Reddit was once a place that represented freedom on the internet, but after receiving $50 million in funding the website took a different direction and became tightly controlled and heavily censored.
CEO Ellen Pao oversaw the transition, and became infamous among Reddit users for enacting strict policies that limited the freedom of the website. Due to the controversy that she helped to create, Pao was forced to resign last week, a move that has been celebrated by thousands of Reddit users.
It is unsure whether or not Pao’s resignation will actually bring Reddit back to its former glory, but luckily there are already people working on alternatives that promise to create the experience that Reddit was originally designed to provide.
One alternative called Voat is actually already operational. A notice at the top of the Voat website reads:
Hi, it looks like you’re new. Welcome to Voat!
Voat is a censorship-free community platform based in Switzerland where content is submitted, organized, moderated and voted on (ranked) by the users.
Users can earn a percentage of our ad-revenue share for the content they submit.
Another interesting alternative is being developed by Ryan X. Charles, a former employee of Reddit who believes in free speech and was not happy with the direction that Reddit has taken in recent years.
In a recent blog post, Charles explained how the new website would operate:
“Each user has an app, the reddit app, which connects to the reddit p2p network. For most users, the app is a normal web app. Each user funds their own app with a small amount of bitcoin. In order to download content, the user pays a very, very small amount of bitcoin to the peers on the network. This incentivizes people to keep the app open so as to keep servicing the other users.”
Charles ended his statement with a call for help from other collaborators saying that:
“I’ve collaborated with a lot of other people to produce some of the fundamental software necessary to make a decentralized reddit (see all my projects on GitHub — especially this one). It’s not done yet and there is no prototype, but I would love to find collaborators to build something concrete. If you’re interested, please reach out to me at my twitter handle at Google’s popular mail domain.”
New Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has said that he would “reconsider” the site’s controversial censorship policy, but many Reddit users believe that the site is still limited by their investors.
This article (Former Reddit Employee Is Building An Alternative Website Without Censorship) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.