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About Democratic Underground

Democratic Underground is an online community where politically liberal people can do their part to effect political and social change by:

After more than a decade online, Democratic Underground still hosts the most active liberal discussion board on the Internet. We are an independent website funded by member subscriptions and advertising, and we have no affiliation with the Democratic Party. Democratic Underground is a truly grassroots community where regular members 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!

Members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with our Community Standards, the Statements of Purpose for the various forums and groups, and our Terms of Service. But if you don't want to be bothered with all that, we believe most of our members will do just fine if you make an effort to be a positive contributor to the community, and use your own common sense.

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 citizen juries, 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.

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 revolutionary new 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, six 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 Community Moderating System for detailed information.)

There are many things that each DU member can do to help maintain our high standards:

There are so many opportunities that we believe every member can help out in some way!