Bluesky Posting Strike 2023 tweet.

Bluesky Posting Strike

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Updated Jul 17, 2023 at 02:29PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 16, 2023 at 03:56PM EDT by Aidan Walker.

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Overview

Bluesky Posting Strike refers to an action taken by many users on the beta-test form of the social media platform Bluesky in mid-July 2023 following controversy around Bluesky's purported gaps in content moderation. In the summer of 2023, trolls on the platform were able to create accounts using racial slurs like the N-word in their profile and display names, upsetting many in the Bluesky community. A vast number of posters found the administration's perceived slowness to act and apparent lack of concern about hate speech highly troubling and pushed back by refusing to post and "going on strike."

Background

Bluesky's in-development beta product crossed over the threshold of 100,00 users in the early summer of 2023. However, the platform's content moderation and trust and safety teams purportedly remained skeletal and underdeveloped, according to many users. Conflicts between the user base and the developers and administration of the platform over faulty moderation led to several controversies leading up to the protest.[1]

On July 13th, 2023, power user Aveta reported an account (seen below) that had been using the N-word in its profile for two weeks without getting stopped by Bluesky's content moderation.[5] Pressure and posting from the community urged the developers to take action to solve the problem and to apologize for allowing it to happen in the first place. Following the discovery of the original account, others using slurs as profile names were found and reported. Bluesky subsequently took down the profiles in question.


Aveta @aliafonzy.bsky.social. 3d Update to include recent incidents: Bluesky allowed a user for **sixteen days** have n-er as a handle bsky.app/profile/aliafonzy.... It got taken down after raising this alarm

In response to these developments, some users went on a "posting strike" and protested against the platform, filling feeds with content about the issue. Many users posted in support of the strike, including lav666 (seen below) who received over 100 likes for posting in solidarity with the movement.[8]


Lav @lav666.bsky.social. 2h The issues the posting strike concern are extremely important. Having spoken with other sex workers, I know that we are experiencing a loss in income due to not posting as usual. While we continue to stand in solidarity with BlackSky and the black people of bsky. Q1 1748 117

Developments

LinkedIn Post

A July 13th, 2023, LinkedIn post by podcaster Scott Hirleman calling out Bluesky's developers, creators, and funders for the platform's perceived "anti-blackness problem" went viral, earning almost 1,000 likes on the professional networking platform (seen below).[3] Others subsequently quoted and screenshotted the LinkedIn post or even posted on LinkedIn themselves about developments on Bluesky.


Scott Hirleman • 3rd+ Data Mesh Radio Host - Helping People Understand a... 3d • + Follow Hey Jay Graber, Paul Frazee, Emily Liu, Rose Wang you have an incredibly bad anti-blackness problem on your platform. It says you are hiring. Where is the posting for your head of Trust and Safety? Why is this such a big problem every week or two it seems? If you don't want to run a social media platform, split the company in twain and go focus on the protocol and fund the platform with another team that cares. Or do you not care about marginalized groups? 972 67 comments 205 reposts

Bluesky Response

On July 14th, 2023, Bluesky made a post detailing changes to its community guidelines and policies surrounding hate speech.[4] Some users, however, continued to call on the platform and major visible figures like CEO Jay Graber and developer Paul Frazee to officially apologize. They also asked the company to hire a committed content moderation team.


t Reposted by Jay Bluesky @bsky.app . 2d Our updated Terms of Service and Community Guidelines go into effect today. We'll continue to improve these policies and the processes for their enforcement as we grow. Terms of Service: blueskyweb.xyz/support/tos Community Guidelines: blueskyweb.xyz/support/comm... 112 17 126 519 t Reposted by Jay Bluesky @bsky.app · 2d Our community guidelines include the following: 1. Don't use Bluesky Social to break the law or cause harm to others. 2. Treat others with respect. We don't allow conduct that targets people based on their race, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation. 204 140 701

Online Reactions

On other platforms, particularly Twitter, posters reported back the news about Bluesky. For example, @ThatDangPhil (seen below, left) on July 13th tweeted about Bluesky's problems, gaining almost 60 likes in three days.[6] A skeet from user dril discussing the strike also inspired much interaction and engagement on the platform (seen below right), earning over 3,600 likes on July 14th.[7]


This Darn Phil! @ThatDangPhil In case you're wondering how the Bluesky beta is going, a bunch of the most influential posters are on strike right now because it was revealed that the content filter for usernames allows the n-word and "Hitler". This is what happens when you don't hire Black people. 2:49 PM Jul 13, 2023 5,863 Views 14 Retweets 5 Quotes 59 Likes 1 Bookmark wint 2d @dril.bsky.social im going on a posting strike from here until they make every one not racist or whatever Jul 14, 2023 at 7:50 AM 608 reposts 3.6K likes

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