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Site has become a refuge for those fleeing Reddit’s anti-harassment policies — and managed to keep itself up by moving shortly before its host shut it down

The administrator of Voat, a Swiss Reddit clone that has surged in popularity as people have left Reddit in recent weeks, has reportedly had its site dropped by its host for displaying “politically incorrect” content.

Voat has been around for some time, but users surged last week when five communities were banned on Reddit. Some users saw the bans as a threat to free speech on Reddit, and so jumped to using Voat — which committed to be a “censorship-free community platform”.

The site was immediately hit by problems, apparently unprepared for such a huge influx of users as well as being hit by cyberattacks. Those issues appeared to have been resolved after the site took donations to pay for more server capacity and allow the site to stay up.

But the site has since had to be moved to a different platform because of being shut down by its host.

“Our hosting provider, hosteurope.de, has terminated all our contracts and shut down all our servers without issuing a warning or trying to talk to us,” the site’s administrator Atko wrote in a post that is no longer available. “This includes my private server which was only used to host my girlfriend’s blog. She is a scientist.

“She published her research papers on that blog (preformatted papers to which she owns the copyright). That server contained no other data whatsoever.”

The host said that it had received “significant information that the content on your server includes political incorrect parts that are unacceptable for us” and that it could no longer keep its “bond of trust” with Atko.

Host Europe responded with a statement that said it could not talk about specific accounts, but that "Host Europe customers must be legally compliant" if they are to keep their contracts.

"Host Europe is liable for any content posted on its servers as soon as it receives knowledge of it and therefore must uphold these regulations strictly," the company said. "Host Europe is committed to finding a solution together with its customers based on mutual trust and suspension of service is the last step."

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