If you are searching for something on Mastodon and the Fediverse, you will get different search results depending on which server your account is on. This is because each server sees a slightly different view of the Fediverse.
Your server can see the following content:
- All accounts on your server
- All posts made by accounts on your server
- All posts shared by at least one account on your server
- All accounts that at least one account on your server follows
- All posts made by accounts that at least one account on your server follows
- All posts shared by an account that least one account on your server follows
- All posts from groups which have at least one follower on your server
- All posts that have been searched for by their original page’s web address
- All accounts that have been searched for by their account address
- All posts pushed to your server by a relay server (if your server uses relays)
How do I make my server notice more posts and accounts?
If a post isn’t visible from your server but you know it exists, you can manually force your server to notice it by copying and pasting the post’s URL from its original page on its home server into the search box on your server. This will make the post appear within your server so you can interact with it and search for it just like any other post. Click here for more details about original pages.
If you want your server to notice a lot more posts and accounts, ask your server admin if they have considered using a relay service. Modern relay services can be for specific topics, and scripts can be used to backfill missing posts from profiles and conversations.
Why doesn’t my server just notice all posts and accounts from all servers?
Fediverse servers are selective about what they see, because keeping a complete copy of all posts from all other servers regardless of whether they’re needed would be incredibly expensive and wasteful.
Can a server stop noticing posts and accounts?
Yes, if the server’s admin decides to defederate from another server. When a server defederates from another server, it can no longer see posts or accounts from the defederated server.
Alternatively, a server admin may instead decide to suspend a specific account on another server, which will make that account and its posts no longer visible on the admin’s server.