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I'd love to be able to search all content on cohost, but I understand that this is seen as dangerous by @staff. But @vogon mentioned here that searching content posted by people you already follow is on the table, and that would serve most of my needs.

I've previously submitted a feature request for searching just your own content, so if you want that but not this, go upvote that one :)

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Something I'm running into a lot with the absence of search is that there's no way to search for posts about how to do things on cohost. I was wanting the ability to spoiler text, was thinking of posting a request for it here, then thought "hey, maybe that's already possible with this version of markdown!".. and then... just had no idea how to see if that was true. I've had similar experiences several times already.

This is the kind of thing that is not solved by friends-only search, so I wonder if we could have a post setting, or a specific set of tags, that explicitly opts in to making a post indexable? I think lots of people, including the people writing helpful guides about how to do things on the website, would love those things to be more discoverable.

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A couple days later, and it just keeps happening. I don't know how anyone else uses a website like this without search. Several times, a post (including one here!) has been like, "@soandso's posts about <topic>" (but not a tag) and so I want to go look at the posts in question and I just... can't??? I feel totally lost and unable to participate in discussion/community in the normal way, because there's no way to catch up on shared context that you've missed without scrolling through someone's entire post history, and if you don't know the username you can't even do that.

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Bumping this because I am about to click "next page" on my timeline for the 12th time trying to find a post I saw a few days ago and want to show to a friend. This is frankly unacceptable. If we can't have sitewide search, can we at least be allowed to search content we've already seen? I understand that "search from people you follow" fails to prevent the "follow then search" abuse case, but maybe we can have "search things from people you follow that were posted since you started following them"?

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I agree that the ability to search your home timeline would be useful, but I also think that the staff are right about the deleterious effects of search. On Twitter and Tumblr (both of which have "search all text of all posts on the whole website" as a feature), you will frequently see people posting about "F*mous P*rson" or "Tele/vision Sh/ow" or "Teck-nollo-gee" specifically to avoid the kinds of people who appear instantly in your mentions/reblogs when you talk about Famous Person, Television Show, or Technology.

Personally, I appreciate that on Cohost I can have a non-private account that mentions Famous Person from time to time.

Yeah, I think any search feature would absolutely have to be gated on it being extremely difficult to use for harassment. I think an array of search features something like this would be useful:

  • Full search of your own posts. As mentioned, this is outside the scope of this feature request.
  • Full search of any given tag. Tags explicitly exist to make posts searchable, so this seems like it has low risk of harassment, and makes it easy to (for example) find the specific "#cohost tools" post about Markdown Plus.
  • Time-bounded (weeks? months?) search of other people's timelines. This mostly solves the problem of "I know I saw something go by about XYZ but I can't quite remember" without introducing the problem of "I'm going to search for the most problematic thing you've ever said".
  • Search of posts on your timeline, excluding posts by people you followed before you followed them. This eliminates the ability to work around time-bounded searches by just creating a page and following people.

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I think the main thing would be making searchability by others opt-in and preferably able to be toggled on a per-post basis. 

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 Bumping this thread to second the post above mine: I do agree with the broad sentiment that unrestricted search leads absolutely nowhere good, but I feel like not having any actual post body text search at all, whatsoever, outside of people you already follow is a little draconian. I get the fear, I do, but I feel like there's got to be a better way to approach the idea than to rule it out entirely from the outset.

Me, I really like the notion of making post discoverability an explicitly opt-in thing as opposed to zero discoverability at all outside of already existing circles. I'm mostly thinking from an artist's perspective, here... if the tags I put on my posts don't match exactly what a person is searching for, even if the body of my post is content they'd want to see, then they'd have no way of finding what I put out there.

Or as another example, oftentimes fanart for instance is given broad fandom tags and isn't necessarily tagged with the characters' names, even if the post body does mention them—on other sites I've often discovered my favorite fandom stuff by finding it through the post itself, not necessarily through the tags. And I've been discovered in that same way by new audiences in the past, through incidental mentions/discussions of things I like that led to people looking at my creative work. It'd just be nice to be able to control which incidental mentions are the ones that people see.

If searchability/discoverability was implemented but with the default setting being "off", I think that would hit a happy medium—that way people can talk about whatever topic in peace without having to put a million t//e//x//t c3n$0rs in every time they want to discuss it, not risking having a mob of people barge in uninvited, but also giving people who very much want to be discovered that option.

If feasible, at least. IDK, food for thought 

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Oh, and of course that idea only applies to the post itself, not comments.

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