The Instigator
utahjoker
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Debate.org should Change their voting system

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,907 times Debate No: 34911
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (7)

 

utahjoker

Pro

I have made this debate impossible to accept if someone finds a way to accept without my permission they will forfeit all rounds. If you would like to debate this subject leave a comment and I will choose someone later on. Currently the voting system for debate.org breaks down like thisConduct- 1 pointSpelling/Grammar- 1 pointMore Convincing Argument- 3 pointsMore reliable sources- 2 pointsI will be arguing that debate.org should change their voting system to each voter gets one vote and one vote alone.My opponent will be arguing to keep the voting system as is.Round one is for acceptanceGood Luck
RoyLatham

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
utahjoker

Pro

There are two main reasons why Debate.org should change their voting system first to stop vote bombing and to make trolls powerless.

Currently with the system that is in place someone can give an opponent up to 7 points. The biggest reason why some people are against democracy is because two idiots can out vote one smart person, but now with this system one idiot can out vote up to six smart people. How many times does someone need to counter-vote a bad vote in our debates. For me it has been countless when either my opponent or I was even points that were not awarded. If we change the voting system to what I have proposed vote bombing will no longer exist and it would give a more real world feel to the situation. When someone goes in votes for lets say a president they only get one vote to decide not 7. Let me give you a situation someone's debate is in voting and he is up by 6 points, which is a pretty big amount, someone could vote and take away their lead and cause them to lose a debate in which they might have deserved. Change the voting system and vote bombing will be banished.

For those who don't know what a internet troll it is-A person who feeds off the anger of others as he enrages them over the internet (1). Internet trolls do this by posting something controversial or in this case vote bomb someone. The most notorious internet troll that Debate.org had was RationalMan. He would go onto my debate like this one (http://www.debate.org...) and against me without any real reason and someone had to counter vote him and in this case imabench, but this could be stopped by taking power away and making one vote per person. They can't feed off of the anger of something with only one vote.

Sources
(1) http://www.urbandictionary.com...
RoyLatham

Con

Thanks to my opponent for posting the challenge on this interesting topic.

The challenge makes clear that we are only considering two alternatives, either to change to a system in which voters only cast a single vote for the winner of the debate or to keep the present system of awarding up to seven points in categories for each of the two debaters. I suspect that nearly everyone would like to make some improvement or other in the voting system, but what we are now debating is only whether a system of a single point would be an improvement.

1. Vote bombing won't be cured

The change advocated by the resolution wouldn't solve the problem of vote bombing. With the voting categories for awarding points and required reasons for decisions, it's usually easy to see who is vote bombing, and we have quite a few DDO members who systematically counter vote bombs. Awarding all seven points is rarely valid, and the lopsided vote is a giveaway. There's a thread for reporting vote bombing, and most new members find it quickly.

If voting is reduced to single point win or loss, a vote bomber will have an easier time of concealing a poorly reasoned vote. He can say, “The debate was close, but Con failed to rebut Pro's most important contention … blah, blah.” With unreasonable voting harder to detect, the number of bad decisions is as likely to increase as decrease.

2. Having categories improves the debaters skills

Many people who use the formal debate feature on the debate.org site are trying to improve their skills as debaters. If they just want to give opinions and seek reinforcement they can use the Forums or the Opinions features of the site, or they can just blog or post on facebook. The formal debates are for people who are more serious about structured debating. Reducing the serious-debate component of debate.org diminishes the feature that makes the site distinct from other social networking sites.

The elements of a good debate are effective communication, logical presentation, avoiding the distractions of bad behavior, and backing up opinions with good sources. The site article "Tips for a better debate" makes these points explicitly. [1. http://www.debate.org...] The site article "How to Vote" specifically relates these criteria to voting. [2. http://www.debate.org... ]

Having points awarded by category encourages the debater to pay attention to each aspect of the debate for fear of losing points in a neglected category. Having categories of judging is typical of competitions in which the judging has a substantial subjective component. Sports like artistic skating [3. http://en.wikipedia.org... ] and gymnastics [4. http://en.wikipedia.org...] have elaborately detailed criteria for judging. The performer is thereby made aware of what he must do to win the competition.

3. Having categories improves judging skills

A reader can casually evaluate a debate based upon a general impression of who did a better job of making a case. Having judging categories, however, demands a more thorough analysis of exactly why one side did better than the other. There is an adage that a person does not really learn a subject until the person teaches it. Accordingly, critically analyzing debates helps build understanding of good debate practices.

