As many people here know, I've been a proponent of exploring a distributed alternative to reddit/voat style social networks.
Researching more I've found out about the STEEM network:
All the content on steemit is managed by a distributed blockchain with its own internal cryptocurrency (STEEM).
Steemit, and any other frontend to the network can censor content just like reddit or Voat is required to for legal (or in the case of reddit ideological) reasons.
This would be a pretty radical shift from the approach @puttitout and others are currently taking porting the existing site to run on Mono/Postgres
I know others have been thinking about ways to decentralize Voat to make it stronger as well, and this seems like a viable way to do so.
To run a steem frontend currently, the biggest resource cost appears to be RAM, you need at least 14GB of ram currently to support this. But that IS the database, no separate SQL here.
It would still be possible for Voat to have a unique frontend experience closer to what we have now, and built similar to how we've been talking about improving the frontend in the future.
This is still a very fresh thought in my mind, and it is not without downsides, but I think it could be a very interesting approach and it would allow everyone here to get their ideas out to a larger audience without compromising on free speech principles.
The biggest advantage of taking this approach is that the content would live on a shared distributed uncensorable network, so that if any single web admin decided to embrace censorship; the community can take their ball elsewhere.
I've been participating on steemit the past couple of days, and the community there does have downsides. Providing a profit motive for posting has good and bad effects.
There is too much emphasis currently on returns rather than spreading ideas there IMO, but this is more of a cultural concern.
Another downside is that accounts have a real cost to them since it is a shared network, and this is a way to prevent abuse.
Signups at steemit are backlogged as a result, (they require email/phone number for sign up too)
But again, as a distributed network, other people are able to fill gaps, it's possible to outright buy an account with anonymous cryptocurrency through: https://anon.steem.network
So the tl;dr here is I think we should explore the idea of using the steemit network as a replacement for the SQL backend of Voat, but this would be a radical shift in how Voat works and would require essentially archiving/reposting/abandoning the old content, accounts and scores.