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Implement private chosts / direct messaging

I'm not really picky on how this is implemented but not having any sort of private/direct posting option on cohost seems like a glaring omission. All I want is something that will let me send my Discord information to someone if I have to.

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Not having direct messages is a deliberate decision, and one we will be unlikely to be changing any time soon, if ever. We do not want to run a messaging system for a variety of reasons and do not think we would do as well as existing platforms. We're going to add ways to make it easier to share how people can contact you off site.

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I'm strongly opposed to having full direct messaging but I think we should make "business cards" of contact info and we can just click a button to send someone our off-site contact info

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i'm definitely of the mind there should eventually be some sort of on-site system that serves as a private message/direct message system, and i think i'd echo the idea of emulating old-style webforums (especially phpBB ones) where there is a system but it's pretty rudimentary. there's no need to reinvent the wheel or be particularly complicated here, especially with how few staff are doing the work here and the general vibe of the site.

7 people like this

I'm struggling to imagine a downside (to the user) of a direct message system that isn't made at least as bad by requiring users to publicly share off-site contact methods if they want to have any private communication. 

If harassment is the concern, making users share external contact methods means that you can't even block the person harassing you, because their messages won't be tied to their Cohost account, and moderators won't be able to keep an eye on users creating new accounts for the purpose of harassment, etc. Give users the option to  turn off DMs entirely, or restrict them to users they follow, if they don't want to be able to get private messages from just anyone.

6 people like this
Maybe there could be a DM system like older webforums had, where it's more like email than an instant messaging app. It would provide a way to contact someone when there's no alternative, but it wouldn't be attractive to use for long conversations and so people would naturally use other sites for that.

6 people like this

I definitely sent a message to a guy who I thought was a different guy because the only way to quietly contact them was via discord instead of directly through Cohost.

I'd love to see a private message system implemented.

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I don't see anything wrong with directly copying Twitter's semantics here — by default you can't get DMs from accounts you don't follow, but there's a profile setting to allow them. We could even have the default be no DMs at all, with settings to enable one of the above modes. I would personally like it to be as easy as possible to message me privately — in 13 years of having open twitter DMs I've received 0 harassment there, and I wouldn't particularly mind if I did. Of course this isn't true for many people, so default-off is totally fine. 

But I'd really like some way for private feedback/getting to know people to happen. For me the main point of putting things on the internet is to hear back from people about them and then possibly become friends with those people, and sometimes people aren't comfortable replying publicly!

4 people like this

Perhaps there could be a section in the profile that only mutual followers could see? That might be a nice way to let people know your handles on other services without making them completely public.

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I'd like a DM system of some type as a little bit of an intermediate between replies and sharing offsite contact information - for example, if I wanted to share a discord handle with someone I trusted, or exchange mailing addresses for a zine swap, I absolutely don't want that public. I also honestly have more faith in CH's ability to bring the hammer down on spam or harassment so I'm less concerned about possible abuses of the system, especially if by default DMs are turned off.

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 i'm a bit surprised nobody has mentioned this:


admittedly, it's a bit weird... but if you save a post as a draft, you can send it to people by giving them the direct link to it.

though if your intent is to send it to a particular user directly through cohost, well... i'm not sure if/how you could do that. but this gets halfway there, at least.

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Something along the lines of Tumblr-style asks might be a solution to enable sending one-off private messages without implementing a full instant messenger chat system, if that is objectionable for whatever reason.

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People use Twitter DMs like a chat app a lot and I just do not want yet another chat app or email thing and for staff to have to deal with like "oh what i sent someone nudes over DM and you're telling me it's not encrypted???" kinda stuff.

Nobody can harass me via DM if I have to give them my contact info and then presumably I can block them if they harass me via blocking them on those platforms which allow me to block. 

2 people like this

Addressing the other aspect of this feature request, I would personally greatly enjoy having private replies. Sometimes I want to reply directly in the context of a post, but end up deciding not to because I don't want to add the reply to my feed.

1 person likes this

I'm here nor there on having some kind of instant messaging system but I do think a site like this needs SOME way to send private information to someone without publicly broadcasting their discord account or something. Even if it's just so much as a contacts card like was mentioned before. There's just some information that's not safe to post publicly and if cohost is your only contact with someone that can make things really difficult. 

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Neither is a great solution. The former is incredibly bad because I don't know about you but a lot of the people I follow are complete strangers, I don't necessarily want to share that information with them. Just because I follow someone doesn't mean I trust them enough to give private contact details. It just means I like their posts.

The ask box system is better, but rather hacky and obviously not the intended design of the feature. A proper feature would be ideal. 

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