Democratic Underground is an online community where politically liberal people can do their part to effect political and social change by:
- Interacting with friendly, like-minded people;
- Sharing news and information, free from the corporate media filter;
- Participating in lively, thought-provoking discussions;
- Helping elect more Democrats to political office at all levels of American government; and
- Having fun!
Now in its third decade, Democratic Underground is an independent website run by a team of just two people. We are funded solely by member subscriptions and advertising, and we have no affiliation with the Democratic Party. Democratic Underground is a truly grassroots community where regular people drive the discussion and set the standards. There is no other website quite like it anywhere on the Internet.
We are always looking for friendly, liberal people who appreciate good discussions and who understand the importance of electing more Democrats to office. So sign up today!
What You Need To Know
Members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with our Community Standards (see below) and the Statements of Purpose for our various forums. It is also highly recommended that members read our Terms of Service in order to know and understand what is permitted when posting. But the bottom line is that if you make an effort to be a positive contributor to the community, and use your own common sense, you'll do just fine.
It is the responsibility of all DU members to participate on our discussion forums in a manner that promotes a positive atmosphere and encourages good discussions among a diverse community of people holding a broad range of center-to-left viewpoints. Members should refrain from posting messages on DU that are disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. These broad community standards of behavior are maintained through the combined efforts of members posting and serving on DU Juries (see below), using their own best judgment to decide what behavior is appropriate and what is not.
Members who cannot hold themselves to a high standard risk having their posts hidden by a jury of their peers, and being blocked out of discussion threads they disrupt. Those who exhibit a pattern of willful disregard for the Community Standards risk being in violation of our Terms of Service, and could have their posting privileges revoked.
Our Unique Moderation System
At Democratic Underground, we believe that we can encourage good discussions by empowering all of our members to take responsibility for the discussions on the site. We want every member to feel that they have the power to help make this community the best it can be. We have developed a unique community moderating system, based on the principles of personal empowerment, transparency, and individual control, that completely changes the power structures and perverse incentives found on most other discussion forums.
Elsewhere on the Internet, there are two basic systems for moderating discussion forums: All-powerful elite moderators, or mob-rule member ratings. On both types of forums, the problems are roughly the same: a lack of accountability for the people moderating the discussions, and a lack of responsibility for the members posting. This, in turn, can give undue influence to a small number of highly motivated, highly organized partisans who may attempt to co-opt the system to try to impose their will on everyone else.
Democratic Underground does something different, based on a tried-and-true idea that has been tested over centuries: The randomly selected jury of peers. Every DU member has a chance to serve as a citizen juror to evaluate the posts of other members. Whenever an alert is sent on a disruptive post, seven DU members are selected at random to serve as jurors. Jurors only evaluate one post, at which point their service ends for the day. Rather than empowering trolls, super-partisans, and busybodies, the DU community moderating system empowers the rest of us. (See Our Unique Moderation System for detailed information.)
How You Can Help
There are many things that each DU member can do to help maintain our high standards:
- Participating in discussions in a positive and productive way;
- Taking advantage of our customization tools so you only see the content you want to see;
- Clicking the "Alert abuse" link on disruptive posts;
- Serving on DU Juries to maintain our Community Standards of civility;
- Acting as a Host of a forum to make sure it stays true to its Statement of Purpose; and
- Volunteering to help us identify and exclude obvious disruptors.
There are so many opportunities that we believe every member can help out in some way!