• @0x1C3B00DA@lemmy.mlOP
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    2 years ago

    I guess I fall into the author’s webhead category and I still don’t understand the issue with search. I’m specifically talking about third-party search engines, not built into AP software.

    All fediverse posts on all software (that I’ve used or know of) have an ActivityPub representation (the json blob) and an html representation (the page you see if you click the post’s url). Search has been a part of the web as long as I’ve been using it and as a commenter on the post said, decentralization is heavily dependent on indexing/search. Without it, you have a major discoverability problem, which is a consistent critique of the fediverse.

    I’ve seen ppl mention users have an expectation of privacy, but I find that hard to believe. Post from multiple social sites (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, etc) are indexed in most search engines and users are used to that and know that public posts are searchable. As a user, you have multiple tools to keep your posts from being indexed and most fediverse software has decent moderation tools so you can handle any incoming issues that do occur.

    EDIT: A relevant comment from the HN post:

    It’s also unethical to make promises to users, like privacy for posts published to a semipublic social network, that software can’t possibly keep.

    • AdaA
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      42 years ago

      I think you’re missing some important context here. What people are looking for isn’t “no search”. They’re looking for a balance between discoverability and public posts that allows them to exist and connect to new people without being trivially found by harassers.

      Remember, the fediverse was first largely populated by queer folk, queer folk who were generally escaping social media platforms with full text search that had become toxic for them. Yet they didn’t arrive with a full network of friends either. They needed some form of discoverability.

      And that’s why we see tag search as the limit. Yes, full text search can exist and be done, but even the act of making it one step removed from the app used to make comments shifts the balance in the right direction. When the same app that is used to harass is used to discover, then drive by harassment is trivial and common. When searching for content involves some level of effort, and exists independent of the platform that is used to harass, then drive by harassment goes down. Of course, that doesn’t stop dedicated bigots with less casual harassment in mind, but that’s an acceptable balance for most folk

      • @ragica@lemmy.ml
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        32 years ago

        Security through obscurity raises it’s head again… we’ve been down this fraught road so many times.

        If control is wanted over this privacy/discovery balance, better build it in fast. Or, third parties that prove themselves significantly more useful than what is built in will soon take over, once the network reaches a significant size. Search becomes a key feature of every network and communication/sharing platform there is.

        Unless of course the hope is that by limiting the utility of the network it remains small and therefore obscure and less used as a whole.

        The linked article is thoughtful and covers many of these points from multiple sides already though.

        • AdaA
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          42 years ago

          Nah, it’s not security through obscurity. No one thinks their posts are secure. The goal is to not make them trivially available to people with intent to cause harm. Yeah, bad faith indexing instances will always exist, but they don’t enable trivial drive by harassment, and that’s the status quo people are trying to keep.

          • AdaA
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            2 years ago

            Again though, that’s not what people are worried about, because it’s not where most harassment comes from. On twitter for example, people would have saved search terms, and then almost in real time, they’d drop in and harass people talking about whatever topic they want to troll. That’s the behaviour people are trying to stop, and someone being able to hit up google to track a specific user or instances content down isn’t enabling that behaviour.