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To me Twitter's way of handling link previews makes a lot of sense and is the way you expect it to work as a user. From my recollection what Twitter does is:

  • Consider the last url-like text for a link preview
  • If that doesn't have a twitter card or open graph tags, check the previous url, etc
  • If the previewed url text is the last text of the post, don't show that text
  • If the post contains a photo or video attachment, don't show a link preview at all, only show the media

I think the way posts are presented on the #fediverse could be improved by using these rules. With one extra addition:

  • If an attachment is also present within the post (activitypub posts are html, so that is quite possible), don't show the attachment at the end of the post.

The question whether the sending or receiving server should resolve the link to load the preview is solved by the fourth rule. Most platforms load the preview themselves upon receiving a post, but if a sending server includes it anyway, that rule causes the receiver to skip that step.

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