The Instigator
Ragnar_Rahl
Pro (for)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Con (against)
Losing
29 Points

Debate.org should freeze the polls a week after the last round.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,241 times Debate No: 2429
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (19)

 

Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

This is all about putting an end to annoying revisionism as a means of changing win totals after the fact. (usually of someone you dislike).

Take this one for example:

http://www.debate.org...

Back when I took that debate, I won about 7 to none. Because my opponent forfeited several rounds and posted no real arguments. But now when you look at it, due to votes not being counted after accounts close, and people going back and voting against me (and probably others too) without actually reading the debates, out of spite, it says I lost.

There's a few others like this that are less blatant or not yet complete (but probably will be complete shortly).

This results essentially in a depreciation of win totals for older members.

A freeze after a week allows plenty of time for those who actually pay attention to the debate to make up their minds.
Logical-Master

Con

Greetings. First, I'd like to thank my opponent for extending this challenge to all debaters on this website. As is the case with most of my debates, none of what I am about to say truly reflects my opinion on this matter (considering that I'm actually rather apathetic). I advise that you vote based on who presented the better arguments. Also, I would advise that you not vote if you don't intend to read this debate as many of us debaters come here to test our debate skills, so accurate voting is essential. With all of that said, let us proceed:

My opponent begins his round by citing one of his past debates where voters have supposedly voted against him unfairly. First, I'd like to point out that my opponent doesn't have the proper evidence to be making the accusations that he is. There is no apparent evidence to suggest that the voters on that page voted against him out of spite or because they merely didn't read the debate.

My opponent does not KNOW the reasons as to why the voters voted the way they did. Not to mention that not everyone has the same understanding of debate. Although some voters believe that forfeiting a round should automatically constitute victory for the other debater, other voters believe that it is the job of the debater to persuade them to agreeing with his/her arguments. On the debate which my opponent cited, the latter being in effect could very well be the case.

My opponent concludes that debate.org should freeze the polls one week after the last round in order to decrease the chances of the debaters being the victim of bad voting in the future. This sounds great in theory, but I believe my opponent is overlooking the alternatives. What if these "bad voters" are the only ones who vote on the debate during that limited first week?

In my experience here, there have been at least two debates where the voters who I had assumed to be "bad" were the ones to vote first.

http://www.debate.org...

-In this debate, my opponent had merely copy/pasted irrelevant IMDB and wikipedia articles and was in no time declared the winner

http://www.debate.org...

-In this debate, my opponent had forfeited his last round and allowed me to extend many of my points beforehand.

The second incident is most relevant as I was trailing behind in the votes for more than a week. It is certain that I would have been recognized as the loser, if my opponent's plan were upheld.

My opponent's plan also drastically decreases the freedom that the users will have on this website as the debate.org administration has promised to enable a feature that will allow the instigators to determine how long polls stay open.

http://www.debate.org... : As you can see on the bottom right of this page, custom polls will be one of the many new features. Not all users would want to have the limits my opponent brings up. It is clear that such a feature moots whatever reason there is to initiate my opponent's plan.

With that said, I now await my opponent's first rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"
My opponent begins his round by citing one of his past debates where voters have supposedly voted against him unfairly. First, I'd like to point out that my opponent doesn't have the proper evidence to be making the accusations that he is. There is no apparent evidence to suggest that the voters on that page voted against him out of spite or because they merely didn't read the debate.
"

The difficulty with that is, because the results changed long after the debate, they did not comment on the results that (at that time) were against them. It is thus highly unlikely that they had legitimate reasons. People who legitimately believe the results of something were bad tend to comment.

"
My opponent does not KNOW the reasons as to why the voters voted the way they did. Not to mention that not everyone has the same understanding of debate. Although some voters believe that forfeiting a round should automatically constitute victory for the other debater, other voters believe that it is the job of the debater to persuade them to agreeing with his/her arguments. On the debate which my opponent cited, the latter being in effect could very well be the case."

This isn't a matter of forfeiting "a" round. It is a matter of forfeiting every round. And I find it difficult to believe anyone found my opponent's arguments convincing.

