It seems a bunch of alt-right trolls are about to learn an important lesson about hard work and responsibility. Voat—the Reddit-styled online message board for contrarian dipshits—may soon be shuttered due to two major factors: Running a website costs money, and nobody wants to pay for your racist fantasy camp. Following the announcement by one of Voat’s two employees, Justin Chastain (a.k.a @PuttItOut), users began brainstorming ideas on how to cut costs, crowdsource some money, or find funding from some unlikely angels.
Voat was originally founded when, a couple years ago, Reddit announced a new anti-harassment policy and subsequently banned a handful of nasty subreddits. These communities were built around hate speech and trolling and populated by people who constantly confused “free speech” with the ability to post anything they want without consequence on a website they neither owned nor operated. This slow purge has continued up until very recently with the ban of /r/altright and /r/pizzagate. In a fit of childish rage, many users from these communities flocked to Voat, a Reddit clone that promised all the boring parts of regular Reddit along with the freedom to still be an asshole, succinctly encapsulated in its slogan: “Have your say.”
But now, with its user base continuing to bloat and no potential investors willing to foot the $6,600 a month hosting bill, Voat admins are learning that being the boss isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As Brian Feldman at New York notes, the failure of Voat is surprising considering we’re “in the midst of a cultural moment in which appetite for right-wing media and discussion has never been stronger.” And yet, much like Twitter has struggled to find a buyer, “Voat hasn’t been able to secure funding, its assets (read: users) are still too toxic for many advertisers.” Unless those same toxic individuals can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they may soon learn that the unregulated free market they love so much has no interest in them.
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