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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:

Democratic Underground first launched on January 20, 2001 and we are now in our third decade online! We are an independent website funded by member subscriptions and advertising, and while our members are Democrats and affiliated liberals, we have no official connection to 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 Terms of Service, and the Statements of Purpose for the various forums and groups. Members are expected to follow our Forum Rules when posting, but you don't need to learn them all by heart if you make an effort to be a positive contributor to the community, and use your own common sense.

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 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 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!