"
My opponent concludes that debate.org should freeze the polls one week after the last round in order to decrease the chances of the debaters being the victim of bad voting in the future. This sounds great in theory, but I believe my opponent is overlooking the alternatives. What if these "bad voters" are the only ones who vote on the debate during that limited first week?
"

That is highly unlikely. presumably bad voters do not want people to know of the problem. Thus they are far more likely to do their work later. Good voters don't usually have the time to go back and vote on debates that have long since been over. They don't usually find them except in people's profiles... which is precisely the domain that makes spite more likely.

And when it does happen, as in your example, it becomes open, and obvious. Not so with the cases where it is not true. A known bad is better than an unknown bad.

Nothing about "custom polls," by the way, constitutes evidence that the instigator can determine the length voting stays open. Custom polls can easily be constructions detached from the debates (a separate feature), and thus not in fact make my recommendations moot.
Logical-Master

Con

My opponent continues to advocate that the most recent voters in his example likely did not have legitimate reasons for their votes. However, if I understand what my opponent is suggesting correctly, he is advocating that the voters who decided to vote against him were members of this website during the time period at which his debate had finished. However, for all we know, the ones who voted late could very well have created accounts around the time they had actually voted. There's also the possibility that users who were watching (and were interested in) one of my opponent's later debates decided to browse through his profile and vote accordingly. At any rate, with so many possibilities, there is not enough evidence for my opponent to make his conclusion.

As for the matter of forfeiting every round, this still doesn't change the point I'm making. One of the purposes of debate is to persuade an audience. I advocate that it's possible that those voters didn't feel persuaded by my opponent's case. If that is the case, my opponent could have very well utilized his other rounds to expand on his arguments to increase the chances of getting voted for. However, he instead treated the debate as if it were a one round debate.

My opponent states that bad voters do not want others to know of the problem, but he is overestimating the intelligence of the bad voters here. For instance, in one of Kleptin's debates . . . (http://www.debate.org... ) . . . he reported that he was he losing 9-1 within merely one day of the debates conclusion (the report of this can be found on this page in the comment section here: http://www.debate.org... In this instance, the "bad voters" voted rather quickly. To add fuel to the fire, the primary suspect of this voter sabotage even spammed the comment section of the debate Kleptin was referring to.

My opponent suggests that these "bad voters" don't want people to know of the problem, but they have no reason to care whether or not people are aware of the problem. Don't get me wrong as if a bad voter is using multiple accounts, there is reason to reduce suspicion. However, if bad voters aren't actually violating the rules, then voting unfairly won't cause them any trouble. They can vote on as many debates as they want to and get away with their actions. And yes, one of my examples is rather open and obvious, yet it took more than two weeks for something to be done about it.

As for "good voters" not having the time to go back and check up on debates, I don't see how this assertion can be supported. In fact, I can only see evidence against this claim. Keep in mind that in the Superman debate I had pointed out earlier, I was trailing behind for more than a week. Not to mention that my debate was far from the most recent debates page. It was the work of "good voters" who voted in favor of my case. Am I suggesting that good voters are more likely to vote on past debates than bad voters? Based on what we know, we cannot make the kind of conclusion my opponent is making.

Before I go on to my opponents last rebutted argument, lets observe something rather important. Throughout this debate, my opponent and I have been using the terms "good voters" and "bad voters." I've only used these terms while arguing with the acceptance of several of my opponent's assumptions (which I did purely for the sake of exploiting every flaw within my opponent's arguments). What are these assumptions you might ask? Well for starters, looking back at my opponent's example, he insists that the original 7 who voted in favor of his case were good voters. Question: How does my opponent know that? For all he knows, those voters could have voted without even reading the debate; they could have voted in spite of my opponent's opponent; they could have voted merely because they happen to have some personal interest in my opponent. The only comments provided in my opponent's debate were his own and mine (which were made rather recently). There is absolutely nothing to suggest that they voted because they believed that my opponent won that debate or that they had believe that the instigator had presented weak arguments. The ones who voted in favor of his case could have very well been bad voters. And if these voters have had their accounts closed for the typical "account-closing" reasons on this site, it doesn't speak too well for their credibility.

Finally, my opponent advocates that the new voting system is no disproof of his voting system, but my opponent's plan and Debate.org's plan drastically differ. The Debate.org Administration insists that Users should have the ability freeze polls (in accordance to their convenience) after the last round. If a user has the desire to keep his/her poll open forever, he will still be allowed to do that. If a user believes that his/her poll should be open for 7 days or MORE/LESS, he/she will be able to have that wish fulfilled. Whether or not my opponent personally disagrees with such a plan is completely irrelevant as it is his resolution which conflicts with this plan.
Debate Round No. 2
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"if I understand what my opponent is suggesting correctly, he is advocating that the voters who decided to vote against him were members of this website during the time period at which his debate had finished."

