Website Voat rises as Reddit stumbles

Criticism of Reddit's policy by its users has led to a shifting of loyalties.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  July 8, 2015 at 12:55 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, July 8 (UPI) -- The online service Voat surged in popularity this week after a backlash against its more established rival Reddit.

The website of the Swiss-based Voat was overloaded and crashed Wednesday. Though the smaller site frequently has issues, it's had even more difficulties in the last week as an influx of Redditors fleeing that site after the controversial firing of a popular administrator, Victoria Taylor. Taylor's responsibilities included hosting the popular "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) feature, which involves questions-and-answer sessions with famous and interesting people.

The reason for Taylor's departure was not specified, but a hectic AMA session last week in which Rev. Jesse Jackson discussed race relations, was not the cause, Reddit said.

"We screwed up. Not just on July 2, but also over the past several years," Reddit CEO Ellen Pao said in a post on the website. 'We haven't communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes. We have apologized and made promises to you, the moderators and the community, over many years, but time and again, we haven't delivered on them. When you've had feedback or requests, we haven't always been responsive. The mods and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of Reddit."

While Reddit stumbled and lost some its 163 million patrons, Voat enjoyed a surge of interest. Voat founders, students at the university of Zurich, have promised never to censor or ban any group on their site; a topic of criticism at Reddit under Pao's leadership.

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