Bluesky lifted its ban on heads of state signups

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An image showing the Bluesky logo on a gradient blue background
Image: Bluesky

Bluesky is apparently ready for a bigger challenge. It says it’s allowing heads of state to sign up now, a little over two months after it opened for general signups. In May last year, the site asked its users not to give invitation codes to “recent/prominent heads of state,” stating that it was its policy not to accommodate them.

When Bluesky instituted its heads-of-state policy, the site was still in its showing-everyone’s-ass phase, and its moderation approach wasn’t in place, yet.

So instead of the varying degrees of controlled chaos that social networks are, Bluesky was filled with, well, lots of unsettlingly sexy pictures of the cat-eating alien puppet star of the 1980s sitcom Alf, which The Verge’s Elizabeth Lopatto pointed out last year. It didn’t seem ready to manage world leaders along with the likes of infamous shitposters like Dril.

A screenshot of Bluesky post announcing that it has lifted its no heads of state policy.
Come one, come all.Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge

Things are different now, and the platform offers moderation, in its own unique way. Bluesky lets users handle moderation themselves by building out their own filters based on its open-sourced Ozone tool. It also does feeds differently than most social networks. Instead of foisting a one-size-fits-all algorithm on everyone like the default Threads For You feed, it offers people the ability to apply user-created options in addition to the Discover and Popular With Friends tabs.

The site also introduced other features this week, including hashtags in profile bios and the ability to long-press a link to share them.

As Bluesky updates its policy, world leaders are already on other platforms, including, sort of, Mastodon. US President Joseph Robinette Biden’s account started using Threads’ limited fediverse integration earlier this month, for instance. At the moment, it doesn’t look like Biden has joined up, so there’s no Commander-in-Skeets quite yet.