HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Terms of Service

Democratic Underground Terms of Service

Core principles

Democratic Underground is an online community for friendly, politically liberal people who understand the importance of working together to elect more Democrats and fewer Republicans to all levels of American government. Constructive criticism of Democratic politicians, party officials, and public figures is welcome and encouraged, but we expect our members to follow our forum rules and participate in a manner which promotes a positive atmosphere.

Members are not expected to hold across-the-board progressive opinions on every single issue, but we do expect members to be generally progressive and to support Democrats at election time -- remember that and respect it when posting. Harsh, divisive, partisan attacks against Democrats or progressive values (from the right or the left) are not welcome here.

But above all, we want our members to be friendly to each other. The vast majority of our members are thoughtful people who care about issues, and most of us can handle a different opinion if it is shared in a respectful way. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, a little human kindness goes a long way toward smoothing over our differences and making this place feel like a community.

Forum rules

When participating on the Democratic Underground discussion forums, members are expected to follow our forum rules, listed below. If you break the rules, your post will be removed. Repeated rule violations, or a single flagrant rule violation, will result in your posting privileges being suspended while we review your account. If the Administrators come to believe that you do not share our core principles, you will not be permitted to participate unless you convince us otherwise.


No personal attacks or flaming
Do not personally attack, insult, flame, threaten, bully, harass, stalk, negatively call-out, ascribe ugly ulterior motives to, or make baseless claims about any member of this community. Do not post in a manner that is hostile, abusive, or aggressive toward any member of this community.

Why we have this rule: Civility begets quality discussions. Democratic Underground members are highly passionate about politics which means discussions can get heated -- but they don't need to get nasty. There's no reason why a community of intelligent adults who agree on a majority of political issues can't have a conversation without insulting each other or resorting to other anti-social behaviors.

No divisive group attacks
Do not smear, insult, vilify, bait, maliciously caricature, or give disrespectful nicknames to any groups of people that are part of the Democratic coalition, or that hold viewpoints commonly held by Democrats, or that support particular Democratic public figures. Do not imply that they are fake Democrats, fake progressives, conservatives, right-wingers, Republicans, or the like.

Why we have this rule: Substantive disagreement on important issues is always welcome on this website, but our members should not be made to feel unwelcome simply because they hold a different point of view. Democratic Underground welcomes all people who are members of the Democratic coalition, including the full range of center-to-left viewpoints and supporters of all Democratic public figures.

No bigotry/insensitivity
Members are expected to respect diversity and demonstrate an appropriate level of sensitivity when discussing related topics. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or other forms of bigoted intolerance are not permitted.

Why we have this rule: Democratic Underground is a diverse community which includes people of every race, sex, religious belief (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, gender identity, body type, disability, age, etc. We want to promote a welcoming atmosphere for all of our members, and do not want to provide a platform for bigotry.


Support Democrats
Do not post support for Republicans or independent/third-party "spoiler" candidates. Do not state that you are not going to vote, or that you will write-in a candidate that is not on the ballot, or that you intend to vote for any candidate other than the official Democratic nominee in any general election where a Democrat is on the ballot. Do not post anything that smears Democrats generally, or that is intended to dissuade people from supporting the Democratic Party or its candidates. Don't argue there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Why we have this rule: Democratic Underground is an online community for politically liberal people who understand the importance of working together to elect more Democrats and fewer Republicans to all levels of American government, and as such we expect our members to support and vote for Democrats at election time. Rare exceptions are granted at the sole discretion of the DU Administrators. (Current exceptions: None.)

Don't bash Democratic public figures
Do not post disrespectful nicknames, insults, or highly inflammatory attacks against any Democratic public figures. Do not post anything that could be construed as bashing, trashing, undermining, or depressing turnout for any Democratic general election candidate, and do not compare any Democratic general election candidate unfavorably to their general election opponent(s).

Why we have this rule: Our forum members support and admire a wide variety of Democratic politicians and public figures. Constructive criticism is always welcome, but our members don't expect to see Democrats viciously denigrated on this website. This rule also applies to Independents who align themselves with Democrats (eg: Bernie Sanders).

