Voat, Internet’s latest poster child of free speech, locks horns with Reddit


With all that’s been happening around Online Content curation platform Reddit, its users have found refuge in a new platform called Voat (pronounced as in goat, with the animal as its mascot). At 1st glance, when you see Voat, it reminds you of Reddit. “But we re different”, claims its founder & 2-member team (more on that later in the piece).

Voat is positioned as a social news & forum Site, open source, with a promise of no censorship. At present in Alpha, Online reports said many angry & upset Reddit users have started joining Voat. But that meant additional headaches for Voat as its server hosting company allegedly shut down its service, leaving Voat in a limbo. But fret not, Voat’s back.

Atif Colo is the creator of Voat, & has been quoted elsewhere that in the last month or so, Voat has had almost two million unique visitors & almost 30 million page views.

Colo said he started Voat as a student project while studying at the University of Lund, Sweden. Such was the feedback from new users about their concerns with Reddit that he received that it inspired him “to keep developing Voat.

So what really is Voat? By its own definition, Voat is a Website that aggregates stories & links submitted by its users. Stories & links are organized in communities called ‘subverses’. Examples of existing subverses: news, images, videos, jokes, programming, gaming, among others.

Users can also create their own communities for a school, a charity, a gaming clan, a book club, a cause, anything goes, and decide what kind of Content they want to receive from other users. As in Reddit, Voaters can submit links to other Websites (news, articles, videos, images) & other users can vote to decide if the links are worthy of sharing with other users.

Voat claims what truly sets it apart from competitors is the fact that “we give back to the users.” Users can apply to join its partner program & earn money (a percentage of our ad revenue) for the stories, links & comments that they submit.

On privacy, Voat claims it is very “privacy focused, & will go to great lengths to ensure there’s transparency around these type of decisions.”

For example, 1 of the first features it implemented was the ability for users to completely delete their accounts & associated data. That means with 1 click & a few ticks, all comments posted, all voting history & all personal submissions are deleted.

Voat claims to be working on an updated privacy policy, to be released in the coming weeks.

 

Image Credit: Voat

 

 

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