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Is Reddit Afraid Of Voat? Domain Name Purchase Suggests It Is...

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:18:20 Z)

Community news aggregation website Reddit.com recently launched Upvoted.com, a website curating the most interesting user-generated content from Reddit's many sub-communities. The domain name 'upvoted.com' seems to have been registered in July 2007 and was updated on April 1st of 2015, most likely after it was bought from the person who originally registered it:

   Updated Date: 01-apr-2015
   Creation Date: 09-jul-2007
   Expiration Date: 09-jul-2016

Source: public whois data

Interestingly enough, about a week before the launch of upvoted.com someone at Reddit also registered 'upvoated.com':

Domain Name: upvoated.com
Registry Domain ID: 1964806093_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.gandi.net
Registrar URL: http://www.gandi.net
Updated Date: 2015-10-06T22:48:21Z
Creation Date: 2015-09-29T23:29:48Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-09-29T23:29:48Z
Registrar: GANDI SAS
Registrar IANA ID: 81
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: abuse@support.gandi.net
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +33.170377661
Reseller: Reddit Inc
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited http://www.icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: 
Domain Status: 
Domain Status: 
Domain Status: 
Registry Registrant ID: 
Registrant Name: Domain Administrator
Registrant Organization: Reddit Inc
Registrant Street: 548 Market St., #16093
Registrant City: San Francisco
Registrant State/Province: California
Registrant Postal Code: 94104-5401
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4156662330

Source: public whois data

'Upvoated' appears to be a clear reference to Voat.co, a rival community news aggregator similar to Reddit in design and functionality. Voat started as the hobby project of Swiss student Atif Colo, known as 'Atko' on the site. Voat received a large influx of Reddit users in 2015 after a part of Reddit's userbase revolted at certain policies aimed at curtailing offensive and harrasing content.

Reddit founder and current CEO Steve Huffman recently claimed Voat's subscriber numbers were bogus:

Huffman insists he's not worried about a Great Reddit Migration, now that Voat is holding itself out as a truly uncensored alternative. "Voat is just a copy of Reddit," he says. "I wish them the best. I know their subscriber numbers are totally bogus, that's obvious to me. We used to fake those numbers, too, when we were little, so I can't blame them for that."

Source: nymag.com

Registering a domain name similar to a rival and claiming their statistics are bogus? Doesn't sound very confident to us...

Addendum: Voat user adsnell2004 claims he bought 'upgoated.com', so if Voat ever wants to make a similar site curating its best content it seems they can. However, another Voat user snarkily remarked:

I think we already have that, it's called the front page.

Lead Stories' Trendolizer™ constantly scours social networks worldwide for news about rival websites. Scroll down to see the latest.

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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