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Voat (https://voat.co/) is also an option I've heard of before but never used. However I just looked at their front page and the number 2 post is titled 'How to solve the Voat's antisemitism problem' and the image contains an antisemitic slur so that's not very promising.



Voat is a complete shithole these days unfortunately. It was very quickly overrun by disgruntled members of Reddit's alt-right fringe community.


Voat is just the latest in a never-ending cycle.

"We want free speech! Everyone move to our alternative venue where we promote free speech! [...] Wow, there's some truly hateful content on here, how did that happen?"


Some reasons this happens:

* Most people don't actually need free speech because in large their ideas are popular, tame, uncontroversial, and respect the established order.

* We are quick to define ideas that disagree with popular opinion as hateful which drives those that hold them to the fringe. Only the loudest and angriest will have so little to lose socially that they'll dare speak in public (i.e. the top and bottom of the social ladder).

* By in large we like to be surrounded by people that think like we do and believe the same things we do. This leads to partitioning the internet into disjoint communities and social bubbles so strong that, despite being almost 148 million people in the US, a common sentiment is 'I don't understand the issue, I've never met someone in person who opposes gay marriage'.


No. The people that are saying black people are bad, gays are bad, muslims are bad, women are bad, etc etc, are hateful, they're the definition of hateful. It's not "PC" to call them out as hateful. In fact, there's a new Political Correctness saying we can't call bigots bigots. If you want to make a safe space for hatefulness then nobody else is going to want to be there. These hateful people are terrorists in that they feel the need to be around as many people as possible so they can inflict the most the maximum amount of pain. They are not interested in having a nice discussion site. Nobody wants to be around them and any non-hateful community will leave if they are allowed to inflict their damage.


What a simplistic point of view. People not often say "black people are bad, gays are bad, muslims are bad, women are bad". I am moderator on a national sub on reddit, and it's a very difficult question. A few examples :

- What are you supposed to do with people who think it's unfair that men can be tricked in impregnating a woman and sued for child support ? Is this sexism ?

- What are you supposed to do with people who feel unsafe in a specific neighborhood because of the great concentration of immigrants there ? Is this "muslims are bad" ?

- Is someone against surrogacy a "gays are bad" people ? Or is this legitimate concern ?

- What about people who use IQ per country studies ? Is this racial hate speech ?

And for these examples, we have people who deeply consider all these as "bad", and harangue us mods as people who leave hate speech, yada yada.

Where do facts stop and propaganda start, where does a fast generalization ends and real, systematic hate for a whole group of individuals begin (over a common denominator considered "bad" by PC, because no one will ever harass you or call you hateful if you think people who wear fur are douchebags) ?

And by doing so, you don't allow any discussion, private or not to be made around these questions, as they are directly flagged as "good vs bad" and arguments are an expression of the hate, and not legitimate questions. Which I don't think is good, but that's my own opinion.


Since attempts to establish the genetic inferiority of specific races and ethnicities has been a bedrock of organized racism for centuries, yes, clearly abuse of race/IQ research can be "racial hate speech". Now, that's a term you didn't define. But whatever definition you choose, clearly articles from Der Stürmer will fit comfortably into it.

Obviously that begs the question of what "abusive" recourse to race/IQ studies would be. And again, I don't have to define the concept precisely to illustrate that research is routinely abused. For instance: if one makes simplified pronouncements about the genetic inferiority of black people and then adds a cite to J. Philippe Rushton, you're abusing the research in order to make hateful arguments about black people. Secondary and tertiary sources arguing the intellectual inferiority of other races based on work like Rushton's is, in fact, the modern equivalent of Der Stürmer articles.


See here for illustration : https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14917702


I think you are being fairly dishonest with these examples of what people talk about when they talk about "hateful" people on sites like Reddit.

People are mainly talking about places like /r/coontown or /r/fatpeoplehate. While I'm sure there are some people annoyed at discussions about people "who think it's unfair that men can be tricked in impregnating a woman and sued for child support", I would argue the vast majority have no problem with those discussions as long as they are argued honestly.

People not often say "black people are bad, gays are bad, muslims are bad, women are bad"

I have a hard time believing you actually think this is true...


>People are mainly talking about places like /r/coontown or /r/fatpeoplehate.

You'll note the examples of OP were about people of color/muslims/women/gays, not fat people... So I don't think I'm being dishonest there.

>I would argue the vast majority have no problem with those discussions as long as they are argued honestly.

I did mention that I am a moderator on a national sub (150,000 users), and these examples are sadly not made up. We have some people who are adamant about those things and constantly bother us. Maybe they're trolling, in any case they are constanly saying how much our community stinks, is racist, homophobic, yada yada (this community being, as indicated many times by surveys, mostly made of young leftists men).

One user even regularily sends compilations of the "most disgusting comments" which are absolutely not sulfurous, and another has a sub dedicated to it.

It's probably a minority, but a rather vocal one. And you can't say things that are not 100% favorable to these topics without having people saying how anti-X you are.

So yeah I probably read OP's comment in the light of what I see everyday in our modqueue. Which is people calling out others for things which I definitely don't read as "x is bad". Honestly, you'd be surprised.

