||Discussion Forum Rules
Last updated August 30, 2011
Failure to abide by these rules may result in your post being removed, your thread locked, or your posting privileges revoked without warning.
- This is a website for Democrats and other progressives.
Democratic Underground is an online community for Democrats and other progressives. Members are expected to be generally supportive of progressive ideals, and to support Democratic candidates for political office. We ban conservative disruptors who are opposed to the broad goals of this website. If you are generally supportive of conservative ideals, or if you wish to see Republicans win elections, please do not register to post, as you will likely be banned.
- Do not personally attack any individual DU member in any way. Do not post broad-brush attacks, rude nicknames, or crude insults toward a group of DU members.
It is the responsibility of every DU member to participate in a manner that promotes a robust and respectful discussion focused on ideas. The moderators are empowered to remove any post that they judge to be a personal attack against an individual DU member. Members may discuss groups of DU members, but may not target any group of DU members with broad-brush attacks (ie: making generalizations about all people of a particular group), rude nicknames (eg: "Obamabots," "Firebaggers"), or crude insults (ie: those involving foul language/profanity).
- Do not post anything bigoted/insensitive.
When discussing certain topics -- especially those relating to each human being's unique personal identity -- DU members have a responsibility to show greater understanding and sensitivity. To help promote a welcoming atmosphere for all of our members, the moderators are empowered to remove any post that they deem insensitive. Such topics include, but are not limited to: race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, religious believers or non-believers, Jews or Judaism, Muslims or Islam, geographic region or place of origin, disability (mental or physical), weight or other physical characteristics, or age. Moderators may also remove any post using insensitive terminology (eg: 'cocksucker,' 'pink tutu,' 'bitch,' 'whore,' 'retard,' etc.).
- Do not post support for non-viable or third-party spoiler candidates in any general election.
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 were 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.
- Do not post disrespectful nicknames, crude insults, or right-wing smears against Democrats.
Democratic Underground welcomes a wide range of people from the left half of the political spectrum, and our members are welcome to post messages either criticizing or defending Democrats. We permit criticism of Democrats -- even harsh criticism -- provided it comes from our side of the political spectrum (ie: center-to-left). However, we do not permit the following: Referring to Democrats using disrespectful nicknames (eg: Calling President Obama "Barry"); Crude insults against Democrats (ie: those involving foul language/profanity); Insults, attacks, or baseless partisan smears against Democrats from right-wing blogs or talk radio (eg: Secret Muslim, No birth certificate).
- Do not post anything which is disruptive and likely to derail an otherwise thoughtful discussion.
It is the responsibility of every DU member to help promote thoughtful discussion by staying on-topic and exercising the appropriate level of self-control. This is especially important when interacting with other DU members who are making a good-faith effort to have a thoughtful and respectful discussion. The moderators are empowered to remove any post that serves to disrupt, derail, or hijack an otherwise thoughtful discussion, if they believe doing so will help keep the thread open and on-topic so other DUers can participate in good faith. Note: The purpose of this rule is to remove the proverbial "turd in the punchbowl" -- but please be aware that the moderators are not required to pick turds out of a punchbowl filled with turds.
- Do not post harassment or threats. Do not advocate harm or violence.
The following are not permitted: Any type of threat against any person, either explicit or implied. Any action intended to harm another person -- physically, mentally, emotionally, or otherwise. A sustained or organized effort to demean, belittle, bully, or ostracize another person. Digging up or posting personal information about any private individual, on DU or elsewhere. Stalking someone across discussion threads or forums. Advocating harm toward any public figure. Advocating violent overthrow of government or violent social change.
- Do not post graphic content.
Members may not post the following: Crude references to bodily functions; sexually explicit content; or graphic depictions of violence, gore, pain, or human suffering (except with a legitimate political purpose, and with a clear warning in the subject line).
- Do not post in the wrong forum or group.
Members should make an effort to post their discussion topics in the appropriate forum. Some common posting errors include: Non-news items in the Latest Breaking News forum. Non-political videos in the Political Videos forum. Highly speculative 'conspiracy theory' topics outside the September 11 forum. Discussion of the Arab/Israeli conflict outside the Israel/Palestine forum. Discussion of purely religious topics outside the Religion/Theology forum.
- Be aware that some forums and groups have special rules, and follow those rules.
Some of our forums and groups have special rules that are only relevant to that particular forum or group. The most notable is the Israel/Palestine forum, which has a list of rules pinned in the top of the forum. In addition, every DU Group has a mission statement pinned to the top of the group, and posts which violate any group's mission statement are not permitted.
- Do not post links to inappropriate sources.
Democratic Underground permits members to posts excerpts and links from a wide variety of websites, however there are some websites which are not welcome here, including: Websites with a focus on disrupting Democratic Underground and/or smearing DU members. Websites with bigoted content, including Holocaust revisionism/denial, Jewish conspiracies, and the like. (Note: Linking to "mainstream" right-wing websites is usually permitted, provided the intent is to expose their agenda rather than agree with it.)
- Do not violate copyright.
Do not copy-and-paste entire articles onto this discussion forum. When referencing copyrighted work, post a short excerpt (not exceeding three or four paragraphs) with a link back to the original.
- Do not post spam.
Do not post the same message repeatedly. Do not post commercial advertising, or selling products or services (except in the DU Marketplace forum). Do not post messages entirely in capital letters.
- Do not use an inappropriate signature line or avatar image which could potentially distract attention from discussions.
All DU members have the option of including a short signature line at the end of each post, and DU donors have the option of uploading a small avatar image which appears in the margin next to each post. Because they display along with ALL of your posts, your signature and avatar image may appear in hundreds, or even thousands, of different discussion threads -- and so their potential to disrupt is much greater than a single post. For this reason, the minimum standard for members' signatures and avatar images is much higher than for individual posts. Your signature and avatar image should not distract attention from discussions. Also, your signature should not exceed 500 pixels wide by 200 pixels tall, have than one embedded image, or include an image with a file size greater than 20KB.
- Do not interfere with forum moderation.
Democratic Underground has a team of volunteer moderators who delete posts and ban disruptors. Their job is extremely difficult, and it is made even moreso when DU members post messages in public second-guessing their decisions or accusing them of bias. Please do not post messages complaining about rule enforcement, except in the Ask The Administrators forum. Do not accuse the moderators or administrators of bias. Do not 'call-out' the moderators/administrators over specific enforcement action.