edit: it looks like I activated those vote brigading shill accounts I am talking about in this post.
I have been doing quite a bit of research into who, if anyone, is providing resources to outside entities with the goal of influencing Voat, it's community and material. This is something I took upon myself as a goal to see what I could find. I knew before I began that information might be limited and what I could find would also be limited as well, being that Voat is seen as a horrible, Nazi infested place and lambasted by countless (((websites))) and (((journals))) on a continual basis. So much so that why would an entity chose to infiltrate Voat and shill for things and topics they know we goats wont like?
While that last question may be true to some extent and while it is actually to our advantage that Voat is seen as a place full of wrong think and undesirable opinions, there are still people and organizations going out of their way to shill, manipulate votes, slide forums and derail conversation.
As we all know, there are multiple websites out there who sell their services of manipulation, specifically for websites like Reddit. They have "farms" where hundreds of bot accounts idly stand by, waiting to get their command of who to upvote and downvote. Websites like upvotes.io, upvote.network, boostupvotes.com and many, many more are all available at your desire to do your bidding. With this in mind, you have to ask yourself, "Do any of these people offer the same services but for Voat instead?" Well, the answer is yes, but only 1 website does so. To ensure I did not miss any other potential websites, I checked by using 4 different search engines knowing that each one will generate different results.
As of right now, there is 1 perpetrator for selling Voat accounts and Voat upvotes. They are upvotes.club. Lets break down the two separate topics, the first being them selling upvotes.
As of right now, they aren't selling any downvotes which leads me to believe none of their accounts have enough CCP to do so OR they simply just don't have that service available at the moment. Regardless, this is troublesome. If all they offer is upvotes at the moment, anyone with an account seeking to shill can purchase them and purchase enough to begin downvoting others. But, in order to effectively shill and manipulate with downvotes, whomever is buying these upvotes would have to have enough accounts to realistically use the downvotes to manipulate.
The second topic is of them buying/selling accounts. On their website, they recently sold a Voat account for $450. This is quite a large sum of money. One can logically assume that for a price as large as that, the account must be an old one or one that's blended into the Voat community. These requirements have been noted before in a previous incident where a ShareBlue troll offered to buy another goats account and mentioned that the requirements for purchase be that it is aged, has CCP as well as SCP. These requirements allow it the accounts to blend in more.
I had monitored the website for a while, check back to see if there were any new accounts for sale. If so, that would obviously mean there is a demand for them, but I saw nothing. So, with this in mind, I wondered, "Was anyone going to them or were they personally reaching out to people?" I wasn't sure but there was only 1 way to find out. I searched the website for contact information but of course, a website that is sketchy like that will either have no contact info or make it incredibly difficult to find. With some searching, I managed to find a email. It was to a man by the name of Oscar which was available via an obscure page on their website. Nevertheless, I sent an email to this address.
If I were to get any response from them, I knew I had to jazz up my email and make what I was saying attractive and worthwhile. Otherwise, I figured I would get no response. So I did exactly just that. I sent an email to this man Oscar with the title "Voat Account For Sale". Within the email, I believe I jazzed it up enough and made it worthwhile to hopefully get a response. Within a day, they took the bait.
You can see the email exchange here. I flaunted the age of my account as well as mentioning how rare of an opportunity it was. I had to entice him into giving me a response. A simple response was all that I had needed to know they were still actively selling/buying accounts. When they had responded with "link to account, price?" I knew I had gotten what I was looking for. I responded to them with my account name (I hope they see this. fuck you upvoats.club) and my price but received no response. Nevertheless, they had proved to me all I needed to know what they were doing.
So here we have a website which should now be on everyone's radar but this isn't even the troubling portion...
upvotes.club seems to have infiltrated Voat since Voats inception and had admitted openly on the internet that they have "started using Voat since its beginning and we have some very high karma (aka contribution points, that’s how they call them) accounts that we use to upvote, downvote, post, comment or send abuse reports. Every upvote that we give will count and the chance of having your thread shadowed is close to zero." Direct Source
Here we have a website, actively selling and buying Voat accounts as well as upvotes, admitting onine that they have high karma accounts here, which have belonged here since the beginning, that they use to manipulate Voat. This is VERY dangerous. upvotes.club is managing Voat accounts, presumably old and aged ones that contain high amounts of SCP and CCP. There is a 99% chance these accounts are among the trusted circle of @PuttItOut or @kevdude. This is big red flag and will launch me into my second part of this investigation: Identifying who these accounts are. These accounts could be people you or I see everyday here and think nothing of, but are using their notoriety or status to keep an eye out for potential accounts to buy. They could be monitoring whats going on within the community and sway opinion with these accounts. This is a serious problem.
The owner of upvotes.cub has even gone into detail about the success of Voat and whether or not it will succeed as a company.
What's your forecast, will Voat.co - the website similar to Reddit - go bankrupt or will it start growing fast enough and achieve success?
In that question, a Reddit (fag) went into detail about Voats expenses and how we can fund the website, so Voat has clearly always been on their radar. With this being said, it raises a big problem. Now that Voat has secured financial funding, we are sure to see a new onslaught of shills and manipulators, specifically from upvotes.club, here on Voat. The news from @PuttItOut about the websites funding most likely alerted those who are looking to game Voat, and not in a good way.