If anything, the site should have a more detailed template for judging debates, spelling out the different types of conduct violations, the elements of argument (structure, logic, and rebuttal), what constitutes good sources, and so forth. My point is that to develop debate skills, the direction might be in having a more detailed categories, but it is certainly not in having less.

We want the best possible judging by the great majority of members who are not vote bombing. The best judging is a product of the more careful analysis fostered by having point categories. Abbreviating the process in an attempt to foil vote bombers is likely to reduce the quality of analysis by members who want to do their best in fairly evaluating the debate.

----------------

Changing to a single point system will make biased voting easier to conceal, it will obscure the requirements for winning debate, and it will make honest voting less thorough and accurate.

Debate Round No. 2
utahjoker

Pro

I'll give my last punch in this debate before it ends.

Vote Bombing will be Cured

With only one vote per voter the chance to leap frog over someone with more votes will be gone. Like I said before lets say the time remaining clock is ticking down to the last seconds of the voting period and someone is winning a debate by 6 points, which seems to be blowout, a troll or if someone made a fake account just to help them win he/she still can win the debate by vote bombing for their side and winning the debate before anyone can counter the vote. With a 1 vote per voter this would be eliminated if someone is up by only 2 points a vote bomber, troll, or a fake account can do little to change the outcome.

Also how most people figure out who vote bombed is by the comment left by the voter. If the voter gives a reasoned response then the vote would be valid, but if a voter gives an unreasonable reason for voting how they did then it could be countered just like usual.

Still can Have categories

While there are 4 categories that go toward the debater for points there are two others that have zero weight in voting. The "Who You agreed with before" and "Who You agreed with after" have zero weight. Debate.org can do this with the new voting system by having still all 4 categories of Conduct, Spelling/Grammar, Reliable Sources/ and more Convincing argument, but they will have zero affect on voting points. They could just be a rubric for voters and debaters to see why they voted the way they did and to help voters vote. Debate.org could just add one more category that could read "Who won" and that would carry one point value.

Changing the voting system will keep trolls and vote bombers powerless. It would not change on counter voting because there would still be a comment section which would give away bad votes. It would make life easier for debaters.

I would like to Thank my opponent.

Vote Pro
RoyLatham

Con

Vote bombing will not be cured

Few debates are vote bombed, and my opponent does not give a single case when vote bombing was not countered. It's possible it could happen, but losing the benefits of voting by categories is not justified by pointing to a theoretical problem.

A vote bomb is a vote cast without good reasons, and it's upsetting to a debater when that happens. Nothing in Pro's revised system prevents irrational voting. With no required categories for awarding points, vote bombing will be much harder to detect. I gave an example of a reason for decision (RFD) that would likely evade detection as a vote bomb, and Pro didn't counter it. We ordinarily detect vote bombing when source points are awarded in a debate when sources were not used or were clearly even, or when the conduct point was awarded without a reason, or when obviously even spelling and grammar is given to one side. In fact, the usual tip off is when all the categories are awarded. With a one-vote system, vote bombers will still vote irrationally, but they can pretend the debate was close and escape the obvious tip-offs to vote bombing. Without the triggers to obvious vote bombing, Pro's system is likely to lose more debates to vote bombers than it saves from them. We'll still have vote bombing, it will just be more likely to succeed.

Voting by categories strengthens debate skills

I pointed to examples of sports judged subjectively. In each case, there is an elaborate system of categories, much more detailed than the DDO system. Why have those sports built such elaborate systems? For one thing it tells the participants what they must do to succeed, and that let's participants focus on improving their skills in each area of judging. For another, it tells judges what's important in the competition. Establishing more detailed criteria also makes it more difficult to get away with biased judging. Overall, the competition is improved by defining exactly what constitutes winning.

In DDO, if a debater loses points by failing to link sources to support his claims, or loses conduct points, or loses points for an indecipherable presentation, he's going to get the message of what he has to improve. Similarly, judging is improved by defining the competitive elements. Pro seems to me to admit that having categories accomplishes these things, and he responds by proposing an amended system in which categories are scored by the scores don't count in determining the win or loss. Proposing an amended system violates the premise of the debate that we are strictly comparing the present system to the one vote system Pro presented in his challenge.

No matter, because having categories that don't count in voting loses the advantages of categories defining the competition. Suppose that in baseball umpires would still call balls and strikes, but the count wouldn't result in either a strike out or walk. Having balls and strikes not count would surely solve the problem of umpires making bad calls. But by not counting them, the fundamental nature of the game would be changed. The pitching strategy would change completely.

The voting system that has been in place since the beginning of DDO defines what is required to do well in a debate. If anything, the categories should be defined in even more detail, just as the rules of gymnastics define the point loss for nearly every type of slip-up. Perhaps screwing with the fonts or background colors ought to be worth more than a one point penalty. In any case, we should not move in the direction the resolution requires by making it less clear what a debater must do to win, and less clear how judges should score a debate.

