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Bluesky starts letting users pick their own moderation filters


Bluesky will soon let users customize how content is moderated in their feeds. The social platform announced that it’s open-sourcing its moderation tool, called Ozone, to let developers create additional moderation services that can be selected by users.

Bluesky already has a team dedicated to content moderation, along with its own set of rules users have to follow. However, the new system will let users expand what’s moderated to their liking, allowing them to subscribe to additional moderation services that label, annotate, or hide certain types of posts.

Here’s what it will look like to subscribe to a moderation service.
Image: Bluesky

As an example, Bluesky says someone could use Ozone to create a moderation service that specifically blocks images of spiders. A user could then subscribe to that service to remove photos of spiders from their feeds. They can also report any spider images that fall through the cracks, allowing the moderation service’s creator to review them.

“You can build all sorts of different moderation services and customize your experience to create the kind of community you want,” Bluesky CEO Jay Graber tells The Verge in an upcoming episode of Decoder. “Beyond that, you’re going to be able to mix and match these in different ways, and we’ve put out the open-source tooling for that.”

The custom filters will sit on top of Bluesky’s existing moderation, though third-party servers will be able to turn Bluesky’s moderation off altogether.

These are the custom labels users can apply.
Image: Bluesky

Bluesky says creating a moderation tool is similar to the way users can create block lists. The main difference is that the moderation service won’t be tied to an individual account. It will instead let more than one person manage the service, review a reporting queue, and set custom labels. Developers can even create automated labeling services if they want.

Ozone is being open-sourced today, and Bluesky will introduce the ability to enable moderation tools later this week.

“This is something that I think is really going to move forward the state of the industry,” Graber tells Decoder. “And as far as I know, nobody’s done exactly what we were doing before, which is have this piece of moderation be something that any third party, any user, or anyone who wants to come in — even if they’re non-technical — can start building on.”

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