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[–] lydia 81 points 585 points (+666|-81) ago  (edited ago)

I understand that you need to protect the site but this is very disappointing to me. Many of us came over here because we hoped you would not be subject to outside pressures to ban questionable content.

I understand the /v/truejailbait ban. They were explicitly encouraging people to post CP. But as a mod of /v/jailbait, myself and the other mod have been working diligently to ensure no illegal content is posted. We state very clearly on the sidebar what is acceptable, with a quote from yourself saying that we will not be playing wack-a-mole, and will comply with takedown requests.

If this is going to happen I hope it will only be a temporary measure. On reddit it started with /r/jailbait and similar subs and culminated with the recent FPH banning. I don't want to see voat go down this road. Perplexed as to why we came over if this is going to be the case.

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[–] Icy-Defiance 21 points 536 points (+557|-21) ago  (edited ago)

Perplexed as to why we came over if this is going to be the case.

I came over to escape politically motivated censorship, which this most certainly isn't. I defended the existence of /v/jailbait, but if Atko thinks it's threatening to Voat's existence, then whatever. He's not trying to control conversation or anything, so personally I'm still cool with it.

I say it's a shame, but not a big deal, and I'm not going to leave because of this.

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[–] TheyKeepOnRising 64 points 261 points (+325|-64) ago  (edited ago)

But its the exact same shit as FPH being banned on Reddit. By banning subverses that have no proof of illegal activities or harassment, he is assuming responsibility for the moderation of the sites content. He is fucking up big time with this decision.

EDIT: Hijacking my own comment to say that I think subs that promote or allow blatantly illegal content should be banned, but we need proof of what specifically was illegal and what actions were taken to reconcile the situation with the mods of the sub.

We can't bend to the will of the media, else we will need to ban video games and most forms of NSFW content. Its up to us to carefully and logically allow the freedom of ideas in a safe and legal manner.

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[–] DigitalRefugee 8 points 116 points (+124|-8) ago 

politically motivated censorship

Precisely this. While I do not miss it, the deletion of /v/thefappening can have little other explanation.

Voat needs to be a place resolved against corporate or political influence, much less censorship. While the letter of the law must be observed, the very purpose of Voat is to establish a free community.

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[–] bkedelen 4 points 56 points (+60|-4) ago 

I agree completely. Here we are not being told what to think or protected from ourselves, we just have site operators who are trying to comply with a miasma of multinational laws while their business space is being actively harassed by confederates of reddit's toxic leadership. In my opinion this is a savvy early move that will make voat an even more universally laudable contender for front page of the Internet.

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[–] Kiko7920 3 points 51 points (+54|-3) ago 

Great comment! This is not about suppressing speech. This is about Voat's survival and people's lives. Specifically, Atko and /u/Puttitout. I'm completely ok with banning these subs for the survival of voat. Whereas reddit was banning subs for profit/feelings.

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[–] JayTea 0 points 127 points (+127|-0) ago 

This is a site run by two guys with no money or lawyers. I think this is extremely justified. Will Atko start banning people for opinions? No. Will Atko defend his site from questionably illegal content that can land him and his colleagues in serious trouble and/or have the site taken down? Fuck yes he will.

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[–] WhiteTigerScream 5 points 35 points (+40|-5) ago 

You can agree with the decision and still be disappointed by it.

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[–] cat_tail_moustache 0 points 24 points (+24|-0) ago 

I can't up-vote any more today so I'll just say I agree. If this was my board I wouldn't put up with this shit at all. Aren't they in college? I am sure they have better things to do than want to waste my time playing legal games because a few borderline pedos can't seem to find enough beat off material. Dealing with assholes that are trying to sabotage our new non-PC club house will keep them busy enough.

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[–] Wolfstroy 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Exactly! They don't have a legal team or anything behind them. I completely understand the ban, especially now that the focus is on us. Regardless, as it was mentioned before, Atko's actions are not motivated by political correctness or social justice retardation. It's just a survival mode, which may be lifted in the future, with better moderation and a full established administration.

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[–] Teh_Sauce_Guy 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'm so glad to see this post has more than 100 ups and not even one down.

