with anything here. Look, I'm open to have a conversation here, but if you're just going to yell at me, we can both save each other time.

@privateger @iro_miya Well, you're the one coming in to tell me I should just let people index my posts without being able to say no. I think it could be different because you can defederate them, unlike, say, a search engine like Google

Actually funny thing they don't just allow full text search but there is a functionality called an
Antena which allows you to use that full search capability to create a feed of posts containing certain keywords, it's fairly useful feature to be honest. Definately a lot more usable than mastodons ability to subscribe on hashtags.

@IceWolf big fat no to having my posts indexed, i do not consent and the only people who want to search for my posts are fascists who wish me harm.

@mae YEP, exactly on indexing.

I dunno if it's /completely/ fascists, I think a lot of it is regular people who "just want search!" because that's what they're used to and they can't fathom the idea of not having it, but... yeah. Nnnnno thanks.

@IceWolf they've never experienced a hate brigade on the hellsite for mentioning "jkr," i think they should experience that.

@Ash Hey, could you please just FUCK THE FUCK OFF?

If another site is letting Google kndex random servers' posts through them, that a) has very little to do with this and b) is a misconfiguration on their part, and THEY'RE not respecting people EITHER.

@Ash And neither are you. Please do not fucking PILE ON just to snarkily yell at me for asking for basic respect.

@Ash ...unless this /wasn't/ actually meant as a "haha you can't do anything anyway!", but considering all the other people we've been having to deal with all of a sudden, I'm not particularly hopeful.

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