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Opt out of search engine indexing / pages only visible when logged in

  • people may not want their posts to be searchable. Even if cohost has no full text search, it’s rather easy to search “” in a search engine to find results anyway
  • people may not want their posts to appear in search results for their name
  • people may not want their posts to be archived
  • etc.

Hence, a simple privacy feature found in e.g. mastodon: allow users to check a box on pages to disallow search engines indexing them, including the profile page, post pages etc. Probably with the meta robots noindex tag. I dunno about shared posts; maybe disallowed posts could be removed from the render for well-known crawler user agents, or something.

However, this is a fairly rudimentary privacy measure that doesn’t prevent rude bots or web archiving services (which are also rude now) from indexing their pages anyway. So, at the cost of being inaccessible to guests, a privacy feature found in e.g. tumblr: allow users to check a box on pages to only allow logged-in users to see their profile and posts. I think this should also apply to shared posts, unlike tumblr which for some reason still leaks shared posts from blogs set to this mode. This mode would probably also have to disable the RSS feed.

There would then be 4 levels of privacy for pages: public, unlisted, logged in only, and private, which i think is nicer than only public and private.

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It sounds like handling shares properly is complicated, so I just wanted to say that although unideal, I'd personally be satisfied with just being able to have a noindex tag on my page and posts (like, every page under[user]), just to have something for the moment than nothing.

1 person likes this
came here to suggest this. computers are not allowed to read my posts. only people.

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@isyourguy - There's already an option to set your page to viewable by logged-in users only, unless that wasn't the part that you meant.

i think being able to change this per post would also be a plus, but in general being able to opt out of an evil machine (google scraper) seeing my posts would be cool. and from what ive seen most of the indexing just happens on the posts or shares of said post, so i think just adding a <meta> on that would be a huge plus already

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