@Azure awhile back, there was a plague of followbots which attempted to remotely follow as many users as possible, to bolster the federated timeline of their instance
some followbots would obey #nobot and avoid following users with that in their info
me? i just blocked the things as they followed me =^.^=
@Balor @vhf Darn, it's gone before I got a chance to play with it. Hopefully the #nobot trick will be enough to make people okay with this for now, until a proper-security approach can be figured out. (unfortunately, I can think of a bunch of other things #nobot could mean -- like: I don't want messages from bots.)
It seems to me robots.txt or #nobot or a flag in the activitystream, or any advisory setting, isn't going to be more than a speed bump to abuse. In fact, it'll be a pain for ordinary users, while the folks with bot/troll armies will ignore that setting and index the fediverse as much as they want. And a "friend-locked" mode feels very restrictive. Maybe: friends-of-friends locked. Maybe some other social-graph algo. Maybe a TOS click-through legal tool.