Dread is back online after an extended period of downtime. The forum relaunched with a large set of new features including UI improvements, chatrooms, and better spam management tools. The new infrastructure should prevent some of the frequent 502 errors and increase the overall speed of the site.
Correction: I verified that a conversation between HugBunter and someone seemingly pretending to be the NCIDETF took place one day prior to the Dread shutdown.
The drama surrounding Dread’s downtime has been discussed on every platform possible at this point and there is very little need to examine the theories and rumors in this post. It is unlikely that any explanation for the downtime would appease users with grudges against HugBunter or Dread.
The Dread relaunch was followed by a relaunch of the same denial of service attacks the forum experienced prior to the downtime. Dread is missing two weeks of data as HugBunter pointed out in his previous status update. However, the missing data is unlikely to cause any serious problems. Recently created subdreads such as the subdread used by The Darknet Collective are already up and running.
In a post on the Dread frontpage, HugBunter listed some of Dread’s new features.
The new features, minus the infrastructure upgrades and and performance improvements, is listed below.
- Minor UI/UX improvements
- Mod mail pagination has finally been fixed
- Subdread flair: User search should be a lot more reliable now
- Captcha bug fixes
- DDOS captcha gateway has been upgraded to support the new captcha
- Subdread suggestions on frontpage (These will be targetted in the near future)
- Official/Important announcement posts can now be pinned to the frontpage (Like this one)
- Dread staff moderation tools have been expanded for better spam management
- New caching for large dataset queries
- Subdread live chatrooms
The chatroom feature is one of the more obvious changes (if enabled by the moderators of a particular subdread.
HugBunter also briefly touched on NCIDETF topic that users of other forums used to discredit HugBunter. Darknetlive can confirm the conversation between HugBunter and fake the member of the NCIDE Task Force took place as described in the announcement.
[I] was possibly contacted by NCIDE last week, who are a drug task force based in Northern California. I cannot verify if this was indeed an official representitive, however they asked that I place a ban on opiate related posts on the site, following a case of a 15 year old who over-dosed on fake oxys laced with fent. Who apparently found the vendor via Dread. I have simply stated that I was happy to tighten some rules around fentanyl promotion as I am looking to promote harm reduction material a lot further and I had already planned some strict rules on fentanyl discussion…
Below is the entire message from HugBunter. The signed copy is available here.
Welcome back everyone.
For anyone who missed my emergency announcement over on Reddit (https://reddit.com/r/DreadAlert). Dread recently experienced a server crash which resulted in complete data loss. Due to working on a new server infrastructure it really caught me off guard and the last database backup we had was from 2 weeks prior to the crash. This means that whilst we have restored from this backup, we are now missing user accounts, posts, comments etc from that 2 week period. I am sincerely sorry for any issues this may cause and the inconvenience of many users needing to create a new account and start again. I can assure you this will not happen again in the future and extreme measures will be in place to ensure regular backups going forward.
Our infrastructure rebuild is now complete and you should be experiencing an increase of speed whilst browsing the site for the most part. This new setup also improves on performance whilst under DoS attack and should hopefully prevent the common 502 errors from occurring again. This would not be possible without /u/Paris and he does not get near enough credit.
You may also notice some changes, the platform has been updated to include many bug fixes, optimizations and new features. Some new features were rolled back due to the need to get the platform up and running again, but I will try to have another update pushed when possible.
A quick run down of changes:
- - Minor UI/UX improvements
- - Mod mail pagination has finally been fixed
- - Subdread flair: User search should be a lot more reliable now
- - Captcha bug fixes
- - DDOS captcha gateway has been upgraded to support the new captcha
- - Subdread suggestions on frontpage (These will be targetted in the near future)
- - Official/Important announcement posts can now be pinned to the frontpage (Like this one)
- - Dread staff moderation tools have been expanded for better spam management
- - New caching for large dataset queries
- - Subdread live chatrooms!
