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Option for sharing offsite contact methods

As a user who has radical opinions on online safety, I believe private messaging is out of Cohost's scope and should never be added. If people want to talk privately they should do it on some other medium. There are dozens of options, from email to Telegram to Discord, we do not need another, and Cohost does not need to become target #1 for hackers looking for bad opsec (do you like the prospect of knowing people's credit card numbers and home addresses are lurking in your database?)

However, Cohost does need the ability to share some amount of info privately so that people can find each other on other media. I suggest the addition of a "contacts" profile field, which would be hidden except for those you explicitly extend access to.

Choosing to expose your contact info to someone would pop a notification on their feed. You would also be able to opt to display this field to the general public, if you live a charmed life where that sort of thing is safe to do.

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Isn't that was the link in the profile page is for? I've got my neocities there, and I've seen linktree and other such link sites that include discord links. Hell, throw your public facing email in the description. Idk if there needs to be a special place for it.

Or maybe cohost could offer a special theme for portfolio-esque accounts. Maybe even as a subscription perk? 5 bucks a month and you can have all the lil slots to shove your discords and skypes links as you please lol

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That would mean everyone could see it. I'm a public figure, I cannot safely publish my IM handle or I will be drowned in undesired contacts, and plenty of people have plenty of other reasons why they can't.

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Agreed. i want to be able to send people a contact card/"business card" that's just got like, my telegram, discord, email etc. so we can chat off-site. I have way too many "fans" to allow my private contact info to be publicly findable. People already go to... unreasonable lengths to figure out my telegram and discord so they can invite me to their woodland villa to be murdered and not take no for an answer.

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Would a workaround here be a link to a draft that's never posted that you can share with all the info? 

That doesn't provide any privacy. Exposing such a post anywhere, for any length of time, means it enters the fossil record (archive, other scrapers) forever, and since you can't link a draft to just a single person within the site, we would still need some new mechanism to fill in that need.

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@gravis - on the topic of the fossil record, I'm curious about your opinion on a Tumblr-esque ask system that's been suggested? It seems like one way people might circumvent the lack of a private messaging system would be by sending each other asks that never get answered.

Well, IMO they would then have a "wehadababy eetsaboy" situation. The feature comes out, six months go by, and then staff gets an odd support request that leads them to find out that people are massively abusing it to synthesize a DMs system: "just send me an ask, then I'll respond in an ask." Then we're right back to the same problem, people sharing credit card numbers and home addresses through a mechanism not intended for it.

My take is that if you offer people something that feels private, they will take that inch and infer a mile - that it is also secret and secure.

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yeah it's a tough issue, idk how to ask people if they want to play video games online beside making an off-topic comment and deleting it or something

This is a bit of a stretch, but one way you can do this currently is by making a private page, make a pinned post with your contact information, and then linking the profile to the person you want to give the info to.

A private page's posts are not visible to anyone not logged in and following the account, and you have to manually approve a follow request to let someone follow the account. The posts on locked accounts are also unable to be reblogged.

 This is definitely on their radar, see Jae's comment here:

Definitely agree with this feedback. Ideally, you could list various contact methods and user names in your profile, and have visibility set to "everyone", "followers", "mutuals", or "People I Specify" with a link to manage access.

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Genuine question, what's stopping cohost from having a more secure private messaging system? What are alternative platforms doing that cohost couldn't do? I don't think it'd necessarily be redundant to have, it would definitely be more convenient.

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