There seems to be a general belief among Internet users that it is a particularly democratic kind of activity. How true is this, more especially in terms of electronic publishing? The problem in seeking an answer is that 'democracy' means different things to different people. Its meaning not only varies from country to country, but even within a single country it can have different flavours. For example, a summary of the definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary might be: 'that form of government in which power resides in the people as a whole and is exercised either directly by them, or by officers elected by them. It is often used more vaguely to denote a social state in which all have equal rights, without arbitrary differences due to rank or privilege'. Other sources put it rather differently. For example, the Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought says, in summary: 'Democracy is the right of all to decide what are matters of general concern. A further criterion is the extent to which basic rights (e.g. freedom of speech) are guaranteed'.