Not at all.

"However, for all we know, the ones who voted late could very well have created accounts around the time they had actually voted. "
I regard that or something close as the most likely possibility.

"There's also the possibility that users who were watching (and were interested in) one of my opponent's later debates decided to browse through his profile and vote accordingly." Compatible with 2 and definitely true unless they found it with the site's search feature, a highly unlikely development.

" At any rate, with so many possibilities, there is not enough evidence for my opponent to make his conclusion"

The essential points of the debate in question are these: That their votes occurred very late (I personally observed that much), and that their votes were obviously wrong (anyone reading this can observe that much). Unless we are to argue that they are simply stupid, spite is the other possibility. It is of no consequence when they joined.

"
As for the matter of forfeiting every round, this still doesn't change the point I'm making. One of the purposes of debate is to persuade an audience. I advocate that it's possible that those voters didn't feel persuaded by my opponent's case. If that is the case, my opponent could have very well utilized his other rounds to expand on his arguments to increase the chances of getting voted for. However, he instead treated the debate as if it were a one round debate."
If they did not feel persuaded, since my opponent at that time could not possibly have persuaded them, the obvious solution is not to vote.
I could not have "expanded on the arguments" when their essence was already fully laid out. The essence was extremely simple, because the issue was. To add more without the information provided by what people are objecting to is an absurdity. If the voters have their own objections not made by the one debating with me, they can inform me via a comment.

"
My opponent states that bad voters do not want others to know of the problem, but he is overestimating the intelligence of the bad voters here."

I state that IDEALLY they do not want others to know of the problem, e.g. others not knowing happens to be an advantage for them. Some might not take advantage of this, but it still isn't a good idea to leave that advantage there.

Why? Sapere aude. A problem you know about is not as bad as one you don't know about. When people win a debate they clearly lost right after it ends, everyone involved knows something is wrong. When it happens weeks later, no one but the debater does (unless you start a debate like I did and bring it up :P).

Also, the objection "they weren't persuaded" applies a whole lot more to the walmart debate you just linked to than the one I was in, because Kleptin's opponent, though using fallacious arguments, did use arguments. Fallacies exist because people believe them, if no one does they disappear (i.e. people stop using them).

"However, if bad voters aren't actually violating the rules, then voting unfairly won't cause them any trouble." You assume that the only negative result is "trouble." Most people, however, want to be regarded as smart. That doesn't happen when they operate in a stupid manner. :D

"And yes, one of my examples is rather open and obvious, yet it took more than two weeks for something to be done about it."

Again, sapere aude. It's not something being done about it that makes openness good, it is the knowledge itself.

"
As for "good voters" not having the time to go back and check up on debates, I don't see how this assertion can be supported. In fact, I can only see evidence against this claim. Keep in mind that in the Superman debate I had pointed out earlier, I was trailing behind for more than a week. Not to mention that my debate was far from the most recent debates page. It was the work of "good voters" who voted in favor of my case. Am I suggesting that good voters are more likely to vote on past debates than bad voters? Based on what we know, we cannot make the kind of conclusion my opponent is making."

And how did those presumably good voters happen to find out about your debate?

"Well for starters, looking back at my opponent's example, he insists that the original 7 who voted in favor of his case were good voters."

Not really. I insist that their vote was correct, and had it not been we would have learned something as long as their votes were early. I make no presumptions as to the reasons for their vote. So bye bye most of that paragraph. :D

"And if these voters have had their accounts closed for the typical "account-closing" reasons on this site, it doesn't speak too well for their credibility."

The typical account closing reason on this site, as far as I can tell, is people closing their own accounts because they don't want to be on the site anymore.

