I love this website and I think it has lots of potential. Unfortunately, there are far too many cases of people getting heavily downvoted for posting unpopular opinions. When I go into the comments on a story, and eloquent, enlightening comments such as "LOL niggers gonna nig" are the second or third highest rated posts while actual opinions that foment discussion have -20 and don't even display, we are practicing self-censorship and shouting down stuff we don't agree with. That's not the kind of behavior that challenges us, teaches us, and deepens our worldview. It's toxic, narrow minded fear of dissent that inhibits personal growth. What's the point of having a website where mods don't delete stuff that doesn't "fit the narrative" if we're just gonna do it ourselves anyway?
ETA: I didn't want to make this specifically about racism on VOAT but I suppose the example I chose steered the discussion in that direction. The comments on this article in v/news are what actually spurred me to make this post. At this time, the lowest rated comment is by savageslav. He stated his opinion, and stated why he felt that way. Many people replied to him, and he responded (despite the heavy downvotes he received). It could have been a lively discussion with an exchange of ideas. Instead, that string doesn't even show up unless you look for it, just because one guy in it has an different point of view. Conversely, the top rated comment is pablum groupthink attacking liberals with a strawman argument. Such a shame.