Don't peddle right-wing talking points, smears, or sources
Do not post right-wing talking points or smears. Do not post content sourced from right-wing publications, authors, or pundits. Exceptions are permitted if you provide a clear reason for doing so that is consistent with the values of this website.

Why we have this rule: News media and the Internet are already awash with conservative propagandists attacking our candidates and our values -- we're not interested in providing them with another outlet. We understand that many of our members might hold some conservative viewpoints on isolated issues, but nobody here should be parroting hateful garbage from the RNC, the NRA, or the Family Research Council. Forum members should expect that the only time they'll have to read a right-wing smear or an article from Breitbart is when someone is pointing and laughing at it.

Don't keep fighting the last Democratic presidential primary
Regardless of whether you supported a winning candidate or a losing candidate, do not prolong the agony of the last Democratic presidential primary by continuing to pick fights, place blame, tear down former primary candidates, bait former supporters, or do anything else to pour salt on old wounds.

Why we have this rule: Most of our members want this to be forward-looking, friendly community that is focused on creating a better future for our country. Continuing to rehash old fights that have already been resolved is divisive and counter-productive.


Don't interfere with forum moderation
Don't post messages about site rules, enforcement, juries, hosts, administration, alerts, alerters, removed posts, appeals, locked threads, or anything else related to how this website is moderated (except in the Ask the Administrators forum).

Why we have this rule: The purpose of Democratic Underground is to discuss politics, issues, and current events. Open discussion of how the website is run tends to distract from our core purpose.

No graphic content
Do not post content that is Not Safe For Work (NSFW), which includes sexually explicit material, graphic depictions of bodily functions, or images of extreme violence, gore, pain, or human suffering. Exceptions are permitted when an image adds important context to a legitimate news story, but the post must include a "graphic content warning" in the subject line.

Why we have this rule: Most people do not enjoy stumbling across extremely graphic content while browsing the web.

No kooky, extremist, or hate content
Do not promote ridiculous, bigoted, or extreme-fringe conspiracy theories. Do not promote extreme fringe views. Do not reference hate sites or other extremist/fringe sources.

Why we have this rule: Democrats are supposed to be part of the "reality-based community." Some amount of skepticism toward powerful institutions is healthy and appropriate, but that doesn't mean every paranoid fantasy is true. Posts about mass shootings being "false flag" operations, 9/11 being a controlled demolition, no airplane at the Pentagon, chemtrails, black helicopters, the Illuminati, or other nonsense make us all look like fools. This website may have the word "underground" in our name, but we are not extreme fringe.

No commercial spam
Do not post commercial spam or hawk commercial products or services.

Why we have this rule: It's fine for established members to plug or post links to their own products, services, or publications every now and again, but we do not wish to provide free advertising space for spammers.

OP Content

Don't violate a forum or group's Statement of Purpose
Don't start new threads that conflict with a forum or group's Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose can be found by visiting the main page of any forum or group and clicking the "About this forum" (or "About this group") button.

Why we have this rule: All forums and groups on Democratic Underground have a specific purpose, and we want to ensure that new discussion threads are on-topic for the forum or group that they are posted in.


Respect copyrights
Excerpts from copyrighted sources must be no more than four paragraphs and include a link to the source. See our DMCA Copyright Policy for more information.

Don't post anyone's private or personal information
Don't post private or personal information about any person (including public figures) even if that information is available elsewhere on the Internet.

No malware, phishing, cracking, or other malicious code
Don't post or link to malicious code, or attempt to interfere with this website's software or administration in any way.

Don't post anything that violates U.S. law
Don't post anything that violates U.S. law -- including but not limited to: linking to illegally-shared files, attempting to organize hacking or DOS attacks, sales of weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, or other illegal products, etc.

Don't use an avatar or signature line that violates any of the other rules
Members may opt to make use of an avatar or signature line that is appended to all their posts. Avatars and signature lines must not violate any of the other forum rules.