Dread V3: New Captcha, Market Standards, Search, and More

Dread V3: New Captcha, Market Standards, Search, and More

Dread is back online. The update, Dread V3, includes some of the most significant changes in Dread’s history. The most obvious and perhaps most welcome changes include new captchas. The developers of Dread–HugBunter, Paris, and whoever else–reworked the site’s search function to include a full-text index of Dread’s 2+ million posts, suggestions, fuzziness adjustments, and various search operations. Dread V3 provides several avenues through which Dread can generate income, including a premium membership and a shop with trophies.

Upvoting or downvoting a post or comment no longer refreshes the page. The use of a form within an iframe is not something I have seen on any other site.

A picture of No page refresh!

No page refresh!

Paris covered many changes in the “Welcome to Dread V3” post. One significant change I did not see Paris mention was the new “Market Standards” chart.

(dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion/page/marketstandards/)

Rejection Negative Positive Super Positive
Script Markets - No or minimal skin No/little organic growth @ 3 Months Accepts Monero Harm Reduction Efforts
Bitcoin Only (no multisig) No Monero Support Bitcoin Multisig Lightweight, Custom Stylesheet (<200KB) with inlined images
No growth @ 6 Months Direct Manipulation (On Dread or Otherwise) Big, well known Vendors (list a few) I2P endpoint
Mostly Unknown Vendors Innovative Features (aka a compelling offering)
Incorrect Stats (Vendors, Users, Listings) Great Design with Custom Captcha
No re-encoding images, keeps metadata DDOS Filter or WAF
No vendor pgp key verification Dread Presence (user not subdread)
Shared Innovations

Paris, taken without permission from the post on Dread here: dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion/post/c9aeb346922c6cc2fcae

Search is back and better than ever

Fully analyzed text search of over the 2 million public posts and comments on Dread.

With this search layer there is quite a few features that you will be familiar with already if you have used any advanced search engine. All results are indexed in lowercase which means it doesn’t matter if you type in “MDMA” or “mdma” they will show the same results. If you want a specific phrase in the result you put them in quotes (“texting example”). If you want multiple specific words to be included but not in a certain order you can do something like (“texting” “example”). If you want the root of the word to be search and synonyms to be searched with them you simply search without quotes and separate word with spaces (testing will also turn up results with just test).

A picture of the new search feature on Dread.

The search function is quick. I am not sure about that suggestion though.

There are self adjusting suggestions. If you accidentally type in “mdna” you will see a single suggestion which is based on the frequency of a word within the index. It will identify the closest match for simple typos but it will not correct multiple word phases or provide synonym suggestions like other search engines. We assume that you know what you are looking for. There is far too much content of various and differentiating variety where active search suggestions will result be meaningful. We have sided on the side of relevancy and recall with advanced search option to filter down to dial in the accuracy of the results you want to see.

There are multiple filtering options to be familiar with. Author and subdread are self explanatory. If a subdread is invite only you can still search it but you must have both access and input the subdread name in the search. Focusing on Title and Body will provide the most balanced approach with good relevance and accuracy. Comments assume the title of the post they were submitted to. Being that the vast majority of text on dread is within the body there is a unequal score where title results will be prioritized in the results. Results which include the term in both the body and title will be of course scored higher.

The default sort by is newest. We did this to prioritize recency in the results. If you prioritize finding the closest match to your search terms select “Best Match.” If you prioritize the positive interactions you should sort by “Score” (this will favor posts). If you prioritize overall recency of activity you should sort by “Latest Activity” (this will favor posts).

Another picture of the new search feature on Dread

Another picture of the new search feature on Dread

There are advanced options where you can fine tune your results in multiple ways. From sorting by date, score, and type. Fuzziness effects accuracy of your results. By setting it to none you will have less results returned but ideally more relevant results. If you are searching for multiple words and they ALL need to be contained within the result turn fuzziness to none. Otherwise try to keep it on auto being that it will have more accuracy.

There are also multiple operations you can do within the search by default. If you want two words to be included but to focus on the root of the words with synonyms you can use the + operation (testing + example). If you want either or word to be returned you can use the | operation (testing | example). This operation is the default and won’t turn better results unless fuzziness is none or you are using… precedence. If you want a combination of words in a specific way you use precedence “(” and “)” for example [testing (foo | bar)]. If you don’t want a term to be include in the result you can use the - operation (testing -foo bar). By using a combination these operations to make very detailed and relevant results over the whole dread index.

The most general stop words for English, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic have been removed. If you need a result to include these frequent words please put them in quotes for your search. There is an active synonym graph on all search results which will improve recall by allowing multiple different slags to be attached to a single category (mdma will also return results equally with xtc, ecstasy, molly, and others). If you don’t want that you can put the word in quotes.

A max result of 10,000 will be returned. If you can’t find what you are looking for within 10 THOUSAND results find better words to use. There are also rate limits and anti-bot systems in place.

This search engine is one of my proud achievements and took many months to fine tune to be both performant and relevant. I know you all missed it so much. It’s back and better than ever.

Anti-Bot, Anti-Spam, Anti-Captcha. New protections.

It is a never ending battle to control bots on Dread. As I hope we made well clear we would rather die than pay any asshole to stop spamming. There is only so much a bot master can do being that we control the whole site. There is many different things we do to prevent bots. We took that up to 11 this time. It personally doesn’t make sense to me why they would waste their time with us but that’s that.

