Earlier this month, Bluesky moved away from an invite-only model and announced it is open to the public. Now, Rodericks will lead its trust and safety.

Aaron Rodericks, who used co-lead trust and safety at X (formerly Twitter), has been appointed in the same role at Bluesky.

A decentralised social platform funded by Jack Dorsey, Bluesky was announced in 2019 as a Twitter-funded project that aimed to create an “open and decentralised standard for social media”. It has been long seen as one of the stronger alternatives to X.

In an announcement yesterday (28 February), Bluesky said that Rodericks, who is based in Dublin, has taken over as head of trust and safety, bringing with him more than a decade’s worth of experience in building “safe” online spaces and “defending” information integrity in both the private sector and in government.

Upon his appointment, Rodericks said that there is an “urgent global need” for a social network that can safely and effectively meet the needs of communities and individuals.

“People expect social media to provide a healthy level of built-in moderation, with clearly stated rules that are applied consistently. However, we’ve seen that this alone is not enough. Communities also need the ability to self-organise around more opinionated moderation principles and have the tooling to keep these efforts sustainable,” he explained.

“I’m excited that Bluesky is taking both of these layers seriously, and I believe that their fresh approach to user choice with stackable moderation is poised to become a key part in guiding and growing healthy online conversations.”

Earlier this month, Bluesky moved away from an invite-only model and announced it is open to the public.

Before it went public, Bluesky already had more than 3m sign-ups. Now, the company says it has more than 5m users after getting a boost from going public.

But it remains to be seen how the platform will compete with other alternatives to X, such as Meta’s Threads and Mastodon. Threads has more than 130m monthly active users, while Mastodon has 1.8m.

The Bluesky app shares similarities with Twitter – before it became X – in terms of design and function. Users have a profile that shows their number of followers, the accounts they are following and the various posts they have created.

Rodericks now leads leading the moderation team at Bluesky that provides 24/7 coverage to uphold the platform’s community guidelines. Bluesky said that reports are reviewed in less than 24 hours and appeals are reviewed and responded to by a globally dispersed moderation team covering multiple languages.

“I’m deeply invested in how our users can best control their social spaces online,” said Jay Graber, CEO of Bluesky.

“Aaron’s expertise in trust and safety at global scale brings invaluable experience to our moderation team. His interest in improving the foundation for public conversations will help us design customizable and resilient moderation systems that will let users build vibrant, personalised communities.”

Rodericks recently settled a legal case with X, which is owned by Elon Musk, after being targeted by the company’s “insider threat team” and questioned about his alleged criticism of Musk on the platform. Before joining Twitter, he worked with the Canadian federal government on social data analytics in destabilised states along and in researching extremist activity.

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