In the brief raging emotional fires that sparked up after r/FatPeopleHate was shut down on Reddit, people were clamoring that they wanted to leave the forum for a place that would tolerate their hatred. We suggested a list of Reddit alternatives that included Voat, a Swiss-based “no censorship” site. All the hatred that people wanted to propagate worldwide, was welcomed on Voat. Except maybe not. See, the problem with running a website that allows hatred (as well as everything else), is that even though you have no limits — the people hosting your website might not feel the same way.
Web hosting company hosteurope.de apparently didn’t like what the Voat community had to say and shut the site down recently. Fortunately for the Voat community, the site runner who goes by the handle Atko, was able to post the important website databases and metrics to a cloud platform, so it is still intact and back online.
But that’s not a long term solution for the company. As Atko points out in his post on the site, “Ladies and gentlemen, my eyes have been opened by this. I don’t know about you, but we are living in a weird world. We will have to carefully evaluate our long term options of providing a platform of free speech if we are to stay online.”
I take this to mean: “Yeah, maybe we can’t say EVERYTHING we want to on Voat.”
We’ll see what happens going forward, but perhaps free speech without consequences, even on the internet, is an illusion. I wonder if it was the incoming stream of ex-Redditors that helped get Voat taken off the grid?