Free Internet to Public Housing

There are times when families are unable to pay for a home. They might not be able to have the luxuries that other families have, such as cable or internet. President Obama wants to make the lives of those who are on public housing a little easier by providing broadband service. This might sound ideal for those who are living in this kind of housing situation, but it shows just how much the income levels of people haven’t improved and how much almost everyone relies on the internet in some way or another.

When you live in a public housing unit, you usually have to meet certain income requirements. If you don’t have the money to pay rent, then you likely don’t have the money to pay for the extras. There are jobs that people need the internet for, and that’s one of the benefits of making broadband available to more people. However, there is a time when there should either be a small fee for the service, or the service should be offered to everyone for the same price instead of some people getting internet for free and others having to pay for internet. If this idea is passed, it would only verify that there is a divide between those who make a lot of money and those who are rich. There are already divisions among the rich and the poor, such as the kind of housing that people live in and the kind of clothes that people wear.

There is about $70 million slated to be invested in this idea, but there is no guarantee it will work. If there are children in the home, then this would be a better idea. Simply offering free internet to those who don’t want to work is just a little absurd in some instances.

Voat Emerges As a Social Media Alternative

For many on the internet, Reddit.com can be called home. The site promotes itself as the front page of the internet, and in some ways it delievers on that promise. Most viral videos sensations can be found on Reddit’s video section a few days before they explode over all other social medias. Recently, though, Reddit has had issues with policy changes to their community, and a revolving door of admins including the return of an old CEO. Reddit came to popularity shortly after administrative issues at Digg.com. For some, the occurrence of these issues has signaled the time to leave Reddit and migrate to a new website. Voat.co is looking to be the new home for these wanderers. Pronounce it to ryhme with goat. 

At first glance, an experienced Reddit user might mistake Voat for a slightly off color version of Reddit. The site is built in a very similar fashion; users are able to subscribe to a variety of forums known as “subverses” that will change how their front page appears, and can help filter content with a voting system. The vote system is designed to keep the best content at the top of the page. This is meant to allow users to tailor their browsing experience. Voat has described itself as the evolution of the Reddit experience. 

Despite only coming in to the spotlight in the past few months, Voat originally launched in April 2014. It was originally called WhoaVerse, and began as a project by two Swedish college students. The site exploded in popularity last month when Reddit enacted new anti harassment policies. The site experienced so much popularity that their servers crashed under the new traffic. It is hard to say exactly how many people migrated over to Voat. The website’s traffic is still too small to track, but it is known that Reddit’s traffic dropped by about 600,000.

The main question for both Voat and Reddit is whether the two can exist harmoniously, or if this will resemble the death of Myspace at the hands of Facebook. Some Reddit users who disagree with the policy changes are actively promoting Voat in hopes of just that. According to a CNet article these sorts of exoduses are far more possible online than in real life. In the real world new alternatives aren’t always available, and new businesses need time to grow slowly. According to Sree Sreenivasan, “Loyalty is there but not guaranteed. Supremacy on the Web is not guaranteed to anyone anymore.” 

The biggest difference between Voat and Reddit lies in thier handling of free speech. On the heels of Reddit’s new anti harassment policies, Voat released a statement proclaiming that no legal subject should be out of bounds. As Reddit attempts to bring itself into the mainstream, it seems that the company will have to continue to police speech by its more aggressive users. Voat seemed optimistic about what that would do to their traffic. The website’s owner simply said “We are looking to expand.”