It's DeGore's 1-year anniversary.
Whew. This has been one heck of a year - one of the most eventful ones, that's for sure. We've come a long way, and I can't thank you enough for your support. 💜
A short backstory
When I first started coding DeGore, I had set out with a goal: to create the best and most feature-rich image moderation Discord bot. This whole idea came to mind after I unwillingly stumbled upon a not-so-pleasant animated gore GIF which a member had sent in a community Discord server. Needless to say, it was disgusting, to say the least. A while later, the image was deleted by a moderator.
That's when I thought to myself: "What if I could automate this? Why isn't this already a thing on Discord?". After spending a while trying to find an auto-moderation image bot to no avail, I decided it was time to create my own.
Now, since there weren't any already-existing solutions for image moderation, there wasn't exactly anywhere I could take ideas and inspiration from. This was arguably the most challenging part - coming up with the whole structure of an AI image moderation bot from scratch was pretty tricky and had some obstacles that needed to be overcome.
With the little experience I had in discord.js at the time, on the 11th of March, the initial project files were created and I got to programming.
After hours of AI R&D and going through a lot of library and API documentation, I finally had the first version of DeGore up and running within the first few days. That's when I made my first commit to DeGore's private GitHub repository:
...and that's when DeGore first came to life - on the 19th of March, 2021.
When I first managed to get DeGore to detect NSFW imagery, I was over the moon, quite literally jumping in excitement. AI is incredibly fun to tinker with, and this was my first proper application of Artificial Intelligence. I could feel it - this was the start to something great.
The Early Days
When DeGore was first starting out, I used to host the bot on Heroku's App Platform. Whilst it provided some helpful features - such as auto-deploying when pushing new code to the GitHub repository - DeGore quickly outgrew Heroku's offerings, and it was time to switch our Cloud Provider.
That's when I moved DeGore over to DigitalOcean's App Platform, which offered features similar to Heroku's, but with the added benefit of more affordable scaling, as well as more control over the application. This was quite significant at the time, especially as I slowly introduced a new PostgreSQL database and integrated billing into the bot, requiring the use of webhooks.
As DeGore's growth skyrocketed, it's processes gradually became more and more demanding, taking up more RAM and CPU usage with every feature update. That's why, after I recently pushed our latest image whitelisting & blacklisting update, I made the switch and migrated almost all our infrastructure over to Linode. I was able to get quickly set-up without any hassle, and was honestly impressed with the overall performance of even their most affordable Virtual Private Servers. Plus, their support was very fast, and was able to fully sort out our support request in less than 24 hours. Thanks to Linode's sponsorship, I'm currently able to cover all our infrastructure costs for the time being, which is fantastic. I'm eternally grateful for their sponsorship.
Throughout DeGore's journey, there were some occasional roadblocks. DeGore's first version actually didn't manage to get verified, due to complications with the bot's growth due to an ad campaign that was run on a discord bot list, which resulted in incredibly fast growth of the bot. However, despite initially being quite disheartened, I didn't give up.
After a short migration phase to a new version of the bot, I managed to get most users back on-board, and resumed development. As DeGore slowly re-grew, the new (V2) bot got successfully verified. It took quite a few months, patience and determination, but the journey was well worth it in the end.
Eventually - on the 22nd of October 2021 - as I was on my way to school, I received a special email:
As you might have expected, this was the best way to start my day ;)
It's mind-boggling to look back and see how far DeGore has come. Nowadays, DeGore is protecting 600,000+ users in over 400 communities. DeGore is growing like a champion.
I couldn't be happier with the amazing community we've created in our official Discord server (DeGore's Lobby), and feel incredibly proud that DeGore is playing a role in helping to keep users just a little bit safer in their communities, as well as giving community moderators and administrators ease of mind.
There are so many exciting upcoming new features, including DeGore's Web Dashboard and an innovative approach to centralized moderation.
Here's a sneak peek of something that's coming this summer 👀:
To celebrate this special occasion, we'll be giving away 15 brand-new DeGore sticker packs in a raffle-styled giveaway! To join, simply join our community over on Discord and react with the 🎉 emoji in the #giveaways channel to participate!
Friends & Family
I'd like to say a sincere thank you to all my family members - especially my mum and dad - for supporting me throughout this project. You've been there for me throughout this whole journey, and have been by my side no matter what. ❤️
Friends are family. To all my good friends which have continuously supported and motivated me with DeGore, I owe you. If you're reading this and know me IRL, I really appreciate you, and value our friendship like no other.
I couldn't have done this without them. To everyone who's been supporting DeGore - whether it was financially or through your feedback and encouragement - you've kept me empowered throughout this whole journey, and I couldn't be more grateful to have you be a part of it.
I'd like to thank you! for taking the time to read this, and for being a part of our amazing journey so far.
There's lots more to come, and so much to look forward to. I can't wait to share more with you all.