Technology Reddit clone Voat, home to hate speech and QAnon, has shut down

tom_mai78101

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Reddit alternative Voat shut down on Christmas Day, citing a lack of operational funding, and casting doubt on the abilities of other similar almost-anything-goes, "free speech" platforms to stay online in the long run.

"I just can't keep it up," Voat cofounder Justin Chastain said in the shutdown announcement. Investment dried up in March 2020, he explained. "I personally decided to keep Voat up until after the U.S. election of 2020. I’ve been paying the costs out of pocket but now I’m out of money."

Voat first launched in 2014 as a smaller Reddit alternative dedicated to "free speech," including explicit hate speech, extreme right-wing content, racism, and other content limited or prohibited on other sites. It gained traction in 2015, when Reddit finally banned several explicitly racist subreddits from its platform in a bid to limit harassment, and some discontented Reddit users decided to migrate over.

In the middle of 2015, Voat's web host, Host Europe, suspended service to the platform, saying, "we will not tolerate any form of illegal right-wing extremist content and we explicitly distance ourselves from this." (Host Europe is based in Germany, which has stronger hate speech laws than the US.)

PayPal also suspended Voat's account in 2015, amid allegations the platform was hosting sexually explicit images of minors. Voat removed several forums in the wake of the suspension, including the ones dedicated to "jailbait," and switched to accepting donations in digital currencies such as bitcoin.


Read more here. (Ars Technica)
 
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