The Instigator
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The Contender
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DDO Win/Loss Record is Detrimental

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 745 times Debate No: 72293
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
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I believe that keeping a record of every member's Win/Loss record is overall detrimental. It changes the dynamic of the debate by encouraging some participants (not everyone, not citing anyone in particular) to act differently than they normally would in order to increase their record.

Firstly, some participants will accept a debate challenge because they spot a technicality in the wording of the instigator, and then exploit that in order to add another victory to their record, thus, defeating the entire point of the debate for the instigator.

Secondly, this will discourage such participants from accepting a debate because they don't want to risk losing, when in reality, they would engage in order to better their understanding or test their position on the issue at hand.

If there was no record of a participant's Wins/Losses, then participants will be more likely to engage in a debate for the sake of debating, rather than aiming to improve their record.

Again, this is not against anyone in particular, these are just some observations I have made in my short time here. (I also have an ulterior motive here; this will be my third debate, and thus, I can acquire voting privileges.)


I accept. Since he started arguing in the first round, I'll follow suit.

The resolution is talking about having a publicly viewable win/loss record and how it affects the site overall. If I show that the site overall isn't harmed by having a publicly viewable win/loss record, then you negate the resolution.

Moreover, the burden of proof for this debate is on the Pro debater because:
  • a) he's making the positive claim, therefore requires proof of said claim.
  • b) negate is defined as to deny the truth of something. Therefore it's simply my job as the negative debater to refute what pro is saying, placing the burden of proof on him.

My sole contention before I move to refute my opponent's arguments is that the site overall is not harmed by having a public win/loss record. This is simply because there's more to this site than just the debating aspect of it. Having a public win/loss record for your debates has absolutely zero impact on the Opinons section, the Polls section, and the Forums section of the site. This means literally at least 3/4ths of the site is unaffected by having a public win/loss record, meaning it cannot be overall detrimental to the site.

Now to respond to my opponent's claims.

He says: "some participants will accept a debate challenge because they spot a technicality in the wording of the instigator, and then exploit that"

First, turn this argument. Exploitation of resolutional flaws is a positive force on the site because it forces debaters to grow and become better. Not wanting to get resolution sniped forces debaters to learn how to craft better resolutions, which allows for better debate to occur.

Second, there's no impact for this. One debate getting sniped isn't actually the end of the world; just make a new debate.

He says: " this will discourage such participants from accepting a debate because they don't want to risk losing,"

First, turn this argument: better selection fo what debates people accept encourages people to critically examine their own positions on issues. If they don't consider their position to be potent enough to debate about it on a random online debating site with no impact on actual life outside of the internet, it could lead to them reconsidering their stance on the issue. This leads to the same understanding or testing of position that my opponent says isn't there.

Second, turn this argument: better selective debate choice encourages strategic thinking in debates. Knowing what you're strong at arguing and what you're not strong at arguing leads to you better understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a debater, which improves your overall debating performance. More people doing this means better debaters on the site, leading to higher quality debates overall.

Third, turn this argument: having a public win/loss record encourages people who are scared of losing to try harder in their debates to avoid losing the debate, leading to higher quality debates as a result of the added effort, which is a benefit to the site.

Fourth, there's literally zero warrant for this argument in the first place. He just says that this is something he "notices" but doesn't actually provide any proof of it.

Fifth, the impact of this, if there is one, is negligable at best. It's not like quality debates are just going to stop because people are scared of getting a loss.

So to conclude, there's no reason to believe it has a overall negative effect on the site, and can actually be really productive in certain cases.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate, and I see that you are quite experienced! I absolutely agree with the BoP being on myself. However, I shall outright refuse to point to specific occurrences as proof in order to maintain respect and not offend. I feel everyone familiar with this site has witnessed this before, and if my failure to provide specific examples brings about my defeat, then so be it.

Firstly, I disagree with the premise that the detrimental effects of a win/loss record is isolated to the debate section of the site. The definition of the word "overall" is "Taking everything into account". [1] This would infer the inclusion of every component of the site, including the debate section. If one wall of a house is in disrepair, does that not contribute to the overall condition of the house? If a new user first experiences the debate section and finds it distasteful (in the way I originally described), it is very much a possibility that the user may abandon the site before exploring the other aspects of it, or just assume that the rest of the site would be as well.

