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Death of Ruqqus: A Retrospective

I wanted to archive this retrospective here before the site is completely down. This was written by a user "carpathianflorist" from ruqqus a >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk style clone.

Skateboarding Rip GIF by gifnews

Hi there! It's me, carp, your favorite Ruqqus user! And I'm here to send Ruqqus on its way to the great 404 in the sky with a brief retrospective on the whole sordid affair.

I personally arrived on these purple shores in June 2020, the day r/DeuxRAMA was banned. >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk had also recently banned my sub r/SpiritualBankruptcy which almost immediately exploded in popularity, and I was pretty salty about that too. So with Deux gone and nowhere left to shitpost, I turned to Ruqqus. One of my first messages was asking how to fund the place, because I'm a really swell guy and believe in both paying for what I use, and supporting indie projects whose premise I agree with. The same could not be said for the flood of users who joined several months later, whose horrific behavior - and total+complete lack of disposable income - led to Ruqqus shuttering, and will be the cause of any attempt at creating a similar platform shuttering as well.

So let's talk about those users for a bit before moving on to lighter topics, specifically how incomprehensibly low IQ they all are.

Ruqqus, up until mid-Q3 2020, was comprised largely of (yuck) libertarians. Not the molesty kind (we purged those over the summer, thanks largely to Ruqqord, and boy did we have a lot of them), but the Thelemic "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" sort of lolbert. Which stands to reason, since the three founders of Ruqqus are libertarian themselves. They believe in unrestricted liberty above all else. Which sounds lovely on paper, but in practice is just puerile and silly, but that's neither here nor there. So we had a heavy libertarian majority here. And everything was good. There were plenty of guilds for posting racist and anti-Semitic stuff, anti-LGBTQ stuff had a home, if things were funny they'd be upvoted, unfunny or low quality junk was downvoted, and everyone stayed in their lane and respected everyone else's right to post how they wanted in the correct spaces.

This, of course, didn't last, and leading up to Voat's downfall, the fun, casually racist users began to be edged out by people whose entire identity is predicated on "hates coloreds and jews and gays." A trickle became a flood. Then the election happened, and the dam broke, and they were everywhere.

The formerly libertarian userbase began to leave, because suddenly there was nothing but race-centric content everywhere all the time forever. @Milkit exiled every user who wasn't race-obsessed from his racist guilds. Exiled users are unable to vote, so the frontpage became a 24/7 deluge of unfunny boomer-tier self-identified-Nazi garbage since there was no way of lowering it, and those users would downvote everything not from those guilds.

And so the first thing anyone saw, for months, when visiting ruqqus.com, was 25 posts about ""GAYmer word" this" and "holohoax is fake that" with a bit of wildly disproportionate rage about trans people peppered across the page at all times. The site, to any curious party, or even a casual observer, appeared to be entirely focused on (self-identified) Nazi shit. If they signed up for some reason, the algo recommended them nothing but Nazi guilds. "Welcome to Ruqqus, here's some cool guilds you should join: +HitlerWasRight, +NationalSocialism, +"GAYmer word", +"GAYmer word", +JewishQuestion," etc. And this isn't hyperbolic, those were real guilds that all new users were immediately told to join by a site message.

Who would join a site like that? No one sees a frontpage that's nothing but racism and anti-Semitism and thinks to themself "wow, all this free speech is great!" they think it's a fucking Nazi website, because there's nothing but Nazi content. If it was all My Little Pony content, they'd assume it's a My Little Pony website and avoid it all the same. This isn't up for debate, but there was no end to the (self-identified) Nazi screeching about how no, akshually, that's good!

To answer my own question: the only people interested in joining a website that appears to be entirely a Nazi website are Nazis themselves. And that's a very limited market, easily saturated, with zero growth potential, no disposable income, no desire to fund or grow a platform, and entirely too paranoid to even contribute money to its existence in the first place because in their shattered, schizophrenic minds, any digital transaction from them will be weaponized by the Jewish Banking Cabal to blackbag them and steal their foreskin.

Attempts at mitigating this without silencing users were proposed: We could hardcode questionable guilds that are bad for optics so that logged-out people can't see them and won't be greeted with Holocaust denial and pictures of lynched blacks, maybe? No, that's censorship and "speedrunning >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk" the recently-arrived Voat userbase cried. Well what if we don't hide anything from logged-out users, but we allow existing users to opt-out of those guilds with a Guild Categorization system so that they can still see content they actually care about instead of just race stuff all the time? Also censorship, the (self-identified) Nazis screamed. And scream they did. They spammed hundreds of the same unfunny "ADMINS CAN'T SNEED" wall of text image all day on (literally) Christmas Day, because they have absolutely nowhere else to be and nothing else to do on Christmas.