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[–] Rainy-Day-Dream 4 points 118 points (+122|-4) ago  (edited ago)

the site just isn't in a position where it can survive these kinds of risks maybe when the site is more stable, established, and supported this could be ignored but if we destroy the website now it's all totally pointless Atko has already done more for us than we had a right to ask of him so we aren't in a position to be disappointed in him now

there are way too many people out to get us we don't need to give them the luxury of easy to find ammo when their efforts could easily bring the site down permanently at this point so it's better if we play it safe if not for the good of the site as a whole then for the benefit of Atko himself

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[–] lydia 9 points 76 points (+85|-9) ago 

Like I said, I understand why he's doing it. Doesn't make it any less disappointing.

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[–] Thot 3 points 29 points (+32|-3) ago 

If a subverse has the power to destroy Voat, would it really be worth it to un-ban it once the initial media storm dies down? I understand wanting free speech, but I really don't understand why people are defending /v/jailbait.

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[–] johnlocke90 0 points 24 points (+24|-0) ago 

maybe when the site is more stable, established, and supported this could be ignored

I have never seen a site relax rules after it got bigger. They always get more rules and tighter enforcement. If he is bowing to media pressure now, how could he hold strong once the site gets big enough to attract real attention like Reddit?

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[–] somekindofmutant 1 points 8 points (+9|-1) ago 

What I think would behoove /u/Atko would be to investigate the freedom of the internet on a country by country basis, with the operation being hosted by servers in whichever country is the least authoritarian in that respect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_and_surveillance_by_country#Little_or_no_censorship_or_surveillance

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[–] TinfoilHatsRGreat 5 points 62 points (+67|-5) ago 

Yeah, I came and checked this place out due to bullshit censorship bans at reddit, a place that was supposedly against censorship, which is why I was there in the first place.

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[–] goatsarecute 5 points 64 points (+69|-5) ago 

As the site gets older we're already seeing people use the downvote button as a disagree button, and now mass banning of subverses for the actions of individual users. I'm not very optimistic anymore but I guess we'll see

[–] [deleted] 6 points 38 points (+44|-6) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Rainy-Day-Dream 2 points 33 points (+35|-2) ago 

this isn't about censorship if voat falls before it even has a chance to establish itself there will be no place left for free speech outside the deepweb at this point in things think of what that kind of victory would mean for the SJW vs freedom argument, they'll have won they'll have proven that absolute freedom doesn't have a place online so we might have to be careful and patient now or we risk losing everything

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[–] ae 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

It will most likely be temporary, the media backlash has played a big part in the decision I'm sure. When it dies down I hope it will be reverted.

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[–] ev1lb1t 9 points 198 points (+207|-9) ago  (edited ago)

Atko: can you please post examples of what constitute "illegal" material from thefappening and doxbin (enough blurring to help us get the idea should be fine)?

jailbait and truejailbait communities are repeat offendors which have been removed from numerous communities, even 8chan, but thefappening has been a target for "pc police" and, despite being questionable, doxing is not illegal in any first-world country.

I have posted this elsewhere, but I strongly recommend the following measures be taken:

Switch payment processors to stripe:

  • Stripe provides services to the likes of 4chan and thedailystormer. if they will serve autists and white supremacists, they will not cut you off.

I think a proper line to take with subverse legal compliance should be the following:

  • There needs to be a clear and transparent establishment of what constitutes an "acceptable response time" as well as a clear and non-gameable process by which "good faith" can be established on the part of subverse owners to maintain that response time. (example: aggressive mod recruiting, etc)

  • Anyone who fails to make a good-faith effort to maintain those times is subject to subverse removal, and any subverse removed in such a fashion would have correspondence surrounding this sanitized of user info, then posted publicly for transparency along with examples of offending posts to preserve the faith of the community. (such that this process would not be gamed by corrupt admins the way it was on reddit to remove and then slander, post-hoc, subs which disagreed with the 'politically correct' point of view)

Above all, bans for illegal activity must be vetted by admins. Simply caving to reports by volume without reviewing what is being removed is how agenda-pushers game sites like this to remove people for simply disagreeing with them

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[–] wickedplayer494 0 points 117 points (+117|-0) ago 

doxbin was already violating this rule in the Voat user agreement and would have likely been burned down anyway:

Keep Personal Information Off voat: You agree to not post anyone's sensitive personal information that relates to that person's real world or online identity

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[–] ev1lb1t 2 points 54 points (+56|-2) ago  (edited ago)

Having now been involved in at least 3 different online whistle-blowing movements which have uncovered serious collusion and conspiracy between major corporate players, politicians, academics, etc, this rule could be (ab)used to remove people doing this kind of noble work and needs to be clarified.

If voat will not protect whistle-blowers like the diggers of gamergate, wikileaks, FIRE, or the anti-TPP movement, I will cease any and all support post-haste.

