What if we create a discord server for Mojeek?

Hey everyone!

I have been using Mojeek as my secondary search engine for a while now where it does excel. I have been helping out other search engine projects as well such as You.com, Presearch and etc. Testing alternative privacy search engines have kind of become my hobby and really been liking the fact that Mojeek is independent from the other search engines, it is very rare to see an alternative product that doesn’t depend on the big tech companies under the hood such as Bing or Google. So really respect having an own index.

I have to be honest, Mojeek seems very underappreciated, and while having a forum is a great way to communicate with the community, again platforms like Discord is where many casual users are, it’s where we can reach more people, get more feedback and support. While discord may not be very popular choice among privacy enthusiasts compared to something like Matrix (Element?), Discord could be yet another place Mojeek could be, apart from Reddit, Twitter, and of course Discourse. Discord has kind of become the next trendy platform, especially for this generation (and the next-gen).

I’d be more than happy to help you guys out if we are ever to give discord a try, I think from a community, user-reach persepctive, we can reach a lot of people, and Discord is worth of a platform for Mojeek to be in. And not to mention, being more of a chat platform, It would be really easy for the dev team to be in touch with the community and develop Mojeek further.

@Josh Please do let me know,
Thank you!

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I don’t want to immediately insult your idea [EDIT: meaning that I just want to share my thoughts on this and I don’t think it is a bad idea to want to have another way to share ideas]. But, I have opinions on this topic. My opinions might be wrong, as I have never used Discord. I have never needed that service, being an older millennial who doesn’t game that much, and because Element or Rocket.Chat would be more privacy-centric choices in my opinion.

Discord is a centralized communication platform — all communications have to go through Discord’s official servers, where all of that information can potentially be recorded. Discord also asks for phone numbers on occasion, uses a process logger, has social media integration, and their Privacy Policy states they automatically collect:

  • IP Address
  • Device UUID
  • User’s e-mail address
  • All text messages
  • All images
  • All VOIP data (voice chat)
  • Open rates for e-mail sent by Discord

But, like you said, different generations, different ways of doing things.

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To add to this, here are some more Reasons not to use Discord: Reasons not to use Discord

Discord insists on tracking users. If a user connects through a VPN, Discord demands that user provide a phone number.

Discord locks accounts that don’t have associated phone numbers. When an account is locked, also called “deactivated”, the user is not allowed to make real use of it until person adds a phone number.

Users report that Discord shut off their accounts and won’t tell them why.

But most crucially, I would say it is because Mojeek has complete control of this Discourse instance. You cannot self-host Discord, so Mojeek would be putting its users in the hands of Discord’s management. Mojeek hosts much of its own infrastructure, as noted in the initial post.

On the other hand, Mojeek has an official Facebook page. I would agree there is value in appealing to people on the platforms they use most. However, I would ask that Mojeek consider the compromises they make when choosing Discord—here is a good post for that, even though it focuses on FOSS projects: Please don't use Discord for FOSS projects

You are making an investment when you choose to use one service over another. When you choose Discord, you are legitimizing their platform and divesting from FOSS platforms. Even if you think they have a bigger reach and a bigger audience, choosing them is a short-term, individualist play which signals a lack of faith in and support for the long-term goals of the FOSS ecosystem as a whole.

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I agree with all of you, and I do understand that discord is not private at all, but unfortunately, these apply for other platforms from Big Tech such as Twitter, Reddit, and even Facebook. But we are there are we? If we stop ourselves from exposure, privacy services could be hindered because of our stubbornness. Believe it or not, even if “privacy enthusiats” don’t like discord and try to avoid it, at the end of the day, their friends or relatives could be on the platform, which will unfortunately force them to use these applications. Services like Matrix are great, but for the average consumer, it is a lot more complicated than getting into platforms like Discord.

This is not new, we are on twitter and other big tech platforms, we have to make some compromises for long-term benifits. Imagine being able to quickly attach images for bug reports in discord channels and keep in touch with mojeek staff in real time?

And those who really don’t want to use discord, nobody is really forcing anyone to use it, all I am saying is to get into discord for those who are already there. And we know millions of people are on discord, those who don’t like to use it, they won’t use it, we can still continue to use Discourse.

Hey @Archit, thanks for the suggestion and welcome! I realise that we didn’t outline in the original launch post that there were a bunch of other options that we didn’t pursue but did look into, with Discord being one of them.

There are a variety of reasons which I’ll highlight here; @gnome and @bbbhltz having already pretty much put forward a bunch of them already. Also in the spirit of what they said, not trying to be overly negative, but just to outline the thinking on this.

When it comes to tools that we are inviting people into, I take anyone’s point on our being on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Reddit, all networks that don’t share values with us really at all.

When it comes to tools, @gnome has it right here:

Every extra tool for us takes a lot of digging in order to ensure that we’re not creating spaces where people will be exploited from a data perspective; this meant a lot of thinking when it came to our newsletter (so few services allow you to turn off all the pixel-side stuff). Discord would, unfortunately, be a move against our values in this respect, and as you’re saying:

Which would mean there’s little to gain from setting up a chatroom on something like Matrix as there wouldn’t be the userbase to make the decision worthwhile, and on this, a point which hasn’t been made. In the article we said:

These spaces are not built for constructive discourse, instead priming users for using controversial and punchy lines, over deep and thoughtful discussion.

I understand that this doesn’t really apply to Discord, but what I’d add to this is that we went for a forum-like option over a chatroom-like option because we believe that it is more likely to engender useful and constructive conversation amongst a global userbase. Real Time Chat options mean that useful conversations are more likely to get lost, admittedly you could create a good system of tagging etc. but this comes on to our other issue here, we are not a giant team, and so see our time as best spent primarily on making Mojeek better. On this:

The real time aspect isn’t really happening here, but we very much invite you to put down any bugs on the Discourse. We spend a good amount of the working day here making sure anything that comes up gets responded to. We do not discount using Discord in future, just as we don’t yet use Instagram or TikTok. We have limited bandwidth so keep to the channels that are most important to our current community.

Finally, this is a personal perspective thing, not necessarily saying this is the opinion of everyone else in the team, but a chatroom kind of creates the expectation of someone always being there in order to answer a query. I’ve worked across both forms of community and the one which looks more live has been a lot less productive and a lot more chaotic in my experience. We prefer to move slow and think about things as deeply as possible.

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Hey @Josh, great to know you folks already considered Discord, I do understand the benefits of using a forum though such as keeping track of old bug reports and etc, these things can be hard to accomplish and we could lose important discussions on chat platforms compared to forums like Discourse. I just wanted to put it out there as I was not aware if you guys were aware of discord. I think those points are totally valid to use Discourse over Matrix/Discord.

Thank you!

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No worries @Archit; also thanks for coming in hot with ideas, it’s always appreciated :pray:

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FWIW, it’s possible to make a chat that’s bridged between IRC and Matrix, and to only require NickServ registration for IRC users. It’s a common practice on Libera.Chat.

Another option is to make an XMPP MUC room.

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For Discourse, the upcoming release in January includes the chat plugin.

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