Read CONTEXT at end of post
Currently Voat’s "Private" subverse feature is primarily used to allow subs to disassociate their posts from v/all, all content is still public in every sense other than this. This isn’t really private, it’s more like a hidden setting.
For internal reasons Voat needs to implement a private subverse feature in which only approved people have access to the subverse content (pro tip: a lot of features we work on and end up offering were/are primarily developed for internal reasons like the upcoming Vote and Packages features).
Before we start any work on this feature, I want to discuss how to develop this feature and get your feedback and concerns.
As I see it, we have the classic concept of Private in which only approved people (members) can access subverse content. The only question is one of implementation: what controls access to subverse: subscriptions or moderator privileges? If we use subscriptions, we will have to modify the process so that moderators can approve a subscription request, otherwise the moderator feature would suffice. If we use a moderator approach, other users can see who is part of the private subverse which is good for transparency. Pros/cons to both approaches.
Some concerns I see:
Should we have different "Private" settings like a
ReadOnly differentiation so that a subverse can choose to display content to non-members but not allow non-members to submit posts/comments i.e. a read only approach?
What if a subverse is private and a new subscriber is added, should this new member have full access to subverse content or should all content submitted before they were added be inaccessible to them? In other words, only content submitted after a user became a member is visible to them. This concern is to allow existing members to be reassured their prior content is protected.
Should private subverse content show up in front-page/sets or should the subverse content only be accessible via navigating to the subverse itself?
Should pings be dropped when the target user isn’t a member?
There are probably other considerations I haven’t thought about, so let me know your thoughts.
As with any change, we are all looking at the potential for abuse (which I see), so I want to give everyone a context of where this comes from so you can see the intentions involved with the thought.
I want to setup a corporate Voat instance for business related concerns that will be accessible by all Voat employees and members of the community that are involved with the operations of Voat (this is called dogfooding in the software world). In this instance I'd like to have a subverse about Finances that is restricted to only company executives, as well as a Legal subverse accessible to legal council, etc.
In these scenarios, private subverses are needed as a Voat developer or community manager wouldn't need access to this "sensitive" content.
I think it's important to note where this idea stems from and that this idea was never one of ill intention (i.e. This is the end of Voat!). This is why I mentioned "internal" above.
As always, we are just getting feedback here, let's try to look for solutions to the concerns rather than throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Consensus is in: Voat loves this idea... Pause... Pause... Not. ;)