The administrators, bless their hearts, capitulated and instead did nothing useful with the categories system to preserve the site. Because they were still stuck on their doomed "unconditional free speech is good, and any attempt at curating content even for logged-out users would be censorious" faux-nobility. Fauxbility? And that's very laudable, and they should be commended for that, because they stuck to their principles and learned a lot of valuable lessons from it all, because those negative-value users they bent the knee to in order to keep true to their mission statement are what plummeted the traffic, irreparably destroyed the Ruqqus brand, and killed the platform.

And this is all to the good, in the end. We had three very competent, very much not-bigoted admins who started a robust, FOSS, free speech alternative to reddit. It wasn't like any of the other failed attempts at the same thing, which were founded by people who just wanted a place to push Nazi drivel. It's the free speech-centric model itself that's shit! Not the racist webmasters of the other places! And a great many people see this now, and we can finally put that idiotic idea to bed.

Ruqqus as a website may have failed, but it was an important failure for the direction of this niche of alt-tech as a whole. A lot of people saw and learned a lot of vital things from this failure. And @captainmeta4 is getting his pilot's license, which Chaos Theory dictates quite possibly wouldn't have happened without Ruqqus having happened. Neat!

On a less-administrative note, I'd like to discuss a particularly hilarious aspect of the userbase for a moment now. Various pictures of my angry, bearded, Aryan Brotherhood-looking face were my profile picture for months. Everyone saw them. Everyone knows what I look like. I've posted dozens of pictures and videos of myself. One of my most well-known posts directly compares homosexuality to fucking and eating a stillborn child. My hard-right idpol guild +SpiritualBankruptcy had around 2000 members before I got bored with it. I also own +milliondollarextreme. And yet all it took to convince the entire retarded userbase that I'm a transsexual Jewish-Chinese CCP operative was me and a few people making that fake TD guild (+The_Donaid, capital i for the L) and posting ludicrous Biden memes for fun on Election Day. This led to - and this is not hyperbolic - three months of four separate guilds, at least five subreddits, several Discord servers, an hour-long video analysis, a 50-page PDF, and tens of thousands of posts trying to analyze CCP infiltration of Ruqqus to subvert free speech and steal the election. Over some Biden memes.

And then when the administrators finally stepped in and explained that, no, this is not a Israeli Chinese psyop, it's just some people shitposting, no one believed them at first. After finally being convinced, the userbase (average IQ: 82 +/-7) jumped to the next logical conclusion: that I am a transgender Jew from Portland. I added Sam Hyde's blurb from the MDE Gumroad about being a disabled trans independent filmmaker from Brooklyn or whatever to my bio - none of them got it, despite their endless reposts of ancient MDE content, and just took that as confirmation of their suspicions.

All over some Biden memes.

Ruqqus failed - and all similar projects will continue to fail - because the userbase is spectacularly, impossible-to-satirize levels of unintelligent. They have no interests whatsoever besides anonymous, impotent rage at demographics they want to blame for their failure to amount to anything. They have no personality. They have no value as people, individually or collectively, socially or politically or economically. They have no future. Their only purpose is as a cautionary tale.

But things were fun last year, and even a bit into this year. We had a lot of good times here and on the cord, even if it is just silly internet nonsense. The broccoli debacle. Endless Summer. The eye contest (which I won). The chess tournament. The dreaded RCP. Snappy being accused of being a paid DNC shill.

Thanks captainmeta4, kek, and arkitekt.

It's been real.
 

s0ren

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The first part, that no one wants to join what appears to be a Nazi website besides other Nazis, shows the real art of moderation. Maintaining a large forum is difficult and most people are really bad at it. Massive subreddits and the larger 4chan boards show this well. Either the mods power trip and have too heavy a hand or are too laissez-faire and lose control of the site's mission. As the internet becomes increasingly the subject of sociology and anthropology I think this is a major topic to explore, how the policies of what are effectively the "police" of online spaces impact that space, and what the best practices are to cultivate a flourishing online community. Also shows why I think archiving this kind of stuff here is important as it ensures access to them so this work can be done.