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[–] Dantastic77 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Yeah I got a comment removed for saying zoe quinn's stupid ass real name. They take that shit seriously around here.

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[–] PossessedPuppetArt 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Hey! I know you from /r/tf2! Good to see another friendly face!

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[–] topkoala 3 points 97 points (+100|-3) ago 

Fappening is illegal because its victims are rich.

[–] [deleted] 8 points 23 points (+31|-8) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Quawonk 1 points 10 points (+11|-1) ago 

It's an invasion of privacy.

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[–] 332 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

To quote myself from the thread on /v/bannedsubs:

Here's the thing. This sub was not banned because of how it was in violation of a specific swiss law. If this was indeed the case, there are probably a dozen or so subs that should go down with it.

Two characteristics separate this particular sub from the rest:

  • The event received extensive media attention
  • The victims are famous and / or wealthy, and by extension extremely litigious.

One of the things I dislike most about reddit is how their vaguely worded rules are inconsistently and arbitrarily applied across different subreddits. I was hoping this would not be the case here. What's happening here now, just like it happened on reddit before, is that celebrities are given preferential treatment. Subs dealing in the same type of content featuring the non-famous are left alone.

While I understand the practical reasons for this, this represents exactly the kind of inconsistent application of rules that I came here to avoid.

If voat decides to interpret the swiss law thusly, and I'm not advocating that they should, they should also ban any other sub which promotes the same type of posts. Regardless of how financially well-off the victims are. Consistency is important.

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[–] Danbear 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Because Lawyers.

Even if he had legal grounds he would be personally burred in lawsuits for years.

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[–] Waspocracy 0 points 18 points (+18|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I think this entire move was a non-strategic default out of fear. It's understandable too.

But quick reactions without thought are exactly what caused the exodus of Digg in 2010 and Reddit recently. In brief, to add on to your point, it might have been the right move, but it might not have. Either way, it should've been thought through as you mentioned rather than a quick reaction.

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[–] Kingmaker 4 points 16 points (+20|-4) ago 

Banning the other subs was necessary because they could have caused legal conflicts but banning /v/thefappening feels like arbitrary censorship.

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[–] FeeFeePoPo 3 points 18 points (+21|-3) ago 

It contained copyrighted content, which was illegal by Swiss Law.

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[–] flamecircle 3 points 143 points (+146|-3) ago 

Well, at least you're transparent about your reasons.

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[–] yvesmh 6 points 80 points (+86|-6) ago 

I agree with removing illegal content from the site and being transparent about it, but was /v/thefappening really illegal? Immoral maybe, but not illegal.

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[–] MrJayElectro 1 points 58 points (+59|-1) ago 

The victims are rich and famous, friend! It's as illegal as the media wants it to be.

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[–] Fos 9 points 26 points (+35|-9) ago 

Next we will be told certain behaviours are considered harassment which is also illegal, we have seen where this slippery slope always leads. At least Digg and Reddit managed to last a bit longer. I'm disgusted by this decision.

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[–] JJEvil 0 points 12 points (+12|-0) ago 

Illegal on copyright grounds, which is overly broad, but enforceable with armies of lawyers.

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[–] WaterUser 1 points 10 points (+11|-1) ago 

The pictures were stolen property, the copyrights are held by the person who took them. Technically, fappening pics are pirated content, as I understand it.

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[–] ev1lb1t 2 points 7 points (+9|-2) ago 

What transparency?

He says he doesn't have time to review the claims, but is acting on them anyway and we should just "listen and believe".

Sounds like FPH all over again.

I think 3 of the 4 subs are right on target, but thefappening is not one of them.

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[–] PineConeKing 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

We have to remember that it's just 2 guys running the site for free (with no legal team). I agree the fappening probably isn't illegal, but even if litigation were to brought against them, I doubt they could afford to fight it.

Hopefully it is temporary while they sort themselves out.

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[–] Stavon 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Well if you could take charges for what some people you don't know did to your project you worked on for years; should they face what they did themselves or would you welcome it that you're now labeled the worst of the worst?

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[–] prodigyx 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

It's plausible transparency. The problem is the action itself, not the reasoning.

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[–] Scine 4 points 125 points (+129|-4) ago 

Hi there. New user with a bit of legal knowledge I'd like to share. I'm not a lawyer, and don't know Swedish law, but here in America, providers such as yourself are not subject to jail time if something is posted on your site because you are "providers", not content creators. That being said, if you are informed of illegal content, then you may be required to remove the material.