A picture of the new captcha on Dread.

The trick is avoid over-rotation.

Within your account area there is a referral link system now. When registration is locked down you can refer others to dread. Dread, and dread’s search, will always be free to browse if you don’t want to register an account. We will not stop the information flow to those who don’t want to take the time to solve the captcha.

Dread’s new captcha is finally here. We tried multiple revisions of the regular captcha but they are all broken by machine learning. A machine is better at classifying these objects than regular humans. The new one uses a combination of human intention, fancy css, and basically unlimited unsorted images. The goal, make the photos straight like it was you on the ground taking a photo. You do this by pressing the rotate button to a point which changes the orientation of the image. DO NOT OVERSHOOT IT, reset and try again if you do so. Rotate just enough to stabilize the orientation. There are some images which are impossible to know the orientation of. Answer them anyway and as more people fail them these images the system will be clean them up. As new images are added every day there will always be some of these images. It’s a trade off to prevent bots from taking control. When this one does get broken we have another one lined up and one after that one as well.

Like before as your account gets more activity and you have viewed more things (in an order which a human would do) captchas should disappear for your user account within 2 weeks of use. The more captchas you solve correctly (and incorrectly) after a certain point will give the system enough confidence to just not show your captchas anymore. If you feel like that is far too long there is an option for you. But it is paid.

Is that a shop?

Yes. Dread has awards now! You can purchase awards to support dread and show appreciation to others for their contributions to this community. We will be adding more awards in the future where purchases will directly support certain causes.

Deposits to dread are not refundable and we warranty nothing, so only participate it if you want to support us. All deposits must be made in XMR and credit will only happen if the value of the deposit is at least $0.01 USD. If you spam small deposits the system will detect it and we will reject further deposits. Deposit only when the address you have has a verified message which is signed by an admin key. Right now it should be me. Grab my PGP key at /u/paris and verify each time before you deposit. These addresses have a block height associated with the assigning. The addresses can change occasionally but generally you will be stuck with that address until such a time where I need to take down the payment layer for upgrade. A reminder that dread’s onion is a single onion. We have no mirrors. You can verify you are on the right address by verifying my Canary which includes the official dread URL. If you have problems with deposit you can contact us but you must provide the signed verification message with the xmr address.

A picture of A new donation interface.

A new donation interface.

There is now a donation leaderboard for the bigballers in this community. You finally get something back. Free publicity. Donations don’t give you any favor from Dread staff but it does keep this site running, more projects funded, and more flexibility in hiring moderators.

There is now a $50 Premium Membership. You are right we just incentivized paying us $50 so you don’t need to do any dread captchas after sign in. We view this as a win win. If we need to boost the difficulty of the captcha we can do so because it will incentivize premium membership purchases. It’s a win win. Mostly for us.

A picture of Top donors get some publicity on top of the publicity generated by their Dread posts.

Top donors get some publicity on top of the publicity generated by their Dread posts.

With this membership you get a few things right now. Like access to the /d/lounge, which will have juicy technical documentation, feature tests, guides on how NOT to get fucked over, and others. Right now there is not much value in it other than not doing the captcha, but that will change over time. We will add more things to the membership as time goes on.

The longer you have the membership the higher your membership tier will be. What will these tiers do? Maybe give you a trophy or something. In large part the membership is just to support dread while getting something back. Don’t think it’s anything more than. Membership renews every month.

Talking about money, Ads

We have consistently over the past year needed to keep a running list of people who wanted ads because we simply didn’t have the spots available. All ad invoicing had to be done by hand and it always delayed things. Not anymore. All advertisement purchases are partly automated after user approval. We have a queue for the banner advertising which prioritizes renewals and now promoted posts have a functional advertisement area. In the future targeting advertising will make it easier to prioritize certain banners and promoted posts to those who have shown interests in similar products (like an LSD vendor banner being prioritized to be shown in /d/LSD for example). This area is still a bit buggy but it will get sorted out in the coming days.

A huge thank you to all those who have advertised on Dread. We hope to provide a site which is of the highest quality so that nobody needs to look elsewhere for the best information. We are the largest English speaking darknet forum. With the most activity and searchable history. We are resilient against DDOS attacks and always try to take things always to the next level. Our interface, network, and features; sets us a cut above all else. Okay enough marketing talk for now.

Much much more

This post only scratched the surface on all the extra features this update has. Go and explore it! There might be a few bugs hanging out. If you find some report it back to dread staff and get some $.

A picture of Interests and suggested subdreads are also a new feature.

Interests and suggested subdreads are also a new feature.

A new i2p endpoint is online and flood-filling but it hasn’t been as stable as I need it to be. I’ll be holding off posting the address till such time (probably within a couple days) I can get it more stable for an average user to visit. If you want to both prepare and help this process along install i2pd and run it. This network needs to 2X it’s size with a shit ton more nodes which have ipv6. I’m doing what I can to get it up but the reach-ability of the address is poor and connections are unstable. It is better than when I have tried before but more work needs to be done on this. It is far more resistant against DDOS attacks though and with enough noise Sybil attacks become basically impossible to conduct on anything other than an extremely targeted attack.

I hope you all enjoy this update.