As for my counter-arguments...

1.1 & 1.2 (to your responses to my first argument)
I agree with you in that bringing a debater's technical flaws to light is a positive thing. How that is accomplished in another issue. If a debater is driven by the competitive feel granted by the Win/Loss record, his intentions can become skewed between being courteous about it and just exploiting it for another victory. For instance, a debater who spots a flaw in an instigator's opening argument could instead leave advice as a Comment (which I've see done, too) rather than accept the challenge and open by exploiting a mistake or oversight.

Although both methods will prove to increase the erring debater's skill, those who find themselves on the receiving end may very well be deterred, rather than encouraged, by an opponent showing no motive other than to win. The concept of "Tough Love" doesn't work without the "Love" part. Users who leave DDO with a negative experience or impression of it is detrimental.

2.1, 2.2 (to your responses to my second argument)
The Win/Loss record appeals to the competitive nature of people, and its presence can greatly affect their motives. Someone who is more competitive will be more reluctant to take the risk of losing because if he does, that loss will stay with him as long as he has that account. So, regardless of the benefit that one is certain to reap in the way of improving their debate skills, the mere awareness of the Win/Loss record can affect the decisions of the competitive, and shift their focus away from the debate issue and towards building up their record.

I think the voting system works better for determining and recognizing the strength of the argument. Why should that fear of losing be bolstered by the fact that their loss will always be with them? I will concede that this will lead to higher quality debates, though, but I believe the voting system is more responsible for this than the Win/Loss record

I meant this issue to be taken generally, and I don't see how anyone couldn't or hasn't seen a competitive debater show his colors. If the few instances I have seen are something that rarely occurs on DDO, then my point has less meaning. As I stated in the beginning of this argument, I would rather suffer the loss than accuse specific users of this behavior.

Indeed. I have not claimed that the detriment to DDO is substantial; just that it simply is detrimental.

[1] Oxford Dictionary -

Thank you, again!


Con Argument:

Extend out my argument that a public win/loss debate record doesn't actually have an overall detrimental effect to the site. A debate record of any kind has no effect on the polls, opinions, and forums sections of the site, meaning 3/4ths of the site is unaffected by the record at the very least.

His response is that the harms aren't isolated to the debate section and that I'm not taking "everything into account".
  • First, I'm the only one who could possibly be taking everything into account. His analysis stops dead at the debate section, without even considering the influence of the other sections of the site. My bare analysis of the possible impacts cover the entirety of the site, while his analysis only covers 25% of the site. Turn this against him, I'm fulfilling his definition better than he is.
  • Secondly, he provides no actual warrants to the analogy later on. He just says that if people get noobsniped on their first debate that they'd leave the site before looking at the other sections, but he gives no warrant for why a) this is even true, and b) why this is unique to having a bad first debate, and not for others reasons such as just losing interest in online debating or not having enough time to devote to debating online. He's the one with the BoP, he's not doing anywhere near enough work to fulfill the argument here, so his response falls flat.

With that settled, my argument stands clear and unrefuted. I'm definitively showing how the win/loss record doesn't actually negatively affect the site overall by his own definition of overall. This is the easiest place for you to vote con.

Now to go to the responses to the aff case. Group both arguments.

Neither of his arguments have the slightest bit of an impact to them. Not only has he still provided zero warrant for these arguments other than "it's something he's noticed", not only has he provided no warrant for why these harms are coming from the existence of the win/loss record rather than alternative, outside circumstances, but he's provided no weighing analysis for why these negatives represent an overall harm to the site. I'm the only one making this analysis on my argument, so my argument is outweighing his in scope and impact. You're negating even if you buy his arguments.

So this debate breaks down really simply:

1. Pro had BoP to prove an overall harm to having a public win/loss record on the entirety of the site. He failed to do this.
2. My argument showing how a public win/loss record cannot possibly have an overall harm to the entirety of the site stands, and I'm giving you clear weighing analysis as for why this argument should matter more than his arguments.
3. His arguments lack the necessary warrants to show how they're not only true, but unique to a public win/loss record, and he's made no effort to rectify this situation. Hold this against him and drop his arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sadat_Hossain 2 years ago
I also agree with you. It might also be better if the record could be seen only be seen by the user, not anybody else.
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