Reddit alternative breaks because so many people leave site after harassment scandal

Voat was just a small Reddit knock-off before last week — but now it's becoming overloaded as people threaten to leave the bigger site

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The Independent Tech

So many people are leaving Reddit that its closest competitor crashed and had to ask for donations to stay up.

Many users of the site protested and left when last week it banned five subreddits for harassment. And since, users have been making good on threats to leave the site — going instead to a Swiss clone of the site, Voat.

That site look almost exactly the same as Reddit, and features many of the same communities. But it is committed to a rule of “no censorship” — previously Reddit’s attitude, but  one that it has moved away from as it has attempted to reduce the harassment and abuse on the site.

So many people have moved to the Swiss knock-off that it has been down entirely many times since the Reddit bans. In response, the site asked for donations in bitcoin to pay for extra technology to keep the site up.

That doesn’t seem to have worked, and the site says that it is now under a distributed denial of service attack, where users send a flood of requests to a website to take it down.

But despite the problems, the site now has more than twice as many users as it did late last mnth, according to the site’s Twitter account. It had over 96,000 registered users last night, it said — far from the 172 million unique visitors that went to Reddit in the last month, but up many times over recent weeks.

Voat’s founder said that the site was “not ready for such a huge influx of new users” and that it hadn’t “prepared for such a large and sudden increase either”.

“We are sorry to see Reddit change like this, in this way, in such an accelerated fashion,” Atko wrote. “We would have never anticipated such events.”