"
Finally, my opponent advocates that the new voting system is no disproof of his voting system, but my opponent's plan and Debate.org's plan drastically differ. The Debate.org Administration insists that Users should have the ability freeze polls (in accordance to their convenience) after the last round. If a user has the desire to keep his/her poll open forever, he will still be allowed to do that. If a user believes that his/her poll should be open for 7 days or MORE/LESS, he/she will be able to have that wish fulfilled. Whether or not my opponent personally disagrees with such a plan is completely irrelevant as it is his resolution which conflicts with this plan.
"

There is not, in fact, a conflict. My resolution states that debate.org should freeze the polls. It says nothing about "in all cases," or "against the will of the instigator." Debate.org providing the tools to freeze the polls amounts to debate.org freezing the polls in those cases in which it is used (just as providing someone with food amounts to feeding them). If it is used twice (and it will be, I guarantee it :D), debate.org will have fulfilled the resolution.
Logical-Master

Con

My opponent accepts new debate.org users as having voted as having been a likely possibility as shown in the comment below:

"I regard that or something close as the most likely possibility."

Lets look back at my opponent's original conclusion:

"But now when you look at it, due to votes not being counted after accounts close, and people going back and voting against me (and probably others too) without actually reading the debates, out of spite, it says I lost."

By acknowledging the high likelihood of new users having been the ones to make those votes, my opponent's point weakens tremendously, since his case revolves around voting system abuse. Again, my opponent has been advocating that bad voters waited to make their votes to reduce suspicion. This doesn't mesh well with the acknowledgment that these voters could have very well been new to this site. With that noted I have no further reason to address this section of the debate and will proceed onto the next part.

With the matter of late votes being addressed, there is still the matter of voting wrongly. I'll address this in a later part of this rebuttal

My opponent insists that if they did not feel persuaded, they should have simply refrained from voting. The only way this would be the only justifiable action would be if my opponent's opponent did not attempt to provide any means of persuasion. On the contrary, his opponent made an argument in the opening round. If one didn't feel that my opponent refuted his opponent's position, taking the time to vote for the instigator would be justifiable.

About expanding the argument: I still insist that my opponent could have done this. After all, his position was in negation of keeping the curfew time in California. His basic argument against this was that it infringed upon the values upheld in the US constitution. However, this is not the only means of advocating the abolishment of curfew laws.

My opponent could have easily cited specific instances of detrimental effects curfew laws have had on our society in the past. Furthermore, he could have even provided evidence to show that curfew programs don't directly correlate with the reduction of juvenile crimes. He could have even provided his audience with the usual effects such suppression has on juveniles.

About wanting others ignorant of the problem: My opponent suggests that he was ideally referring to the problem. If that is the case, then I suppose I would agree (to a certain extent); bad voters would IDEALLY not want others to know of their nefarious plots to sabotage voting. However, even when referring to the matter ideally, there are still problems. Ideally, an individual isn't going to wait one or two weeks to vote on a random debate.org debate. I understand the Internet is commonly considered a melting pot for individuals with no lives, but even this is going a bit far. Ideally, other interests would outweigh plotting to such degree as there is little to benefits here. Furthermore, I've already shown that this advantage is hardly ever the case as people are willing to abuse the voting on day 1 while knowing that no one will generally do anything about it.

For the purposes of this debate (as in, I do not support what I'm about to say UNIVERSALLY), a known and an unknown problem are equally bad. In this case, the problem is bad voting. Regardless of whether or not we are aware of it, it's going to occur due to the fact that there is no real retribution awaiting it. There is more on this in a later section of my rebuttal.

As for everyone but the debater knowing that there is a problem weeks later, this is definitely false. Believe or not, many users frequent the debate.org archives to view past debates. Heck, some may even find debate.org debates of their interest accidentally via (Yahoo, Google, etc) search engine. Besides, I've provided evidence of debate.org voting results which have dramatically changed after the time period listed in my opponent's resolution, so his claim is clearly false.

My opponent claims that my "lack of persuasion" objection is more applicable to my round 2 citation than it is to his round 1 citation. This is not, as all the debaters in question contributed to their debates as much as their opponents did. Naturally, one would question my claim by pointing out the fact that my opponent did post in every round of his debate whereas his opponent did not. To that, I advise that you consider the content of what he stated in round 2 and 3 (there was virtually no real content). After taking that into account, I would advise that you go back to what I said earlier on concerning how not all voters have the same voting styles (many prefer to be persuaded)(many won't actually vote on whether not someone forfeits the round, especially if the other debate does not point that out).