And most of all, in my experience, people who call out others and think it's a legitimate attitude are not the most pragmatic ones on these topics.


Eh, that's just equivocating. Some views genuinely are hateful, not just transgressive.


Imzy attacked the problem from the other side of the spectrum and failed even harder.

The problem is that neither the "unrestricted free speech" nor the "absolute safe space" models scale. Nor, ultimately, promote their putative goals.


So, the only answer is a bunch of hermit kingdoms with their own rules and incentive structures? You mean like the rest of the internet? Who'd have guessed.


I'm not sure that's the only option, but at the very least, a mix of contexts, spaces, and communities seems likely.


The free speech part of Voat is great. I don't think it's so much overrun as that the only people there are the ones with radical opinions.

I wouldn't use Voat for other reasons, but that's just me.


I will never understand this romanticising of free speech on private platforms. Why would a service that cares about its members _ever_ implement free speech policies? That's just asking for assholes. If anything, popular services should have _more_ filtering and removal of asshole users.


The problem is that in the space of {things that are unmentionable in polite company}, there may be a few nuggets of important new ideas, but those nuggets are lost in a torrent of shit.

I think it's important to be able to discuss taboo topics to find those important nuggets. From my perspective it's not totally crazy to have complete free speech platforms to pursue that goal, but it's probably better done in private among trusted friends, where it has been established that you are not generally assholes, than on a semi-public platform, where you will drown in a torrent of shit brought on by the mass of contrarian assholes who will inevitably flock to the platform.

It's analogous to Peter Thiel and Paul Graham's argument that most successful startups will look like bad ideas at the outset. (http://www.businessinsider.com/this-venn-diagram-shows-why-s...)

An Important New Truth probably looks stupid at first, otherwise someone else would have figured it out already.


There's a difference between discussing taboo topics and simple abuse. Calling people libtards (the #2 when I just looked at Voat) is simple abuse, not discussing a taboo topic.


I think a not-Voat will ultimately win any protracted contest simply because people will get sick of the fact Voat is mostly free speech absolutists, racists, and trolls.

That said...

> I will never understand this romanticising of free speech on private platforms. Why would a service that cares about its members _ever_ implement free speech policies? That's just asking for assholes. If anything, popular services should have _more_ filtering and removal of asshole users.

Realistically, we need moderation based on community standards the same way the US handles obscenity. (i.e. A jury of users declare content unfit and boot it with a very substantial majority being required)

"Heavy filtering" tends to result in being an asshole or creating an echo chamber. Both are undesirable.


Exactly. The best subreddits on Reddit are the ones heavily moderated like /r/science.


I think it's just an outcome of of the comparatively good state of the scientific community today which in turn doesn't necessitate contrarianism or radicalism. Galileo would probably think that r/science is among the worst of subreddits.


/r/science is a terrible sub. It's pretty much people from /r/politics pretending to be scientists. It's a politic sub.


If you think /r/science is great, check out what is the top post of /r/science right now.

"Google searches for “how to commit suicide” increased 26% following the release of "13 Reasons Why", a Netflix series about a girl who commits suicide."

https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/6qwdgo/google_sear...

Something that is societal/political rather than science.


Too many mods can be just as destructive as too few. Look at what happened to SomethingAwful.


Because some people LIKE to come across differing opinions.

Some people prefer having an open marketplace of ideas, where they can be challenged, and come across opinions and ideas that they wouldn't otherwise in real life.


Absolutely, but I think you're being a bit naive. I like to hear different opinions (I like that /r/ChangeMyView is a thing), but there's a difference between reading a different opinion and reading "Kill yourself, faggot".

If you advertise being a place of COMPLETE free speech (Like Voat), you're gonna get assholes that think free speech means having a place to be an asshole.


And some people have a thick skin and are fine with others insulting then.

Places like 4chan are fairly popular, even if the discourse is often mean. Sometimes things can be so mean that it is simply ridiculous, and therefore funny, and therefore not really insulting or offensive.


When platforms become as ubiquitous as YouTube or Facebook it doesn't feel much different than a government regulating speech.


> Why would a service that cares about its members _ever_ implement free speech policies?

But reddit did implement free speech policies. It defended free speech for many years.

> That's just asking for assholes.

Or open discourse.

> If anything, popular services should have _more_ filtering and removal of asshole users.

What's an asshole to you? Atheists? Muslims? Environmentalists? Trump supporters? Hillary supporters?

Who gets to decide who an "asshole" is?


>> That's just asking for assholes

> Or open discourse

I think you're being naive.

Certainly, most people will agree that open discourse should be allowed. Even if people disagree, they should be able to discuss their points of view.

But there are plenty of assholes out there that abuse "free speech". There's a difference between defending a controversial point of view and telling people to kill themselves and simply slinging slurs and insults.

Generally, reddit tries to allow free speech while keeping out the assholes, whereas Voat let the assholes have free reign.


> But there are plenty of assholes out there that abuse "free speech".

