The night before AskVoat was handed over to /she, moe said he was "waiting on a high-profile request from the last batch to be taken care of before moving on to new requests." That same night, /she said she'd "be back tomorrow morning to write a post about this." And lo and behold, she did, as the new owner of AskVoat.
This signals to me that they knew this was coming. They were holding private conversations, and whatever was said behind closed doors, held more weight than the concerns of 91% (88% 80%) of the community asking for /she to step down.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Moe and DanielFlamino are the only mods holding administrative functions at /v/SubVerseRequest and /v/IdeasForVoat. They are at the core of the IRC clique, they are friends with /she, and they are in pretty good terms with PuttItOut 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, along with Nurdoidz** and the "usual suspects" who have been defending /she left and right, many of whom also hang on IRC.
I know some people must think I'm condeming friendship. I'm not. There's nothing wrong with making friends online. However, unchecked friendships in positions of power inevitably lead to cronyism and corruption. This is how you get corrupt countries; this is how you get reddit. It's not like we don't have precedent to learn from.
** Voat developer, head mod of /SeriousDiscussion, co-signer of the one-sided "investigation", author of the sticky thread dissenters were banned from, and mod who preemtively banned many of the users who had been raising concerns about she's moderation.
When nomerasques made his (valid) request for AskVoat, it was received with support by the majority. DanielFlamino challenged his request, as moe had done before with another user. A few users called nomerasques out due to "conflict of interest," being one of the most outspoken users on the protest. Nomerasques accepted the accusations and withdrew his request.
Isn't /she being friends with the mods who manage the requests, who in turn are friends with the admin who handles the requests a much bigger conflict of interest?
The admins were under no obligation to honor /she's request. There are no rules stating that a request must go through by virtue of being valid. There are no rules invalidating some of the other requests that were made after /she's. The sub was abandoned by its real owner, /she wasn't entitled to ownership, yet the admins deliberately went against the vast majority of the community's wishes and performed the transfer.
If that wasn't enough, PuttItOut's post on the subject is an unmistakable representation of the narrative pushed by Nurdoidz et al. With phrases such as "the small vocal group intent on creating division" _and "this community is just as vicious, just as judgmental, and just as intolerant." Yes, there was viciousness, but focusing on that while ignoring the majority of the upvoted, visible comments, the concerns of 91% of the user base, and calling them a small vocal group? That's disingenuous at best and outright malicious at worst.
The admins had a moral responsibility to look past friendships and act in the best interest of the community. Instead they concentrated more power in the hands of the same IRC gang. Look at /v/worldnews, moe is the owner, and now he has appointed one of his IRC cronies, a full-fledged troll 1 2 3, as a mod.
It's only been 2 months since Voat took off and we are already seeing this level of cronyism, power grabs and concentration of power. I was on reddit since before there were subreddits and it took much longer for Cancer to develop and invade its host. It's happening much faster here.
You're welcome to stay, fight and try to build up this community. I'll be going back the way I came. Voat isn't structurally different than reddit and the admins are emulating the same social dynamics from reddit. If you run a site identically to reddit, guess what you'll get? Reddit.
Mandatory reading for people who care about online communities: