The moderators are dead! Long live the moderators!

Dscuss is a free software for public discussions. It builds an unstructured pure P2P topic-based publish-subscribe network. The current version is proof-of-concept.

The idea of the project

The purpose of Dscuss is quite similar to the Internet forums, but there is one fundamental difference -- social equality of all members involved (i.e no owners, no moderators, etc). See Classification for details.

This leads to the following key features, which will be provided by Dscuss:

  • Decentralization. All the information will be stored on the users' machines.
  • Personal moderation. Every user will be able to manage her own copy of data and may share her management operations (edit message, remove message, ban user and so on) with others, who would like to accept them.

Besides that, Dscuss is designed to provide the following features:

  • Data authenticity
  • Data integrity
  • Data availability
  • SPAM resistance
  • Flood resistance

Dscuss is not intended to provide anonymity. However, this can probably be achieved using anonymizers like Tor


API description generated by godoc is available here.

Progress of development

The current stable version is proof-of-work. It has the following features:

  • Command-line interface.
  • Basic security based on ECDSA.
  • Persistent storage for entities.
  • Basic networking (TCP only).
  • Registration (via proof-of-work).
  • Bootstrapping (via list of rendezvous nodes).
  • Peer handshaking.
  • Publishing a message.
  • Listing a category.
  • Subscription to categories (via editing a text file).
  • Threading (replying to messages).
  • Operations on messages and users.

The version 0.1 is under development. The following features are already implemented:

  • Database synchronization with other peers.
  • Improved connectivity (bootstrapping via DHT).
  • Web interface.

The following additional features are planned for version 0.1:

  • Improved security (SPAM resistance, flood resistance).


Dscuss is written in Go and currently has the following dependencies:

Initially Dscuss was supposed to be built on top of the GNUnet framework, but later it was considered not suitable for the purposes of Dscuss.

How to get the source code

The source code is available under GPL3.

To fetch the latest source code from the git repository, run the following command:

git clone git://

If you want to get the proof-of-concept version (which is more or less stable):

git reset --hard proof-of-concept

You can use the web interface to browse the source code online.

How to compile

If you want to compile executable binary named dscuss (library with CLI), run:

go build -o dscuss cmd/dscuss-cli/main.go

Or use this command if you just want to run Dscuss for one time:

go run cmd/dscuss-cli/main.go

Similar projects

Osiris -- a freeware program for creating decentralized web portals.

Protocol description

This article describes the Dscuss protocol.

Running autotests

Description of the Dscuss testbed and manual for launching autotests.

Classification of the systems for public discussion

The systems are classified according to the attributes, which are relevant for Dscuss.

Dscuss service architecture

This article describes the architecture of the Dscuss service, which implements the Dscuss protocol.

Moderation business logic

This article describes algorithms for applying operations.

Developing on Windows

This page contains various notes describing Windows-specific aspects of Dscuss development.


Details about proof-of-work implementation.

Bootstrapping via DHT

This article gives a brief description how to implement bootstrapping via DHT in Dscuss.

Adversary model

Description of the adversary types in Dscuss.

Database scheme

View notes about the database.