staff

cohost dot org

@staff

the website you're on right now

brought to you by @vogon @jkap @aidan

@anti-software-software-club

@staff is on the clock from 9am EST to 5pm PST every weekday.


Be sure to check out the status of known bugs, feature requests, and other site improvements in the notion link above.


find our FAQ and support documents at https://antisoftware.freshdesk.com/support/solutions


To contact us directly, email [email protected]


thank you for using cohost!


an introduction for friends & family

hey! this is cohost, a new social media platform we’ve been working on for what, in retrospect, is a terrifyingly long time. we’re glad you’re here, and only in part because it’s hard to test a social media platform without having other people use it.

this project is still technically secret, so please don’t talk too much about it publicly until we give you the heads-up; however, we expect to be able to make a public announcement around the beginning of March.

an overview of what you can expect here:


here’s what cohost is and isn’t

  • a new social media platform — inspired more by tumblr than by anything else that exists nowadays — but not a direct clone of anything
  • multiple personas supported from the ground up: switching between personas (”pages”) is built in, instead of being something you have to install a special client for
  • shared custody of pages: instead of creating a user account for the podcast you do with someone, you can just create it as a page that you’re both contributors to, and manage it from both of your individual dashboards
  • formatted text posts — we use markdown, like slack, discord, github, etc.
  • no post length limits
  • subdomains (but not just yet, sorry)
    • right now we’re largely prioritizing main domain URLs (cohost.org/staff instead of staff.cohost.org) because of some bugs, but we’ll be switching back soon
  • comments are back, baby!
    • instagram has them, tumblr has them but the UI kind of sucks, twitter has them but the UI really sucks
  • tagging and content warnings
    • we have them!
    • we also realize that tags and content warnings, while mechanically similar, have very different uses. that’s why we’ve separated the systems: one for things you want to see, the other for things you don’t
    • tags are independent of post content (like tumblr, unlike twitter or mastodon) and we plan to build out a robust content filtering functionality for them specifically
    • content warnings are tags that also collapse the post by default
  • moderation
    • we intend to keep the invite system active for the foreseeable future, but gradually give away invites to people already on the platform for their friends, rather than handing them all out ourselves.
    • the scale of the platform is going to be limited by how much time and labor we can spend moderating it; we’re not going to let it get out of hand
      • a bar that you let nazis hang out in is a nazi bar, and a social media platform without sufficient moderation staff to cover its userbase is [fill in your own punchy conclusion to this sentence]
      • a promise: cohost staff will never permanently delete content from the site or permanently suspend users without human intervention.
    • users without invite links can register, but they can’t create pages other than the one that comes with their account, and they can’t post or comment
  • adult content policy
    • there are US legal requirements around not collecting personal data from people under 13, and of not showing sexually explicit content to people under 18, that we are required to obey, and will
    • user’s age is self-certified at signup and not displayed anywhere
    • posts can either be all-ages or adult
      • only adults can see adult posts
      • adults also get the ability to choose whether they want adult posts to be collapsed by default on their dashboard, or viewable
      • the line about content here is admittedly absolutely nightmarish to draw and we don’t have any kind of clarity in our minds about it right now, but in general we want to permit as much as possible. Go nuts, show nuts, whatever
    • pages can also either be all-ages or adult
      • underage users can’t view, follow, or become contributors to adult pages
      • posts by adult pages are adult by default, but adult pages can also make all-ages posts that are readable by underage users if they get shared by an all-ages page
      • profile data (incl. avatar) on adult pages must be all-ages safe
    • ideally we would like to allow adult content up to and including sex work, but we are still hammering out the details on how and when. we really want to support adult content — but we want to do it fully, correctly, and without leaving a bunch of people in the lurch by having to suddenly renege farther down the line.
      • until then, there are other services run by and for sex workers that would probably be a better fit.
  • monetization (we know, but stick with us)
    • here’s the most important thing:
      🚨 cohost will never run ads or sell user data. 🚨
    • this is the philosophy on which our entire site (and company) is built. however, cohost is our full time job and we do need to keep the lights on and pay rent and stuff
    • we will be implementing subscriptions and paid content to allow users to monetize their work along the lines of patreon or ko-fi
      • the platform cut is going to be a maximum of 5% (+ payment processing fees), no rate hikes, no funny business
    • our monetization prototype will be @staff. if you kick us a couple bucks a month through that page, you’ll get access to “cohost plus”, which will grant you access to our dumbest, worst ideas!
      • here’s another promise: functionality or usability features will never be behind a paywall, because that sucks
        • but if your enjoyment of the site is reduced by not being able to turn your mouse cursor into a little plate mail gauntlet, we’d like to apologize 😔
        • ... unless? 🤑