Secondly, I know you are working for free, and I greatly appreciate the hard work you are doing. Thus, you will never hear from me complaining about issues or bugging you for more and more features unless you ask for my input. It's a free product, and a great one at that. Complaining about a free product makes you a whiner in my eyes. :)

Third, Free Speech is important, and while I don't go to those particular subverses (don't really care for their particular content), you may want to be careful when banning subverses as you don't want to turn into Reddit, which I abandoned in favor of you. Now, if the content is indeed illegal (kiddie porn, evidence of a crime, etc.), then I agree ban away. If it's just "offensive", then you run the risk of a slippery slope.

Just my two cents. Thanks for the great site!

Scine

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[–] guy231 0 points 48 points (+48|-0) ago  (edited ago)

He's probably worried about this. American legal knowledge doesn't necessarily translate to Europe.

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[–] altered 0 points 16 points (+16|-0) ago  (edited ago)

What a horrendously misguided ruling. What the hell is going on over there, Europe?

And where the hell is the media coverage of this?

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[–] lovesyouandhugsyou 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

That ruling specifically limits itself to apply to the sites of professional news organizations though, so it's not a concern to voat:

The Court emphasises that the present case relates to a large professionally managed Internet news portal run on a commercial basis which published news articles of its own and invited its readers to comment on them.

Edit: Source (point 115)

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[–] ev1lb1t 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago  (edited ago)

All that ruling says is there are no human rights grounds by which site owners can be protected from liability.

There still needs to be a local legislation and legal precedent for the ruling to have any legal weight.

The ruling was sound, btw. The grounds are practical grounds, not human-rights grounds.

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[–] qawsed 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Atko is Swiss, not Swedish, and Voat is hosted in Switzerland, not Sweden.

Sweden is part of Scandanavia. It is next to Norway, Denmark, and Finland. Switzerland is part of Western Europe. It is next to France, Germany, and Italy.

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[–] Scine 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

Well shit. I guess I flunked geography. :) At least I got it in the vague right part of the world. :)

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[–] TexasComments 2 points 6 points (+8|-2) ago 

I posted this and messaged this earlier this week but I thought I should put a condensed version here after the phone call I had this afternoon.

The US Federal Government has a big stick up their ass when it comes to child pronography and rightfully so. The company I founded works with many law enforcement and military projects. One brought the FBI and a Federal Task Force called Internet Crimes Against Children [ICAC] together to work out a way to catch pedophiles online. We are very, very good at what we do and we know the law surrounding it very well. Voat servers can be shut down, US linked or US located bank accounts frozen, service providers threatened to drop you or have your accounts frozen. Child Pornography should be explicitly banned as well as sexualization of minors on this website.

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[–] fractaldelic 5 points 5 points (+10|-5) ago  (edited ago)

RM

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[–] taxation_is_slavery 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

So the instant one person posts CP on Reddit, their site will be closed down and their employees thrown in prison, right?

I guess not. Quit spreading horseshit.

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[–] Catcat 2 points 3 points (+5|-2) ago 

Thank you. I really don't see why everyone has a problem with banning the child porn.

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[–] geekygirl23 2 points 0 points (+2|-2) ago 

Hey, someone knows the actual laws! Thanks for posting, so many read one thing and think they know the full story.

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[–] geekygirl23 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

You lose those legal protections in certain situations even in the US. You can't just never view a section of your site for instance and claim "I didn't know!". Well you can, but you might be proving that in court after you have been arrested and your servers seized.

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[–] comrade_ouroboros 9 points 102 points (+111|-9) ago 

We understand you gotta do what you gotta do. Thanks for all you've done.

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[–] lbruiser 1 points 33 points (+34|-1) ago 

And thanks for being open about it. That is what made me come here, I want open communication from the admins.

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[–] RoosterIllusion 3 points -3 points (+0|-3) ago 

He is no more open than reddit is when they ban. He just gives his own opinion and says it is final.

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[–] Stoic 3 points 20 points (+23|-3) ago  (edited ago)

I can't believe people actually downvoted this, how entitled can you be? Atko says he and Puttitout have spent 1000s of hours creating this site for everyone to use free of charge, to then have his community backlash at him because he doesn't want to suffer through long lawsuits (for childporn) that could ruin his life?

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[–] ViolentlyMasticates 4 points 11 points (+15|-4) ago 

I've already had several people trying to claim that posting this CP is freedom of speech. Its disgusting.

