Rules Of Engagement



  1. Remember that there are real people on the other end of your communication, along with thousands of others who may read but never reply.
  2. Value the norms of a “reality-based community.” Support your arguments with links to supporting documents and original source materials. Such original sources should be credible news and information sites.
  3. Strive to be accurate. Use trustworthy sources. If a claim seems especially exciting but isn’t widely reported, take a moment to check your work and verify the facts you can. And if you find out you made a mistake, own it and correct it. If commenters are skeptical, take their concerns seriously. Don’t be a part of spreading Fake News or conspiracy theory.
  4. Bring first-person accounts or reportage of progressive political organizing in your community to the site, via stories or comments.
  5. Respect the opportunity provided here for interaction. If you publish a story, try to reply to comments. If you comment, make it relevant to the issue at hand, and be prepared to continue the discussion.
  6. Participate in Community stories or Open Threads to get to know some of your associates.
  7. Be generous in praise, encouragement, and positivity. Make new people feel welcome, remind old-timers that you appreciate their work. Drop-in a nice comment and recommend positive contributions.
  8. Read the whole comment or story before recommending. And base your recommending decisions not on who wrote it, but on how positive a contribution to the discussion it is.
  9. Fight hard but fight fair. Write an argument, not an attack. Remember, other people are just as passionate, committed, and ornery as you are. That’s supposed to be an advantage for us, right? Democrats boast about having a big tent. Learn from those who oppose you; let their challenges help you formulate your positions more clearly and draw upon better evidence.
  10. Accept that reasonable people may in the end still disagree.


  1. Endorse or call for violence against anyone, public figure or private blogger, not even in jest. Claiming hyperbole, humor, or poetic license/justice is no excuse.
  2. Use bigoted language in stories or comments. This includes but is not limited to slurs and stereotypes regarding race, gender, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, class, locality, country or culture of origin, and physical or mental ability. Discriminatory speech of any kind is subject to administrative action, including banning. We respect everyone.
  3. Make personal attacks or threats. This includes, but is not limited to name-calling, harassment, or bullying toward any other site user. Also don’t follow users you don’t like from story to story to harass them
  4. Reveal the real-life identity (outing, doxxing) of someone who posts behind a pseudonym.
  5. Promote Conspiracy Theories (The Rule Against CT): Debunked or unverifiable theories, rumors, or speculation (e.g., 9-11 was a false flag attack), particularly those promoted by right-wing or unscientific sites, are not tolerated in a reality-based community
  6. Post “Fake News”: An especially dangerous type of CT, “Fake News” presents a threat not only to the site’s reputation but to political discourse in general. If a claim seems especially exciting or surprising, take a moment to verify it before posting it, even if it fits a left-wing narrative. Fake news of any persuasion is prohibited on Daily Kos. Posting stories judged to be Fake News can not only lead to the removal of the story from the site, but also to banning the poster’s account.
  7. Plagiarize or violate copyright. Do not post long excerpts of material from other sources without explicit permission from those sites. You can post 2-3 paragraphs with a link for attribution. (The blockquote and link tools are your friends.)
  8. Steal photographs. Make sure that you have the rights to post an image when you upload it and attribute your image source whenever possible. Double-check when you use an image from the Image Library. Respect people’s intellectual property. And yes, posting without authorization is stealing from someone’s livelihood.
  9. Post spam. If the bots don’t get you, the community will.
  10. Insult the character, intelligence, or background of people with whom you are arguing. You want to win an argument? Then don’t engage in ad-hominem attacks.
  11. “Call out” other users by name in the headline of your story, unless you are writing about how wonderful that person is.
  12. Use profanity in the title of a story, which makes the site run afoul of Internet filters. Adult language is otherwise acceptable, provided it does not abuse other users or break site rules against hate speech.
  13. Publicly accuse other users of being paid campaign shills, sockpuppets, zombies, or imposters. Such accusations should be brought up in a private ticket at the Help Desk, with proper evidence.
  14. their presence on the site exemplifies community ideals.
  15. Threadjack – that is, divert discussion under a story to focus on a topic that other commenters do not find relevant. Stay on topic as defined by the community, and show respect for the community when asked to let your particular angle go. At the same time, be aware that some comments that may appear to be digressions can become useful to the broader discussion.
  16. Write dramatic stories proclaiming your aggrieved exit from the site. Just leave! No one cares! If you do publish a so-called GBCW (for “Good Bye Cruel World”) story, your account will be banned.
  17. Recommend stories or comments violating the rules above! When you do that, you own that rule violation as well, and can suffer the same sanctions as the original perp. Also, it’s dickish to pile on with bullies, jerks, know-nothings, and assholes.
  18. Pretend to be an Ordinary Voter if you Work for a Campaign.