Community Bulletin Board Site Voat.co Blocked Just Days After Google Analytics Removed


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Voat.co is a bulletin board and commenting community where users post submissions of news and information from online articles. Other users may then “upvoat” the content for approval, or “downvoat” to bury it. The more net upvoats, the higher the article climbs on the list, and the more visible it becomes to others. Users may then also comment upon the article and reply to comments. The site is divided into designer subcommunities to allow for dialog in areas including news, videos, pics, music, science, sports, and many other topics.

Voat.co was created in 2013 (then Whoaverse.com) as an alternative to similar site Reddit.com where many complained of censorship in the major subcommunities. As a result, the Voat.co userbase has permitted much unsavory language. Most users condone the language as they jealously protect “free speech” while some users actively support the “shitposting.”

Last Wednesday, the site administrator with screen name @Atko at Voat.co announced:

In an effort to better protect the privacy of our visitors, we have decided to stop using Google Analytics service, effective immediately. Instead, when time permits, we will make the move to an open source solution (Piwik) and host everything ourselves.

The announcement gained the active support by upvoating of over a thousand users — a show of solidarity not seen at Voat.co for any submission in about four months. Only four users disapproved of the change. The announcement topped the site.

Today, the following message appeared when attempting to access the site in the Firefox browser.

community-bulletin-board-voatco-blocked-malware-google-analytics-f

“This Connection is Untrusted.”

VOAT UNDER SIEGE. In the past, Voat.co has suffered from denial of service attacks, and has been shut down by its web host and blocked from using Pay Pal. This is the first time the site has been accused of hosting dangerous malware.

UPDATE.  As it turned out, the site had failed to renew its SLL certificate in all the confusion.