In the last few days Voat has come under all sorts of attacks. First, our servers were DDoSed. Then, our servers were shut down and our hosting contracts cancelled, without prior notification. Today, PayPal froze our donation money. As a cherry on top, the media wrote all kinds of negative things about Voat, cherry picking the content that serves their attacks best. What a happy week for us!
When I wrote the first few lines of code for Voat, I never anticipated Voat would become such an in-demand platform for discussion. In fact, I just shared it with a few of my classmates at first and look what happened! People started using it and asking for new features, sending support… Others digged in and helped by writing code and fixing bugs. We were doing fine, in our little community, until Voat got major attention from the media. Overnight, Voat became a target or even a threat.
Voat is currently operated by me and /u/PuttItOut. We both work for free and we have both invested thousands of hours into Voat in order to make it what it is today. We have pretty damn good plans for the future and we may be on the verge on creating something unique, something that hasn’t been done before. Unfortunately, there are people and institutions that “just want to see the world burn” and they will do anything they can to make our journey harder.
I wanted Voat to be a bastion of free speech where anyone could say anything and open discussion could prevail. This is still something I believe Voat can be, but we need your help. To make things worse, we may be personally liable for the content you guys submit to Voat. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like going to jail just because someone chose to anonymously post a link to an illegal image hosted somewhere on a third party server. Because Voat is being used by so many people, the two of us simply cannot review everything that is being posted. For this reason, as a temporary measure, we have decided to ban any subverses which we discover or which are reported to us, where links to illegal content is being shared. We can’t judge if the content is illegal or not, but we have no choice but to take precautions in order to protect Voat’s future at this very fragile stage.
In addition, to further dissuade individuals from posting questionable content, we will store all records about users who submit such content and we will forward these records to authorities upon request.
These are the subverses we banned: /v/doxbin, /v/jailbait, /v/truejailbait and /v/thefappening.
If you can’t donate, you can help us out by reporting any questionable subverses to firstname.lastname@example.org.