Yes. That's why free speech was created. To protect the "abusers". This is something you learn in your first year of college. At least I did. As my jewish philosophy professor said, free speech rights that doesn't protect neo-nazi speech is worthless. Think about it? What use is free speech rights if it doesn't protect "offensive speech". We wouldn't need it if free speech only protected "acceptable speech".

> There's a difference between defending a controversial point of view and telling people to kill themselves and simply slinging slurs and insults.

Not really. If you believe in free speech. If you were correct, atheists who insult the religious would be banned. The civil rights movement that insulted racists would have been banned.

> Generally, reddit tries to allow free speech while keeping out the assholes

It really doesn't. Reddit is an openly hyperliberal free speech.

> whereas Voat let the assholes have free reign.

Absolutely. Voat is where the rightist assholes reign free. Reddit is where the leftist assholes reign free.

That is the problem you get when you don't have free speech. You get echo chambers.

The only people who defend reddit are the hyperliberal people with an agenda. Just like voat is filled with hyperconservatives.

If you don't like voat, you really shouldn't like reddit either. They are fundamentally, the same kind of anti-free speech madness. Unless you have a bias and a hatred for free speech.


> I don't think it's so much overrun as that the only people there are the ones with radical opinions.

This is the issue with a lot of pro free speech websites, or a a lot of 'alternatives' to popular platforms in general.

Unless the more popular site completely jumps the shark, only the more extreme users (read, those angry with the old service) move over. So the site gets more extreme due to them being the only ones represented, and hence attracts more extreme users as a result. Repeat ad infinitum, until the new site is filled with people who are so far to one extreme of the political spectrum that it actively puts off a lot of more moderate potential users.

The only way Voat can get out of this is if it can draw in people who aren't interested in Trump, GamerGate or fringe politics.


+100000. "Overrun" sounds too deliberate. It's just the result of a population biasing as you say.


I would say the "alt-right" rejects and anti-social people.


You buried the lede a bit. The image contains a slur in its proposal to kill all Jews


Unfortunately Voat got overrun with Reddit's least desirable people and content, as you've already seen.

More than that though, Voat doesn't seem to have any significant funding or even team behind it, so even if people do end up flocking to a site primarily known for its ardent bigotry, it's unlikely Voat can withstand a large spike in its traffic and scale to even a fraction of Reddit-level.


Isn't it obvious that Voat would be filled with the more extreme forms of speech given that they are the ones not allowed on Reddit? Faulting Voat for that reason is kind of a clueless thing to do. If walking your dog becomes politically unfashionable tomorrow I'm sure they would be the next to migrate to Voat.


I think if there's a mass exodus from Reddit and the choice is Voat or something not Voat, the majority will choose not-Voat. If Voat hadn't absorbed much of the subreddits rejected for extreme and hate speech, then it would have a chance at growing with a more natural makeup. As it is now, any community that moved there would have to accept that there's a much higher percentage of extremist views there than present in reality. Initial adoption of a larger more general set of communities will be a hard sell for those communities.


Agreed. If there's any migration it will likely be towards more actively moderated forums - if you just want to talk about slow cooker recipes you're probably not hoping that it comes with a side of genocide advocacy.

Reddit has been an interesting exercise in shaping online communities, and the zeitgeist has changed in response. Where extremist views were originally approached on the basis of maximum tolerance, the resulting loss of more mainstream users (and the extremist domination of even unrelated subreddits), has shifted away from it. My suspicion is that mainstream users will gravitate towards forums that have a heavier moderating hand.

An interesting question is if this will cause a general return to more independent, freestanding online communities (as opposed to Reddit's model of centralizing a vast number of topics under one roof).


I'm a little confused why I'm getting upvoted and you're getting downvoted, when we're essentially saying the same thing. All you've done extra is explain what Reddit already did, and opine on what you think it means for future trends, yet it somehow it tickles people very differently. Odd.


Voat can be the replacement to reddit if they implement the "popular" section as reddit has - people with accounts will see what they currently see, but new users can see a more regular site. The over the next 3 inevitable reddit scandals, they can take progressively more and more reddit users. If reddit screws up the site design, and Voat doesn' screw up, Voat can take it all.


Voat has a reputation as an extremist haven.


I fear people are downvoting you for merely pointing out that alternatives already exist, even though you indicate your distaste at the site in your post.


Isn't Voat where The_Donald threatened to go when they finally got slapped around for their antics?


It was amusing when Voat booted them out by refusing to tolerate their power mod-y BS.

Watching that little civil war was entertaining.


Yet not a peep about spez surreptitiously editing user comments.


Not a peep from who? The community universally uses "spez:" instead of "edit:" to this day.


Fair enough. There was a lot of Drama from TD, and I'm pretty sure a signifigant slice of TD was TRDT's data mining/scientist campaign using bots to amplify semi-organic user input. That said, there was a lot of fuckery from the admins and mods in that and other reddit sagas, and the spez drama never materialized anything more than a half-assed apology for essentially violating some core principles that should be behind a privately run limited public forum.


TRDT?


I don't know but one of the top links on google for it is [1]this video, which is amazing.

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSUkpVPJ1sQ


The real Donald Trump.




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