Yes, you read that last one correctly. This feature had been on the backburner for a while and there was recently a lot of requests for it, so… introducing Subdread live chatrooms! Whilst these may become a complete mess and I’m going to regret it, I’ve tried to make the reporting and moderation for them as simple as possible.
These chatrooms are opt-in per subdread, depending on if that communities Moderators think they’re up to the task of managing it. This is a trail run/beta really and they are in an extremely primitive form. There will be settings that can be applied to them in the future to limit who can join the chatroom and I would also like to add other features such as chat commands.
/d/Dread ‘s live chat is open and is available from the “Chatroom” button in the subdread sidebar. Something to note, which isn’t currently made clear, is that you must literally click the submit button to send your first message in the chatroom, as this will prompt you to fill out a captcha before your message is sent. You will again have to fill in a captcha after every 3 messages per chatroom. Any suggestions for making this clear or more user friendly would be greatly appreciated.
As always, please report any bugs to us via Modmail.
I’d like to also quickly address the current misinformation that is being spread, due to individuals who would have a lot to gain from this platform’s demise, taking advantage of the downtime to create completely fictional conspiracies against me and the platform. There is absolutely no basis to any of these claims, yet a lot of users blindly assume it to be fact, especially when a trusted member of our community becomes paranoid and publicly states their crazy theory of events. There’s nothing I can do regarding this other than directly address any claims, which may I remind you have no evidence (because they aren’t true).
One of which was targeting and exploiting the fact that I was possibly contacted by NCIDE last week, who are a drug task force based in Northern California. I cannot verify if this was indeed an official representative, however they asked that I place a ban on opiate related posts on the site, following a case of a 15 year old who over-dosed on fake oxys laced with fent. Who apparently found the vendor via Dread. I have simply stated that I was happy to tighten some rules around fentanyl promotion as I am looking to promote harm reduction material a lot further and I had already planned some strict rules on fentanyl discussion (Which I actually thought I announced a while back, but maybe not). As for this story, I haven’t personally been able to find any articles relating to such a case, so cannot comment on the validity of it. However, it is something that really struck a cord and highlighted the harsh reality of drug cutting and what this platform may allow to take place. There does need to be improvements around this but there also has to be a balance that everyone can mostly agree on, as not to infringe on free speech and the main intentions of this platform. I’d also like to mention that this particular conspiracy against me, referenced that a vendor who continues to use the banner advertising features of this site and potentially had sent out fake pills cut with fentanyl and caused deaths a few months back, was allowed to advertise despite me knowing of this. However, after requesting from users commenting on such posts to provide me with some evidence of this so I could look into it, nothing was ever provided that could be linked to it and it was found to be the same user behind several of these posts with similar stories each time attacking the aforementioned vendor. This was then considered to be no more than a smear campaign, possibly from a competing vendor.
If there is anything else that you’d like me to address that you may have read in the last week, feel free to comment and I’ll respond when possible.
Thanks to the Dread staff, notably /u/Paris , /u/wintermute and /u/syntax for keeping me sane lately and helping to improve my morale towards continuing to provide this service. Also thank you to everyone who has been able to form their own reasonable opinion and see past the FUD that is circulating right now, your backing is greatly appreciated.
Paris, one of the Dread staff members, added a signed message to the announcement thread. The signed copy is available here.
As usual for people who have advertisements. If your advertisement was active when we were down you have been automatically extended more time at a ratio equal or greater than our downtime.
Bug requests are always welcome. Please send them to the Dread Mod Mail (button button on the right side bar). We do have vulnerability bounties for any security related concerns you may find.
There will be more roll outs here and there and the dread infrastructure design is very new. If there is minor downtime (<1 hour) don’t panic or anything. It is to be expected to work out the wrinkles in the design under massive load. A big post is coming from me explaining how dread does scalable distributed clustering to prevent downtime, balance load, and to give the biggest fuck you to any DDOSER.