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Host Europe drops Voat for being politically incorrect?

Mon, 22nd June 2015, 21:10

A couple of weeks ago Reddit announced that it was closing down a number of subreddits with harassing subject matter. This, along with another recent decision to ban content that included images or videos of non-consensual sex prompted some users to jump ship and switch to a Reddit clone site Voat.co.

Just as Voat saw its membership swell, it was hit with a sustained DDoS attack. Adding insult to injury, the self proclaimed purveyors of a “censorship-free community” then got booted by their webhost.

Voat Chief Technology Officer Atko wrote in a post (incidentally that’s now showing an error page) stating:

“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.... “ Hosteurope said that “we have received significant information that the content on your server includes political incorrect parts that are unacceptable for us”. The company also went on to say that Voat’s contract was being terminated “due to the fact that we cannot keep bond of trust to you as our customer”.

Atko explained that mere hours before being cut off by the host provider, the site had managed to migrate to a cloud platform.

 

Now its Host Europe’s turn. The Public statement

Without actually naming the client, (editor’s note: it may be totally unrelated to the subject matter at hand.. yeah right!) Host Europe has issued the following statement:

Host Europe will generally not publicize details to existing or previous contractual relations. The current coverage, inquiries and contradicting information however make us want to comment on some issues and clarify matters.

Host Europe has recently ceased hosting of a public forum. The reasons for this were specific contents which made it impossible for us to continue hosting of this content. The actual reason for this was not, as sometimes mentioned in this regard, „political incorrectness“. Political statements of all sorts are allowed on servers of Host Europe. Host Europe as a hoster values the public opinion and diversity of beliefs. This however comes to an end where the contents or publications violate laws or are morally unacceptable. As a German hoster, Host Europe is bound to these laws, which make Host Europe liable for any contents hosted on our servers as if were our own as soon as we receive knowledge of them.

The site in questions was publicizing incitement of people, as well as abusive, insulting and youth-endangering content. They were clearly against the law and did not allow Host Europe to continue hosting such content to the public. Host Europe will also pass on information to the relevant authorities if it deems this necessary or appropriate.

We want to emphasize the fact that the suspension of our services is only the last step in a process. Host Europe does and always will try to find a solution together with our customers. However for this mutual trust from both sides is a main requirement. As this was not existent in the current case, we had to take these steps.

Host Europe wants to make clear that we will not tolerate any form of illegal right-wing extremist content and we explicitly distance ourselves from this.

Kind regards,
Host Europe team

Regardless the reasoning, controversial subject matter does have a tendency to invoke strong feelings on many levels including reactions sometimes expressed with a DDoS attack. In the end, Voat gained users, some notoriety, and what it describes as a more scalable platform, Host Europe has lost a potential troublesome client, and Reddit some harassing subject matter.

All’s well that ends well!

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