Terms of Service
By registering a Democratic Underground account, you agree to abide by these terms. A single violation of any of these terms could result in your posting privileges being revoked without warning.
The Democratic Underground Administrators have a great deal of confidence in our system of citizen jurors and software tools, but we are well aware that trolls are constantly on the lookout for new ways to cause trouble and therefore on rare occasions it may necessary for us to revoke a member's posting privileges for reasons that are not covered by these Terms of Service. Because of this necessity, we retain the right to revoke any member's posting privileges at any time for any reason.
Don't be a wingnut (right-wing or extreme-fringe).
Democratic Underground is an online community for politically liberal people who understand the importance of working within the system to elect more Democrats and fewer Republicans to all levels of political office. Teabaggers, Neo-cons, Dittoheads, Paulites, Freepers, Birthers, and right-wingers in general are not welcome here. Neither are certain extreme-fringe left-wingers, including advocates of violent political/social change, hard-line communists, terrorist-apologists, America-haters, kooks, crackpots, LaRouchies, and the like.
Vote for Democrats.
Winning elections is important — therefore, advocating in favor of Republican nominees or in favor of third-party spoiler candidates that could split the vote and throw an election to our conservative opponents is never permitted on Democratic Underground. But that does not mean that DU members are required to always be completely supportive of Democrats. During the ups-and-downs of politics and policy-making, it is perfectly normal to have mixed feelings about the Democratic officials we worked hard to help elect. When we are not in the heat of election season, members are permitted to post strong criticism or disappointment with our Democratic elected officials, or to express ambivalence about voting for them. In Democratic primaries, members may support whomever they choose. But when general election season begins, DU members must support Democratic nominees (EXCEPT in rare cases where a non-Democrat is most likely to defeat the conservative alternative, or where there is no possibility of splitting the liberal vote and inadvertently throwing the election to the conservative alternative). For presidential contests, election season begins when both major-party nominees become clear. For non-presidential contests, election season begins on Labor Day. Everyone here on DU needs to work together to elect more Democrats and fewer Republicans to all levels of American government. If you are bashing, trashing, undermining, or depressing turnout for our candidates during election season, we'll assume you are rooting for the other side.
No bigoted hate speech.
Do not post bigotry based on someone's race or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or lack thereof, disability, or other comparable personal characteristic. To be clear: This includes any post which states opposition to full equal rights for gays and lesbians; it also includes any post asserting disloyalty by Jewish Americans, claiming nefarious influence by Jews/Zionists/Israel, advocating the destruction of the state of Israel, or arguing that Holocaust deniers are just misunderstood. In determining what constitutes bigotry, please be aware that we cannot know what is in anyone's heart, and we will give members the benefit of the doubt, when — and only when — such doubt exists.
Don't go overboard with the crazy talk.
Democratic Underground is not intended to be a platform for kooks and crackpots peddling paranoid fantasies with little or no basis in fact. To accommodate our more imaginative members we tolerate some limited discussion of so-called "conspiracy theories" under the following circumstances: First, those discussions are not permitted in our heavily-trafficked Main forums; and second, those discussions cannot stray too far into Crazyland (eg: chemtrails, black helicopters, 9/11 death rays or holograms, the "New World Order," the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, alien abduction, Bigfoot, and the like). In addition, please be aware that many conspiracy theories have roots in racism and anti-semitism, and Democratic Underground has zero tolerance for bigoted hate speech. In short, you take your chances.
Don't willfully and habitually infringe on others' copyrights.
To simplify compliance and enforcement of copyrights here on Democratic Underground, we ask that excerpts from other sources posted on Democratic Underground be limited to a maximum of four paragraphs, and we ask that the source of the content be clearly identified. Those who make a good-faith effort to respect the rights of copyright holders are unlikely to have any problems. But individuals who willfully and habitually infringe on others' copyrights risk being in violation of our Terms of Service.
Don't threaten anyone (including yourself).
Do not post anything which could be construed as a threat toward any person, on DU or elsewhere. Do not post messages threatening to harm yourself. (If you are having a personal crisis, call a crisis hotline for help. DU members are not qualified to give you the help you need.)
Respect people's privacy.
Do not post or link to any private/personal information about any person, even if it is publicly available elsewhere on the Internet.
Don't post "shock content" or porn.
Do not post or link to extreme images of violence, gore, bodily functions, pain, or human suffering for no purpose other than to shock and disgust. Do not post or link to pornography.
Do not spam Democratic Underground with commercial advertising or promotions.
Don't do anything illegal.
Do not post messages which violate any U.S. laws (eg. linking to illegally-shared files, attempting to organize hacking or DOS attacks, libel/slander, etc.). Organizing civil disobedience with a legitimate political purpose is permitted.
Don't post malicious code or mess with the software.
Do not attempt to intentionally interfere with or exploit the operation of the Democratic Underground website or discussion forums (eg. by "post bombing" or using any other flooding techniques, by attempting to circumvent any restrictions placed on your account by the forum software, etc.) Do not post messages that contain software viruses, Trojan horses, worms, or any malware or computer code designed to disrupt, damage, or limit the functioning of any software or hardware.
Don't do anything else which is similarly disruptive.
Just because it isn't listed here, doesn't mean it's ok. If you post anything which is obviously disruptive, malicious, or repugnant to this community, its members, or its values, you risk being in violation of these Terms of Service.
One more thing: Don't push your luck.
The DU Community Standards state: "It is the responsibility of all DU members to participate 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 who demonstrate a pattern of disruptive behavior over time and end up getting too many of their posts hidden by the jury (measured by raw number or percentage) may be found to be in violation of our Terms of Service. If you seem to be ruining this website for a large proportion of our visitors, if we think the community as a whole would be better off without you here, if you are constantly wasting the DU Administrators' time, if you seem to oppose the mission of DU, or if the DU Administrators just don't like you, we will revoke your posting privileges. Remember: DU is supposed to be fun — don't make it suck.