On February 15th, 2018, a developer named /u/HugBunter launched Dread. Since then, the site amassed a huge presence within the darknet community. This is due to having a similar interface to Reddit while also placing an emphasis on privacy and usability. This allows users to post and interact without being otherwise censored on other platforms. It hosts communities related to darknet markets, network security, cryptocurrencies, drug use and harm reduction and other darknet sites.

Why Use Dread?

Dread acts as a place for anyone to post, discuss, comment and otherwise participate in a social network anonymously and without fear of censorship. The site touts itself as a free-speech platform that offers an alternative to the “unjustified censoring provided by clearnet sites such as Reddit.” The site itself is modeled after Reddit with “subdreads” that start with ‘/d/’ instead of ‘/r/’. For example, /d/all compiles a list of all the top posts across Dread, similar to how /r/all works on Reddit. Every post can be upvoted or downvoted by a Dread account. Posts that accumulate a higher amount of upvotes show up higher on their respective subdread. Dread also uses a score system for accounts. When they receive good feedback on their Dread activity their score increases. Receiving bad feedback will cause an accounts score to decrease. Dread content can be edited with simple BBCode style formatting for posts, comments and messages.

The Dread admins also outline clear rules such as no discussion of child pornography, terrorism, weapons, poisons or assassination services. Similar to Reddit, they also disallow spam posts, vote manipulation, fear mongering content or doxxing. Dread offers advertising for darknet markets, based on a market standards page. For each market, they maintain a links list, search function and image banners on subdread sidebars and user profiles. Vendors can post updates, stock updates and contact information without risk of identification. Posts in the official Dread subdread are manually reviewed before posting.

The site uses no JavaScript and puts an emphasis on privacy with PGP key verification and multiple pass wipes while deleting to ensure all data is completed cleared. DDOS attacks are mitigated through a queue system and improved servers. An I2P endpoint is also now being offered by the Dread admins to help against the attacks.

Downsides and Limitations of Dread

Dread may put users at risk if links to unrestricted marketplaces are used, so personal information such as names or addresses should not be transmitted unencrypted. Law enforcement entities are known to use Dread to gather information on unsuspecting individuals.

Dread is under constant DDOS attacks that threaten to put the site offline for hours or days at a time. These can force the admins to move servers, meaning an uncertain downtime for thousands of users. At these times, it is common to receive a 502 or bad gateway error.

How To Access Dread

To access Dread, install the Tor Browser and use their .onion. The only verified and trusted onion link on their homepage is dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion. You can also use their I2P link at dreadtoobigdsrxg4yfspcyjr3k6675vftyco5pyb7wg4pr4dwjq.b32.i2p.

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