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Unchat was a web-based software for deliberative practice in cyberspace. It was developed in 2002 by an interdisciplinary team of technologists and democratic theorists (including Beth Noveck).

From the project description on the Do Tank website:

Unchat is patented software for real-time moderated group deliberation and collaboration via the Web.


What Problem Does It Solve?: Overcomes the loss of visual signals and etiquette when conversation is moved to the Web.

How Does It Do That?: Unchat allows users to share the task of moderating their own online discussions. It improves the quality of conversation and decision-making inside the virtual conference room by allowing a group to see itself around the table and structure the rules of its own conversation.


Implementations: Unchat has been commercially deployed to a variety of flagship educational and civic clients, including: Yale Law School, Trinity Church Worldwide, Manchester College, MacNeil Lehrer Productions, MIT, Wayne State University, the Kettering Foundation.

The URL is no longer active, but you can find older versions on

Additional information

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Additional information and materials about Unchat: