Talk:Democratic Underground/Archive 1

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  • Apparently, this has died down. I look foward to it being unlocked soon.
    • I don't see any resolution, just one side in the edit war suggesting that we include no mention of the criticisms at all, which I somehow doubt is going to be satisfactory for the site's critics. RadicalSubversiv E 19:17, 9 May 2004 (UTC)


"However, the number of currently-active members is unknown." is redundant given that it holds for kind of any online forum. It should be possible to get some statistics about how much users they have on the average.

I do not think that "supporters of the Democratic Party status quo are welcome" is neutral. They will allow discussion of certain changes, while they ban users for supporting positions judged particularly unwelcome. The terms "aggressively-centrist" and "cloaked" are not neutral. "General Discussion, General Discussion" looks messy. "Any criticism of "G-d's chosen" is forbidden but Muslim/Arab bashing is encouraged." is not neutral. How about "criticism of the Sharon governments treatment of human rights" or so? As an advice: Even if you hate DU your article is more convincing if you just state facts rather than write in a language that allows everyone to see immediately that there is a bias. So neutrality is in the interest of both, supporters and opponents. The remaining problem is which facts to choose. Get-back-world-respect 14:36, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

How about removing the questionable (in terms of POV) material from the Forums and Owners sections and adding a new "Criticism" section, something like:

Critics of the site complain that the site administrators are intolerant towards those who disagree with the centrist, Democratic Leadership Council-style orientation of the site, regularly censoring those with whom they disagree on the site's forums. More specifically, some argue that the site has a strong bias in favor of right-wing Israeli politics, encouraging bigotry towards Arabs and Muslims while censoring those who criticize the policies of Israel or Likud. Radicalsubversiv

Your wording is still much too radical. I guess they do not censor everyone they disagree with, only when they disagree about topics they consider very important. And since it is a democratic website I do not think they support all of the actions of the right wing government in Israel but mainly regarding the Palestinian conflict. "Encouraging bigotry" is not neutral. Get-back-world-respect 20:49, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I'm trying to come up with some language to fairly and neutrally portray the criticisms our anonymous friends are making in the article, in the hopes that they might not go back to edit warring when it's unprotected. We don't need to judge their accuracy; that's not what NPOV requires. If you feel my language isn't neutral enough, can you propose something different? Radicalsubversiv 23:24, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

How about shorter is better. There were lots of little subtle attacks hidden in the text. I think I caught most of them.

Democratic Underground, or simply DU to its members, is a Democratic Party-oriented online community established on 20 January 2001. The site publishes articles six days a week and has signed up nearly 43,000 members since its inception.

Table of contents [showhide] 1 Columns

2 Forums

3 Owners

4 External links

Columns DU has several regular columns, and on any given day may have a number of guest columns sent in from the general public.

Mondays: Top Ten Conservative Idiots, a rundown of the most outrageous right-wing activities in the past week, according to the DU admins. Wednesdays: The Plaid Adder writes her column. Thursdays: Ask Auntie Pinko, an advice column. Fridays: Equal Time with Bob Boudelang, a satirical column Occasionally, DU will feature a Hate Mailbag of hate mail.

Forums The DU Forums are a highly active scene where supporters of the Democratic Party and liberal issues are welcome to come and talk.

The site bills itself as welcoming to progressives of all types. Those who won't follow the rules of the site are often "tombstoned."

The main forums on DU include General Discussion, General Discussion: Campaign 2004, Late Breaking News, and a Lounge for non-political discussion. Other forums include message boards for editorials, various issues of interest, foreign affairs, and an "Ask the Administrators" board. Two of the most controversial forums are the Justice/Public Safety board, used for discussing gun-issues and commonly referred to as the "Gungeon," and the Israel-Palestinian affairs room.

Owners Democratic Underground, LLC, is owned by David Allen of Washington, D.C. Allen has done work for the Democratic Leadership Council in the past.

Note: IP address of above contribution is the same as repeated participant in the edit war here and at People for change. Radicalsubversiv 22:57, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
At least its proposal is informative and avoids subtle attacks, as it rightly claims. I still could imagine that mainly opponents of gun control call that board "Gungeon", which in that case should be mentioned. On the other hand the criticism of censorship should be mentioned as well. It would be valuable to describe in which cases censorship usually occurs, but that it an extremely difficult thing to do neutrally. Get-back-world-respect 00:47, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I participated in the war after I saw the P4C people deliberately tainting the DU entry. That is what happens when people can edit anything they wish.

I think both sides use the term "Gungeon" and it is inoffensive to include. As for censorship, one man's censorship is another's editing. DU is a site for a group of people who have views and opinions in common. That is what is intended to be discussed. Those who don't like it can and have removed themselves or been removed.

Unfortunately, what is happening in this edit debate is that DU banned several people for not obeying rules. Those same people went and formed another website but couldn't get past their problems. They attack DU constantly on their tiny website and even took the war to this site. Perhaps you should allow each site to define its own definition and let it go at that.

I am not really familiar with DU, but I once logged in at "free"republic, which seems to be kind of its conservative equivalent, and I got immediately censored when I criticized racist comments or homophobia. The rules of "free"republic say racism and hatespeech are not tolereated but everyone who does not oppose conservative thought can discuss. However, while they allow hatespeech like [ Fry Mumia] or [ Call married gays "fag" and "fagette"] and racism like "I have no sympathy for Palestinian children, a Palestinian child is a bomb still growing." you get immediately banned when you criticize Bush's budget (which is not conservative), racism (which is not conservative), homophobic hatespeech (which is not conservative) or abuses of human rights in Guantanamo, Iraq or Palestine (none of which are conservative). If similar things happen at DU - and the comments about links to Likud seem to support this hypothesis - it should be somehow mentioned in the article. Get-back-world-respect 00:58, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

To better understand what the anti-DU posters say here, you must understand that most of them come from the website People For Change. They were kicked off of DU because they didn't obey rules. Most of them were in the I/P section of DU and took strongly pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel positions.

This has nothing to do with FreeRepublic. DU is a site designed for people who have similar attitudes. If you had a site for model railroading, you wouldn't allow people to come in and talk about baseball. To maintain that site, DU has instituted rules of behavior. Every single one of those kicked off violated those rules -- some in the extreme.

So, if you want to compare the liberal equivalent of Freerepublic, try out People For Change. Post some rightwing rhetoric there and watch yourself get banned or exiled to the tiny part of the site they have for opponents.

In the meantime, there is no DU link to Likud or the national Dem party or anything like that. It is all misinformation being spread by a few troublemakers who are angry they got kicked out.

First of all I have seen another forum advertising with we do not censor like DU and "free"republic do. Second I could understand if a political forum threw out people who want to discuss baseball. I cannot understand why a political forum should throw out people who want to debate Israeli/Palestinian politics. There are obviously quite a couple of issues worth debating. Get-back-world-respect 22:23, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Every organization and website has rules. The people who either left or were kicked out violated those rules. Now they spend their days whining about DU and trying little tiny subversive things like this to make DU look bad.

It's silly. Would you allow people who like classical music to add to the definition of Coolio? No, because all they would do is contribute complaints and nothing substantive.

Similarly, the People 4 Change complainers will never be satisfied unless the definition blasts DU. So bear this in mind, if you allow all the complaints in, you need to do that for every definition in the wikipedia universe. Be sure that your description of Turkey takes into account the Armenians. Be sure that description of JFK lists all of his affairs in detail, etc.

Or you can have an accurate description that gives correct info without maligning the subject. Failing that, get ready for a fun P4C definition.

