The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

An open internet has led to a more unstable and less free society

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 612 times Debate No: 106223
Debate Rounds (3)
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While many positive outcomes have come from the proliferation of the internet, many unforeseen consequences have resulted and carry profound societal impact.

1. A more globally connected world has resulted in a more disconnected local experience. Brain chemistry has changed as a result of being wired 24/7. Don't believe me, walk into any restaurant and look around. Forks and cell phones, eye contact? Not likely.

2. Online anonymity has facilitated unprecedented levels of harassment, bullying, hate speech, and division in our culture. Do you need evidence? I didn't think so.

3. Apps that promote privacy and anonymity have fostered social upheaval (i.e., terrorism, rioting).

4. The ability to access anything online has hindered social awareness, critical thinking, and our adaptability to unpredictable conditions. This creates an unhealthy dependence on the god of our time, wifi. Look no further than what schools, colleges, or businesses do when the internet or power fails. Suddenly the emperor has no clothes (or many coherent thoughts).

In summary, an open internet has introduced uncertainty and altered the trajectory of our common culture. This public good has and will likely continue to be used to restrict freedom, subvert privacy, personal rights, and will continue to harm our citizenry.


I will begin by outlining my arguments than launching some attacks on your points.

For starters, if an open internet leads to a more unstable and less free society, then logically speaking, a "closed" (less free, more restricted/regulated) internet will lead to a more free stable and free society. This is false, as a "closed" (LESS FREE) internet cannot lead to a more free internet. Not only that, but the flip side argument, when applied to another point of yours, helps my side as well. Anonymity and privacy on the internet may bring in more cyberbullying, but it also brings in a great sense of security and great confidence to people who don't want to reveal their identity on the internet while expressing their opinions.

Walking into a restaurant and seeing a lot of people on their phones doesn't have as much to do with the internet as it has to do with the addictive nature of cell phones. Cell phones themselves, with their bright lights, multiple apps, and easy usage are quite alluring. It is not really an internet issue.

The internet is basically a large database, with everything at our fingertips. The openness of the internet does not have much to do with our adaptability as much as the internet itself does, but the title of the debate is on the openness of the internet. Even if the internet was not as open, it would still be a large database of all human knowledge. Nothing would change even if the power was down.

To conclude, the freedom of the internet leads to the freedom of the people. Nothing can change that. While there is problems in society as my opponent as mentioned, these stem from the internet in general and not the openness of it. This is what I would like the voters to consider when voting in this debate.

I await your next argument.
Debate Round No. 1


My position is that the current unbridled freedom and anonymity is not the societal good that so many seem to praise and blindly support. If society is unable to self-regulate online behavior the implications are significant. We have seen that over the past 25+ years. Again terrorism and riots are routinely facilitated through social media (i.e., an open internet). Bad actors routinely use the freedom of the open internet to disrupt, attack, and promulgate their hate filled ideologies.

Since the early 1990's society has coarsened and self-indulgence has been left unchecked. Social mores shifted quickly due to lack of platform restraints rather than an organic shift. The open internet brought this about and furthers the dissolution of shared values, religious or secular. While pornography and bullying existed long before an open internet changed our world, it has negatively influenced culture and altered brain chemistry. Citizens vastly overestimate the ability to use the internet safely and to establish safeguards from destructive pathways.

As for smart phones - they are a byproduct of a free, wired, and unregulated world. Without the internet there is a limited market for such a device. Again, when the tech in our world crashes look at how the addicts in our office/school/home react. Crickets. They don't know how to think or exist. This reality is evidence of the destabilizing nature of an open internet.

Sure, the internet is here to stay, but my contention remains that an open internet is not truly the public good that it's presented to be.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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