Voat promises to be like Reddit but with "anything legal goes"
It has been created by two Computer Science and Economics students of the University of Zurich.
If you have followed the news on Reddit recently you may have noticed that the site banned several groups on the site -- called subreddits -- of which the largest had more than 150k subscribers.
Registered users can subscribe to groups on Reddit to keep up with what is happening in those groups.
Voat looks and feels like Reddit when you open the site. This may not be possible right now thanks to an increase in user registrations on the site following the ban of groups on Reddit and a DDoS attack on the site according to a message on the site's official Twitter account.
Right now, it is more likely that you will receive a "this webpage is not available" notification than a working site.
The creators of the site announced that they are working on migrating to Cloudflare to add better protection against DDoS attacks in the near future and to move to a new "cloud-based" infrastructure as well.
The core difference between Voat and Reddit at the time is Voat's promise not to censor groups or ban groups on the site. That's without doubt a core reason why users from banned groups on Reddit, and users opposed to recent changes on Reddit, moved to Voat after the actions on Reddit.
It should be clear that you should not expect Reddit traffic levels on the site. If you check out the front page for instance, you will notice that votes don't reach three digits let alone four digits often on the site often.
There are slight differences apart from that. Voat calls its groups subverses instead of subreddits, and uses the /v/ directory instead of the /r/ directory in its url.
Reddit users who check Voat out or make the switch to the site completely, will be at home right away.
While there is no way currently to migrate account information such as the active subscriptions or messages, it should not take long to add subscriptions again considering that you can re-open the groups easily thanks to the similar url structure of the service.
All you have to do to a group like https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/ is to replace www.reddit.com with voat.co, and the /r/ part with /v/ to load the same group on https://voat.co/v/aww/.
Voat may look like an attractive new destination for users fed up with recent changes on Reddit right now but there are quite a few uncertainties that may keep you from switching completely.
For instance, if the site can manage to survive DDoS attacks should they continue without losing too many users in the process, how it is financed in the long run, and whether it holds true to the "anything legal goes" mantra that seemingly sets it apart from Reddit.
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