Wikipedia has rules too, starting with its Neutral point of view policy, which in fact makes clear that we are obligated to fairly present disputes, which in this case means giving some mention to critics' complaints, in proper context. Incidentally, you might want to check out John F. Kennedy and Young Turks, respectively -- you'll find both make mention of the topics you bring up. RadicalSubversiv E 02:56, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
Of course an article about Turkish history needs to mention the Armenian genocides. I see you have strong feelings about this. I do not even know the forum, so I am not opposed to it. But from what I read I think that it should be mentioned that people get banned for critical writing. You did not address my argument that it is hard to understand why a political forum should throw out people who want to debate Israeli/Palestinian politics. Get-back-world-respect 01:01, 11 May 2004 (UTC)

I responded to this but my response disappeared. Perhaps a technical problem. Perhaps someone deleted it. I expect the latter from the whiners at P4C.

I did indeed address your argument. The disaffected few from P4C and elsewhere were kicked off DU for one reason and one reason only -- not obeying DU rules. Every group I have ever heard of has provision for such actions. The I/P conflict especially drives people to extreme bouts of emotion. The only way to keep that discussion civil or sane is to aggressively monitor it and make sure it keeps to the rules set down.

The people here who are making insane and ridiculous claims about DU being linked to Likud (are the wikipedia mods THAT stupid?) are also the people who wouldn't obey rules at DU. They got so incensed that they broke the rules and got kicked out. Woe is them. (anon)

I never got kicked out and I still do not see why anyone should be censored in a "democratic forum" when discussing any conflict, unless they use hatespeech or try to flood the forum with nonsense or something. Get-back-world-respect 13:24, 16 May 2004 (UTC)
The point isn't whether the alleged censorship is appropriate or justifiable. It's that some apparently significant portion of people have criticized it, which makes it worthy of mention. I still haven't seen any proposed text, besides mine, that addresses the issue, which I think we need before the page is unprotected. RadicalSubversiv E 00:21, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Regarding recent edit conflicts:

  • Reed and From are both prominent leaders of the Democratic Leadership Council, and should be identified as such. I have no idea what the "Crisis Papers" is, but it's not what they're known for.
  • I have attempted to write an NPOV description of the criticisms that have been made of the site by other contributors. If you disagree with the phrasing, we can talk about that, but it's irresponsible to simply eliminate the information and provide a one-sentence POV dismissal.
  • We can't use materials "by permission," unless they're specifically licensed under the GFDL, in which case the notice is unnecessary.

I am requesting mediation to deal with these disputes, in hopes of avoiding a full-blown edit war.

RadicalSubversiv E 04:21, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks, RS. I've tried to stay out of this edit war as much as possible. To address your concerns:
    • My original article does not even mention these Reed and From people. I don't believe I've heard of them and they don't stick out as frequent contributors in my mind. The line in question originally said "Bernard Weiner and Ernest Partridge of The Crisis Papers are frequent guests." I don't know how it got distorted over time.
    • I also tried my best to write an NPOV artcile and despite its brevity I thought it was a decent job. I was unprepared for the flame war that erupted soon after.
    • I SPECIFICALLY got permission from the site admins to use the DU graphic for the article. You can reconfirm it with them if you're skittish.
  • Thanks and good luck. --Alexwcovington 05:42, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Alex.
  • I have changed the reference back to Weiner and Partridge, after googling and discovering no material from From or Reed on the site.
  • On copyright, I didn't mean to question whether you got permission, I'll trust you on it. Two points: if the disclaimer was referring to the image, that should be made clear on the image page, not in the article. Second, AFAIK the GNU Free Documentation License means that we can't use material for which wikipedia is given exclusive permission; the permission must extend to any other licensees, who would be free to modify it, etc. under those terms.
  • While I'm at it, I'd like to publicly and officially disclaim responsibility for what the edit history shows as my first contribution to the article[1]. My actual contribution was just to make a couple of internal links; I have no idea why that material was attributed to me, some kind of strange bug.
RadicalSubversiv E 12:05, 20 May 2004 (UTC)