Mastodon 4.2.0 added per-user opt-in search indexing. I love this so much. People here have asked me to enable Elasticsearch on FRZ dozens of times. Of course users want to find toots easily without scrolling through hundreds of them! However, it presents significant privacy issues for people who don’t want their toots to be indexed. Who wants to make life easier for a stalker?

The new feature handles this thoughtfully. I can enable the indexing feature at FRZ, but it doesn’t process a user’s toots unless they deliberately turn it on for their own account. People who don’t want their toots to be indexed don’t have to do anything. I think this is the perfect balance between privacy and convenience: everyone gets to decide for themselves. Well done, Mastodon team. Well done.

If you want to enable this for your account, go to Preferences > Public profile > Privacy and reach > Search, and click the checkbox next to “Include public posts in search results”. Then click “save changes” at the bottom of the page.