Discussing a Decentralised Reddit Alternative

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Jan 16, 2010
cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

Discussing a Decentralised Reddit Alternative

In the last few years or so, Reddit has been through some tough times. It’s been accused of going back on its claims to support free speech. It’s been intense fire for banning certain subreddits and being hypocritical about others.

And with stuff like admins editing posts and staff members being threatened by favoured subreddits unless they hand over control of their communities, it’s become quite clear the site doesn’t really work the way it should do. It’s gone from a platform to a somewhat sanitised single community meant to look appealing to investors and businesses.

So people are looking for solutions. They’re looking at Voat, at Imzy (well they were), at Voten and Steemit… and basically all manner of other similar sites riding Reddit’s coattails.

But these sites don’t fix Reddit’s core problem. The fact a centralised community is incentivised to act against freedom of speech or relaxed users rights. As a result, I’ve come up with a better solution.

What is it? Simple.

It’s a decentralised replacement to Reddit. Or more precisely, a federated version based on independently hosted forums rather than identical sections.

This isn’t a particularly new concept in the social media world (the likes of Mastodon and GNU Social are aiming to do the same thing with Twitter style microblogging), but I feel it’s one that could catch on.

And it has its advantages for everyone. For example, what are the main problems forums have? Well, I’d say it comes down to the following:

Registration can get arduous because you have to re-register on every single site individually. There are alternative methods to address this (like Google or Facebook login schemes), but they obviously don’t work on most sites and they’re still more complicated than merely logging into a new service.

This makes it very easy to forget your login details, or just feel like becoming a part of these communities is too much of a hassle.

Yet that’s not the main issue here. The main issue is that discovery is a pain with forums.

That’s because there’s no easy way to ‘catch up’ on everything you missed. To find out what’s been posted on the forums you frequent, you have to view and then filter content on every website you’re a part of.

View attachment 47275

Above: I have to check tons of pages like this every time I go online.

And that doesn’t get much better when looking for said sites either. You can use Google, but SEO is kind of broken at the moment. Poor...
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Apr 19, 2014
We're in the process of making something similar that will allow small micro-groups who have the freedom to publish as they wish, with each sub-community having their own moderator, but allowing the overall interaction among all members of the site. It will essentially be a conglomerate of microniches posting user-generated content, but there's also a lot of other features we're introducing that many other sites don't cater to. Hopefully, we're different enough for people to try, like, and remain a user.


Apr 10, 2016
Its a shame nobody invented a really simple syndication, or an aggregated feed consisting of XML, that was extremely popular that a monolith like Google would create basically the defacto standard rss reader only to close it down in 5-10 years for real good reason... (only 5 million active users)

You could take this feed and like Facebook and twitter it would be your centralized feed.. blog posts from your friends.. news articles from sites your interested in.. all from a centralized place, but the source of content decentralized, each of these people would have control of where their content was created...

You could solve the single sign on problem with a product where people could host their own credentials we could call it openID... they could set out a profile in a structured format that would share with other sites they contribute to...

Damn i got to stop reading tech magazines from 2010....

Don't get me wrong i think you are right thinking about censorship, and it should probably be taken in context of machine learning...

You post something on social media and it doesn't get much traction, was it because the AI minimized you in a form of censorship?

Were you shadow banned, were you echo chambered so on and so forth...

And I do believe your view point on twitter and facebook are content aggregators is hitting it on the head. I use FB primarily as an RSS reader..


Apr 19, 2014
The worst part about FB's latest update, which is basically one big censorship thanks to politics, is that it also affected the pages which were not political.

I had so many really funny/entertaining pages that I liked and would see - they're all gone from my feed. My feed is now back to what boring Becky down the street ate for breakfast and other stuff I couldn't care less about. Now you have to physically search for your previously liked pages just to see their updates. What was once a fun, entertaining, convenience has become tedious.

FB took a massive hit from it too.


Apocalypse Admin
Jun 29, 2008
that seems to be the network every federated equivalent seems to be competing with.
My guess is Twitter just being the network whose full set of functionalty is easiest to replicate. This way alternatives can promote themselves as complete replacements rather than simply having lifted off a small set of specific features. Functionalty-wise, a self-hosted or SaaS mastodon instance looks like a classic Twitter page, hosted elsewhere and free from the countless distractions Twitter throws at you (related content, recommendations, trending everything...).
It may also have been in part chasing after the audience that wouldve otherwise created a blog to setup an orator->audience relationship facebook is entirely inappropriate for.