Voat is shutting down on December 25th!

(Preface: Voat is a long-running Reddit alternative whose reputation as a racist cesspool is nothing new. These news may however have an effect on other Reddit alternatives, Lemmy included. I’m including these two Voat posts as Archive.today copies to put this into a context. The comments to these posts are not really worth reading because … Voat)

The site’s owner PuttitOut made an announcement (archived) about shutting down Voat on December 25th at 12 noon PST “in honor of the only True thing you will find in this world and that is Jesus Christ, the son of God, and the only way to the Father” and “in honor of the twelve disciples who spread the message of salvation to the world”.

The shutdown happens mainly because an angel investor pulled out back in March, leaving Voat without funding. Since then, PuttitOut had financed Voat out of his own pocket but ran out of money and decided to close it for good. Before that, many payment processing services stopped operating with Voat due to various reasons.

Voat’s userbase has of course taken these news heavily and it appears that they are planning to save it or move to new platform (archived). They are considering different options such as various P2P solutions, Poal, Ruqqus and Lemmy. Therefore we should be cautious if any explicitly racist Lemmy instances run by Voat refugees start popping up.

What’s my opinion on this? Nothing of value was lost, knowing how following Voat’s downfall from a “noble free speech platform” to a racist safe space was like watching a science experiment. A term called “Voatification” was coined for a reason. This will lead into a racist Whack-A-Mole as the users will go into another platform where the moderation practices are loose enough, most likely Ruqqus whose Voatification will then accelerate further.

We will almost certainly see a wave of refugees start their own settlements in Lemmy (although I think they may move to Saidit, tbh) but those instances aren’t going to want to federate with the more explicitly leftist instances, so it’s really not a big concern.

Dessalines
admin
106M

Luckily I think our staunch policy against hate speech means they don’t consider lemmy an option, which is great for us. But if some do popup then we’ll just have to be sure to block them, or if any of them make an account here and start posting anti-semitic or anti-woman garbage then we’ll ban asap. Stay vigilant yall.

Are there any plans to add a report feature to Lemmy? I’m surprised there hasn’t been one created yet. I think someone may have mentioned that paying attention to downvotes may be a good option for now, but as we get larger (and we’re starting to :party popper:), a report feature may be necessary.

Dessalines
admin
76M

A comment / post reporting for the backend is merged in, but it needs to be cleaned up, as well as a front end way to view and handle reports needs to be added . I’m swamped with other lemmy tasks rn but I’ll eventually get to it.

@nutomic
admin
36M

Help is also welcome on this, from anyone with typescript knowledge.

@SloppilyFloss@lemmy.ml

@Echedenyan
36M

@resynth1943@lemmy.ml

Maybe could be interesting for you.

On second thought I do think they’ll move to Saidit. It’s already a nazi cesspool.

That would be the best outcome IMO. They make a lemmy instance, with one way federation. So we don’t see their bullshit, but they can see ours. So they can escape their echo chamber if they want. But they can’t pollute our forum.

If they make an account on federated lemmy and continue being racist they get banned.

Racists are entitled to a safe space to chat, just like everyone else. “I don’t agree with their speech but would die for their right to say it”.

IMO most online racist eejits are just teenagers who haven’t fully developed emotionally. Even Edward snowden admits to going through an online racist troll phase. Racist adults are a minority.

This sounds like a good outcome for society and we should encourage it, unless I’m missing something.

A quick scroll through that site shows what kind of people they host there

@k_o_t
admin
56M

title of one of the posts on frontpage lmao

I was a refugee from Reddit in 2017 I fell in love with this place and now I am so far right that I had to ask Hitler to move aside

never been to that website, but it seems like 4chan except without all the interesting stuff and these people are actually serious

Bilb!
26M

They seem like maybe a good fit for the “.win” family of sites, e.g. thedonald.win.

If they move to Lemmy then federation will be blocked, just like Gab. No big deal.

@ufrafecy
9
edit-2
2M

deleted by creator

Maya
admin
66M

I don’t think this is alarmist; e. g. it’s pretty common for posts to go around mastodon letting people know about instances they should block or ask their admin to block.

@nutomic
admin
1
edit-2
6M

I hope we can solve that particular problem more elegantly for Lemmy.

Edit: We could just add a hardcoded instance blocklist to Lemmy, I think thats a logical addition to hardcoded word filters. Then anyone who wants to federate with a blocked instance needs to fork Lemmy.

Maya
admin
96M

Imo I don’t think you can solve something like that with something technically elegant when at its heart it boils down to social messiness. the fact that it’s negotiated socially is probably the sign that the technology has adequately gotten out of the way. I’m not strongly against having a core block list in the code or anything, but there will still need to be mechanisms to address things quickly on top of that.

@nutomic
admin
4
edit-2
6M

I’m open for other suggestions as well. But it could at least be a quick solution to block fascist instances (if necessary).

@ster
23M

I think hardcoding it would be a feature most admins want anyway, they can remove it if they love fascism or something on their own time

@someone
15M

No, I don’t want stuff like thst hardcoded in to the software itself. Thatvshould be up to theinstance admins.

Let’s make Lemmy more infamous!

@resynth1943
8
edit-2
5M

deleted by creator

QuentinCallaghan
creator
36M

Even if Voat refugees create their own Lemmy instance, it will be blocked from federation so we don’t have to deal with their bullshit. In their own safe space they can be racist together in peace and harmony.

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