Voat, the Reddit clone where hate speech has been festering for years, has shut down for good. The platform has hinted at shutting its doors in the past, but this time it’s official.
Voat Has Been “Sacrified” to the Internet Gods
If you head to Voat, you’ll see a page that reads “Voat was sacrificed on December 25th, 2020.” In other words, Voat is no longer.
Voat made its debut in 2014, and marketed itself as a Reddit alternative for free speech. However, the platform quickly became a safe haven for hate speech and toxic content.
Voat co-founder, Justin Chastain, announced the closure in his final post on Voat. The platform basically ran out of funding, and Chastain noted that he “can’t keep it up.”
Chastain went on to explain his thoughts about the shutdown, stating:
Instead of feeling pity or vengeful, I’m instead going to celebrate the fact that Voat stayed up for so long. In my opinion, Voat is and will always be the biggest dysfunctional family on the internet.
According to the post, Voat lost funding in March 2020, and that’s when things took a turn for the worse. Since then, Chastain’s been paying for the site out of his own pocket, but he now admitted that he’s “out of money.”
The Struggle of Free Speech Social Networks
Voat proves that ”free speech” social networks will always face a problem when it comes to hate speech. A free speech social network is fantastic in concept, but it’s hard to control the toxic comments that will inevitably make it onto the site.
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