There is alarmed response from many users as to the number of false positives in this round of abuse banning. Questions include the communication of the event, to the inability for banned users to appeal because they were unable to PM and new account creation had been disabled.
The voting system, which is currently relied on for various sub-purposes (spam control, content prioritization) is also being weaponized in various ways that are destructive to the community, which directly threatens Voat’s intended purpose of Free Speech by “running people out of town”. From new accounts being -CCP into 24-hour lock-outs to organized groups promoting or silencing content and users for their own ends.
It’s demonstrable through a full two days of conversations that everyone has a different opinion of what Voat stands for. If I understand @PuttItOut, and he’s going to need to correct me if this isn’t right, then Voat stands for Free Speech, within the limits of U.S. law seeing as how Voat is a U.S. based Company and must abide by U.S. Law. Fundamentally this suggests Voat stands for something which is the opposite of the other tech companies that have opted to instead censor based on Global laws. I strongly feel this often goes underappreciated from the community.
So what can be done?
The reality is that unfettered abuse of the voting system today is destructive to the community and is a problem that needs to be addressed. There have been many discussions today on this subject alone in the sticky’s and other threads. This overall idea now rolls into #2 below..
The voting system can be improved. There have been so many suggestions today, but one I didn’t hear suggested seems so simple as a way to both address the overall concern from as many angles as possible as well as to maintain the functionality of spam prevention and content prioritization in a natural way - just make the voting completely transparent; it serves multiple good purposes but because it’s private there will always be disagreements on it. Select X date in the future and re-design the voting so that you can see everyone else’s votes from then on. With transparency we can have open community discussions on what voting habits we can observe and what constructive improvements can be had to further grow the community based on what everyone can see with their own eyes. At the very least, this puts everyone from all sides of the arguments on the same level playing field to find effective compromise.
Putt’s house, Putt’s rules. Putt can address how to make what is and is not a bannable offense more defined – and you have the decision to make on if you agree with him or not. This is no more complicated than going to Putt’s house and pissing all over his toilet seat and then having to make the decision on if you respect a man’s house and clean that shit up or if you don’t give a fuck for whatever reason and leave it a mess. That man gets to decide if you ever get invited back to his house when he cleans up your piss, or if he gives you a warning to stop it. Let’s work with Putt to come to a consensus.
Everyone has the responsibility to wisely pick who you associate with – and I’m going to stay where I know I can say what I want and not be removed for doing it. Free Speech matters to me, and everywhere else is willing to sell out – and that includes selling you out. As long as Voat demonstrates to me that it has values (Free Speech within U.S. Law) that I can abide by, then I don't want to see those values go away and I want this community to grow. If you don't want this community to grow, I cannot see how we can be allies.
P.S. My #4 would have been the complete and total elimination of anonymous posting. It serves no positive purpose in any sense other than as a method for a group to communicate while feeling more secured about their usernames, as Putt has explained that even he can't "un-mask" the anon posting.
In my opinion you could just remove traditional anon posting and replace it with "private" subs where people can be selectively invited and only these subs are allowed to use anon function - now you've solved most of the skin-deep anon problems, while at the same time anon remains for the only purpose I can possibly imagine it serves everyone without complaint - higher security "group specific" posting that even Voat cannot be forced to give to an entity that may demand data from Voat, simply because it's technically impossible for them to do so because of how the masking is designed.. hint hint.