Bluesky Needs to Apologize for Allowing N-Word in User Handles
Photo by Lorenzo Rui / Unsplash

Bluesky Needs to Apologize for Allowing N-Word in User Handles

The social-network upstart didn't plan for abuse of users' handles

It seems like everybody wants to be the next Twitter, but as much of a s**tshow as Elon Musk's bird app has been, some are finding that it's not that easy to build out against something that's existed since 2006.

Bluesky is one of the upstart apps that people are moving to, a decentralized take on Twitter that's been in private beta for a while. But now Bluesky is under fire for allowing users to create handles (their online names) using slurs, including one now-deleted account that was just the n-word.

The company said it takes this very seriously and a list of bad words was updated to its filtering quietly before the company addressed the issue publicly.

Bluesky (
Our community guidelines reflect our values: that racism and harassment have no place on Bluesky, and we will continue to take action to uphold these policies.

But users are still upset that the company not only let this happen, but didn't apologize, instead framing it like a bug that it quickly addressed. As Data Mesh Radio Host Scott Hirleman posted on LinkedIn late last week directly to Bluesky, "You have an incredibly bad anti-blackness problem on your platform." Hirleman took Bluesky to task for not having a Trust and Safety officer on its staff. Users told Mashable that it wasn't so much that the incident happened, it's that the company didn't do enough to take responsibility for the failure and took too long to issue a statement on what happened. It may take a while, they said, to rebuild trust with their users, especially Black social-media users who've been helping build out the platform.