I can imagine many changes in the voting system to improve matters. For example, perhaps there should be a mechanism to counter vote bombs after the formal voting period has ended. Some sports have mechanisms to contest bad judging and resolve disputes quickly at the close of a competition. I'm not claiming that it's impossible to improve the present system. The resolution, however, is a step backwards. It should be voted down.

Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Haven't read the debate but I think people should get more than one point for conduct.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Excellent debate.

1) I will award conduct to PRO just for proposing this resolution, even though I consider CON's conduct here to be excellent, as is typically the case. I think the voting system is far too flawed and far too easy to abuse to serve its intended purpose.

2) I was thoroughly convinced by CON. PRO had an interesting point about someone sneaking in a 7-point vote bomb right before the voting period ended, which I have seen before, but I agree with CON that "one-point" would not cure vote-bombing, and that the categorical scoring is more conducive to proffering constructive feedback. I for one have wholly ceased my practice of utilizing every single possible bold/highlight/font trick in my debates, and I even cringe now when I look back on debates where I went overboard in this regard. This was mainly because people found that my excessive highlighting actually was an impediment to my argument, and scored appropriately. CON's baseball analogy was also quite appropriate.

CONCLUSION:

I don't know how the voting system can be changed for the better, outside of selected juries and etc. As it stands, I've gravitated to a "no-scoring" preference on debates in which I participate. I personally don't see scoring as being nearly as important as the feedback itself, and I think the feedback would be more honest if politicking for votes was left out of the system.

I think PRO's fully justified with proposing the resolution, but did not actually forward a better plan. As that was how he structured his own arguments, that his plan was rendered invalid left PRO without a case. Arguments CON.
Posted by utahjoker 3 years ago
utahjoker
I have decided to choose RoyLatham as my opponent
Posted by Cody_Franklin 3 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Could I take this, but argue for a different change, rather than for status quo?
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
I'm too new here to want to debate this.
I think the 3 point "most convincing argument" should only be 2
I think references should only be 1

I also think there could be a way to detect vote bombing if a person consistently votes all points to one debater, specially if their chosen person loses the debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
I'd like to debate this.
Posted by utahjoker 3 years ago
utahjoker
Who I feel will give me the best debate
Posted by TheDarkMuffin 3 years ago
TheDarkMuffin
By random or by who's debating style you prefer or...?

I won't try to influence you, I'm just curious is all.
Posted by utahjoker 3 years ago
utahjoker
I will choose someone at 10 pm mt
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
I'd be interested in this as well... Not that I think the current voting system is flawless, I however believe it to be superior to the proposed one.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: After reading this I became convinced by Pro that the voting system should be changed, sensing Pro's discomfort about Vote bombs that destroy debates and cause winners to become losers by trolls, However I am not convinced of the alternative single point system put forward by Pro, but that doesnt mean that the current system is adequate either, Con tried to defend the current system and did a good job in his rebuttal of the alternative suggestions put forward by Pro, But Con didn't prove the current system to be sufficient enough to repel the trolls. Apart from posting in the votebomb section, which at the last minute is frustrating. Arguments to Pro, also Con said "nothing in Pro's revised system prevents irrational voting. I don't agree. And feel Con never sufficently answered the problem of one voter able to out vote multiple voters. Example 7 points awarded by a single troll cancels out up to 3 genuine votes. wheras a single point system a troll can only match a single genuine vote
Vote Placed by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had much better arguments and did a superb job of refuting Pro's claims. Pro could not explain to me why the 1 vote is better than 7 points.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used sources that were able to directly contribute to his ideas while I felt Pro's did not do that. Con also convinced me two-fold that it would be better to leave the voting system as it is.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments - conduct is just for proposing the resolution and is not a reflection on CON's conduct, which was excellent.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Due to strong bias, I shall not to contributing points to this vote. However the official definition of votebomb is a 7point vote (plenty of other votes are worth countering), making such blatant biased votes only a single point, would make them far harder to catch.
Vote Placed by Guy_D 3 years ago
Guy_D
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. A revised voting system as articulated by Pro doesn't seem to solve the vote bombing issue enough for DDO to make such an important change. Perhaps DDO should take another look at the judging requirements.
Vote Placed by Gondun 3 years ago
Gondun
utahjokerRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were much more convincing. Pro did not come up with any real benefits to the proposed change and tried to change the system he was advocating. Con gets sources because he used more sources and his sources contributed more to his argument.