here’s what’s busted

  • our terms of use and privacy policy are currently absent; the last time we looked at them was before we executed a big pivot so they were confusing, and we’re gonna work on a new version with our lawyer
    • we’ll make an announcement in the cohost corner when they land
  • most of our UI design is coming in very hot, stuff may be out of place or look bad.
  • performance is questionable; we’re working on it, but haven’t had the time to put in permanent fixes yet
  • some of the appearance of the comment system is gonna be changing in the next couple weeks, after we discovered a couple issues while lining up for this announcement
  • you can’t currently change your password.
    • this one is going to change really soon because jae would like to change their password.
  • titles (like the ones in your browser tabs) don't work correctly
  • it’s a new web site and with new web sites come bugs. if you find one, let us know!
  • like, seriously, please let us know — when in doubt, assume we don’t already know about it.

here’s what’s coming between now and our public announcement

  • page contributor management
    • if you have a project that you want to create a multi-contributor page for before we get this done, please e-mail us at [email protected]; we can take care of it for you.
  • pinned posts
  • direct messages
  • asks
  • a notifications page
  • support for fancier content in posts
    • video embeds! audio embeds! images that aren’t just at the top! FONTS!
      • we wanted to write “fonts” in a silly font but we don’t have fonts yet. so.
  • better content filtering
    • per-tag + per-CW display inline/collapse/silence entirely
    • limiting/disabling comments on posts
  • more robust reporting and moderation
    • flagging posts
    • flagging profile content
    • hiding/flagging comments
  • more profile customization
    • our blue sky goal is to make something like https://3dthemetest.tumblr.com possible, but it’ll be a bit until we get there
    • right now we’ve got avatar and header images; theme colors should be landing soon
    • we’ll also be shipping more functional customization in the very near future, so if you want to use cohost for your photography, you can restyle your profile page to give more focus to your photographs instead of it looking like A Post Feed
  • more ways to link in and out of the platform. we don’t want to wall off anything unless it’s something you have to pay actual money to read
    • RSS feeds are coming
    • also better previews for off-site sharing

here’s what we’re ditching from other contemporary social media, on purpose

  • ads
  • metrics
    • information about engagement will be available for people doing this for a living, but it won’t be in your face all the time constantly
  • trends
  • every other type of algorithmic recommendation crap
  • cryptocurrency
    • our current crypto policy is a lot like VRChat: e.g. we won’t integrate or support blockchain nonsense. You’re allowed to post your NFT on the platform if you think it’s got artistic merit, but if you’re obviously promoting/shilling/hyping it, you can fuck right off (and we will show you the door ourselves)

thanks for checking out cohost, and if there’s anything that seems broken or weird, feel free to report it to us using the “help/report a bug” link on your dashboard or the little floating “report a bug” widget everywhere else.

aidan + colin + jae ❤️


in reply to @staff's post:

what's the current policy on posting screenshots of good posts elsewhere (aka The Jae Tumblr Maneuver) (yeah i know you didn't invent it babe just naming it) edit: oh, to clarify i mean privately, obviously publicly is a no go.