I agree that most people want to be regarded as intelligent, but considering that the voting system allows people to vote anonymously, I don't believe they would have to worry about their intelligence personally being persecuted. So yes, the only real negative result is trouble. And as I've suggested on the matter of sapere aude, trouble won't occur as long as bad voters do their dirty deed within the rules of this website.

As for "knowledge vs action", action is certainly preferable as most of us are already aware of the bad voting that occurs. Although for the sake of the argument, even when one becomes aware, what good does it do alone?

My opponent claims that he insists that the voters he was referring to were correct. I've partially addressed this above, but will expand a bit here. Taking into account different voting styles, my opponent has no means of objectively concluding that the original seven user's votes were correct. I provided reasons as to why the later voters may have decided to vote differently, so my opponent's point does not stand.

As for the typical account closing reasons, I'm referring to the fact that many have their accounts closed on the basis on possessing multiple accounts, excessive spamming on the website or pretty much anything else that violates the rules.

Finally, I still insist that my opponent's plan conflicts with the Administrators' plan. I believe that my opponent's explanation differs from his original intention, but (for the sake of the argument) lets assume that it was what he meant all along. My opponent suggests that Administrators providing the tools to freeze the polls amounts to debate.org freezing the polls. My opponent even provides an analogy. However, I believe this is rather misleading.

First, the provider cannot always be responsible for the one(s) he/she provides for. For instance, let's say a criminal is brought into a court of law over the matter of having shot a police officer. During the trial, it is found it that the criminal purchased his/her firearm from Wal-Mart. By my opponent's argument, Wal-Mart would be to blame for what the criminal decided to do with the firearm he purchased. Heck, in relation to this resolution, here is how it would look: Wal-Mart should shoot Police Officers.

Going back to my opponent's analogy, providing someone with food does not amount to feeding them. My mother can buy some milk, cheerios, bowls, and spoons for me. However, if I am the one who pours cheerios into a bowl, pours milk into a bowl of cheerios, and uses the spoon to place the combination of milk and cheerios into my mouth, I'm the one who is feeding me; my mother is not the one who is feeding me.

Clearly, just because debate.org provides its users with certain tools, it does not mean that debate.org is the one using these tools for their purposes. Thus, with that point negated, the plan of the administrators of the plan of debate.org conflict; one plan has the users do the work whereas the other plan is completely up to the administrators.

Thus, I urge you to vote con. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
The irony is that I was losing this debate until it was forgotten and the revisionist voters came out :P
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Hmmm. Well by the end of the debate I've been thoroughly convinced by both sides arguments that their is no way of knowing whether the first debaters would good or not. Both debaters gave examples of their debates in which this system would help/hurt them so I consider that to be a wash.

However I am going to have to vote for logical-master when he says that good debaters are the ones that will more likely come back and vote on debates that interest them. I felt there was a lack of refutation on this point.

Good debate.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
As for "knowledge vs action", action is certainly preferable as most of us are already aware of the bad voting that occurs. Although for the sake of the argument, even when one becomes aware, what good does it do alone?"

You learn the extent of the masses' iniquity. You can act on this knowledge later, outside the context of debate.org.

Otherwise, twas' fun :D
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"First, the provider cannot always be responsible for the one(s) he/she provides for. For instance, let's say a criminal is brought into a court of law over the matter of having shot a police officer. During the trial, it is found it that the criminal purchased his/her firearm from Wal-Mart. By my opponent's argument, Wal-Mart would be to blame for what the criminal decided to do with the firearm he purchased. Heck, in relation to this resolution, here is how it would look: Wal-Mart should shoot Police Officers."

Wal mart does not know what is going to be done with firearms, debate.org does. :D

Also, debate.org remains the property of the administrators throughout, the gun does not remain the property of wal mart.

A more apt analogy is what Iran does in providing firearms free to known Iraqi insurgents :D.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
"I can't help but feel perhaps the new picture signifies a change of character."

LOL! No. That character just makes me laugh.

"It matters little. I will continue to destroy him either way."

Ha! We shall see about that! ;)
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Yeah, that Wal-Mart was one of the first things to come to mind when I was posting.
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
It matters little. I will continue to destroy him either way.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I first thought it was some sort of arch-nemesis arriving on the scene.
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
I can't help but feel perhaps the new picture signifies a change of character.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
Hey lookit. I'm a piece of evidence in a debate I'm not participating in :D
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