Aside from my lizard academic brain that sees everything in the world as a potential journal article, the second part is really funny. The internet has made everyone into a tin-foil hat wearer. Whether on the left or right, all disagreement is a conspiracy by some evil opposition to undermine their virtuous efforts. I saw the same thing today in a /r/news thread about Rittenhouse where someone was claiming that all the support on >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk for him, not even necessarily support but people saying it doesn't seem like the murder charges make sense, were shills reading from a script. C L O W N W O R L D. You aren't allowed to have an opinion anymore, you are just a Russian bot/funded by Soros/a CCP Jewish operative. (Although I have to say the person who wrote this seems really whiny and obnoxious).
 
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dukenukem

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Deserve what get for banning the delray misfits ruqqus
 
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Visitor Guy

You cannot placate both sides, the best solution in my mind is to disappoint everyone major.

Really though, things like ruqqus and >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and 8chan are just replacements for actually making the website. Daunting as it seems its easy to keep it simple.
 

Flak

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Ruqqus, while shit in its later days was fun. Although I mostly lurked, watching people sling shit at each other was entertaining. I will always remember operation can't Sneed, and the amount of drama it caused.
u5zlazm0p0861.png
 
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IlluminatiPirate

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Ruqqus, while shit in its later days was fun. Although I mostly lurked, watching people sling shit at each other was entertaining. I will always remember operation can't Sneed, and the amount of drama it caused.View attachment 12726
Do u have a pic of that purple link?
 
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WALFTEAM

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The Ruqqus guy can't seem to grasp that the moderation on giant sites is essentially unsustainable to the point that it highlights just how sus the Five Websites that make up seemingly the entire net really are. You can't just make "free open-source >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk". The moderation demand is simply too great; you have to have a lot of people and you have to pay them and the money has to come from somewhere. >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and the other Five Websites all make it work by throwing VC money (of increasingly dubious origin) at subcontractors and their vastly underpaid armies of traumatized, impoverished employees. The usual volunteer jannies that work community sites are not capable of handling the load.

Mastadon has these problems too, in spades, and the only thing keeping it from totally collapsing is the fact that the instances keep defederating, turning them into weird insular forum-like communities instead of a straight copy of Global IRC Where The President Can Shitpost.

Then there's the other problem with trying to create "free, open-source" versions of one of the Five Websites, which is "why the fuck would you want to". >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk is basically a really bad version of Usnet, with a horrendous interface and bad threading. At least with Usnet you could do threading however you liked with whatever client you used, and forums basically copied from those clients, but something about how basic browsing works on >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk just pisses me off.
 
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punishedgnome

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Good writeup. Every forum I've ever posted on where the admins refuse to moderate anything whatsoever eventually gets taken over by people who just want to shout "GAYmer word" and post jewish conspiracy theories over and over and over again. There's a fine line between over-moderation and absolute chaos.
 
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PizzaW0lf

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Hah, I remember this site. I think many lessons can be learned from a site like ruqqus. It's interesting to see how it was propped up as a free speech site only for it to delve into chaos all because the wrong people found it. Ever since I've had a small amount of low-key paranoia when I discover a website that promotes free speech and I think about how long it will last before chaotic people find it.

I think the biggest problem with these sites that promote "anonymity" is how you lose any sort of accountability for what you say. I love it when a website allows me to customize my profile and have it be unique to me. And when you allow people to show who they are a greater sense of trust is built as you recognize people better and that it's more than just some anonymous user. This is another reason why I hate the new internet. No fun, No customization, No personality. You must only conform to the boring layouts and horrible, demoralizing UI. No wonder why people act out so much online. :SpacePalm:
 
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handoferis

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Guess the moral of the story is that free speech is fine, but you gotta be on guard for people who just show up with an axe to grind and consistently grind that axe and do nothing else...
 
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    +1
  • dorgon:
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  • Jackeline:
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  • Jackeline:
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  • Cobalt:
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  • Cobalt:
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  • Jackeline:
    Cobalt said:
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  • Cobalt:
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  • Cobalt:
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  • Jackeline:
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  • Jackeline:
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  • Jackeline:
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  • Pangolin:
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  • 雨、Some_porcupine、 逃げ出した後:
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    雨、Some_porcupine、 逃げ出した後: well, in fact, in hyperindividualism, you cant. evrybody got own agenda, unless you get on terms...