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[–] Hewitt 1 points 5 points (+6|-1) ago 

It's not the child porn that people are defending (at least, not the reasonable people), as that's illegal everywhere, and should be. Good on him for removing /v/truejailbait. That being said, /v/thefappening is a ridiculous ban. What, you're worried it's illegal, so is /v/trees, or /v/drugs. Why don't we remove those? Oh wait, that's right, because it's not illegal enough. It's not looked downupon by the majority. This is a disgusting decision, and I can't believe it only took two weeks to go from wanting to find a new home from reddit, to wanting to go back to reddit.

Say what you will about the content of it, and it's not like I'm subscribed there, or have even ever visited /v/thefappening, but come on. This is censorship, and everyone knows it is. It's not about there being possibly "illegal content," or other subverses would be banned.

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[–] Atherz097 4 points 88 points (+92|-4) ago 

Well, that was quick.

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[–] ItzOnlySmellz 2 points 17 points (+19|-2) ago 

9 days for you, friend. I just got voating rights too :/

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[–] Era 1 points 19 points (+20|-1) ago 

I suppose we're all off to the deepweb now.

The speed may be slow, but the limitations few.

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[–] whiteguy88 2 points 58 points (+60|-2) ago 

Perfect, it is clear that the crowd from SRS were trying to kill voat by posting child porn on those subverses. One thing is free speech, another thing is promoting illegal stuff. I don't mind if there are subverses discussing child porn or maybe writing child porn erotica. That is free speech. However, a place with actual videos and images means that a child was either abused, or their images taken without their consent.

[–] [deleted] 1 points 26 points (+27|-1) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Bug_Catcher_Joey 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

It's really not hard to find naked pictures of underage girls. Not saying straight up CP, but imagaes like the ones posted on /v/truejailbait are very easy to obtain. Not saying I subscribe to the "SJWs posting cp" tinfoil theory, but it wouldn't be too hard for them if they really tried.

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[–] 4 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

He also mentioned that subverses with links to illegal stuff will be banned. I hope that doesn't mean someone can go to a sub, post something illegal, and have the whole sub taken down.

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[–] lord_nougat 1 points 21 points (+22|-1) ago 

Unfortunately, that's precisely what that means.

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[–] mblim 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

This is where moderation from the subverses will come in to make sure those illegal links are removed

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[–] whiteguy88 2 points 0 points (+2|-2) ago 

I think /u/Atko would contact the mods of the subverse first if something illegal was going on. Plus, if the problem was just one link, then the mods of the subverse could handle the problem.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] mrcasino 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Yeah, well it's been posted in like twice in the past month, so you shouldn't have to worry too much about that free speech.

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[–] gamehelp16 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

Someone on SRS said that he/she contacted voat's hosting provider to shut it down, and they succeed.

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[–] SlothropAnAbreaction 16 points 58 points (+74|-16) ago 

A tough decision, but one that had to be made. We are all behind you.

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[–] Rainy-Day-Dream 5 points 24 points (+29|-5) ago 

agreed Atko has my full support

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[–] Era 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago 

I supported the idea of Voat. Now the man understands that he cannot support an entirely free platform, and no longer embodies what I support.
However, this is not his fault. Poor Atko...

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[–] RoosterIllusion 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Why? He is ignoring the entire reason his site got a popularity boost. If it is illegal, take it down, no one will argue with it. If it is not illegal, but just offensive, leave it alone.

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[–] Joliet_Jake_Blues 10 points -2 points (+8|-10) ago 

Fuck Atko. He makes you upvote more than you downvote because he's a "safe space" bitch.

[–] [deleted] 2 points 22 points (+24|-2) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] MangoMarx 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I can understand your disappointment with this decision, but that's not how donations work. Look at the Republican US POTUS candidates that gave white supremacist donated money to support the victims of the recent South Carolina church shooting. I'm sure he isn't happy his white money is helping minority Americans, but he is in no way entitled to a return on his donation, and neither are you.

[–] [deleted] 1 points 13 points (+14|-1) ago  (edited ago)

[Deleted]

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[–] Avnomke 2 points 3 points (+5|-2) ago 

Three of those subverses were areas where it was very likely that illegal content would be posted and the fourth was one that voat was very likely to be sued over. They're reasonable bans, even if you (or I) don't like it.

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[–] Internetcoitus 1 points 8 points (+9|-1) ago 

I'm definitely not behind this move whatsoever.

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