The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points voter data should be publicly available

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,333 times Debate No: 6673
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




I submit that all debate votes in this site should be publicly viewable to site members. How it's done is not relevant, though I can think of a couple ideas. A new tab could be added to each debate called Voter History and when viewed, lists every vote, by whom, and when. Alternatively, a new menu could be added to the banner called Votes, in which members can view report-like listing of votes by debate or by member. However it's done, it's important that voting no longer be anonymous.

By exposing votes and voters alike, accountability can be added to the site. This will assist in identifying abusers of the voting system as well as encourage members to vote more honestly. I am convinced there is no reason strong enough to keep the status quo.


I would like to thank the highly respectable KRFournier for proposing methods of improving the community.

While Fournier's intent is a positive one, it lacks the strength needed to eliminate the problem.

Instituting a system whereas all votes are public knowledge would be utterly ineffective when the voter does not care if his 'vote bomb' is public knowledge; of if is a 'suicide vote bombing' account. The proposed reform would useless if a regular moderator(s) was not hired to monitor new votes or to investigate claims of voter abuse.


Given the ineffectiveness of Fournier's Proposal, the Administration's time could be better spent on more efficient reforms.

This is the reform on which the Administration has been supposedly working. This system would render a 'vote bomb' wholly useless. 'Vote bombs' are so effective at this time because someone can spend a few hours time with several illegal accounts voting down debators he/she dislikes. Once a 'vote bomber' uses up all of the votes he/she no longer has a use for the 'suicide vote bombing' accounts. He then discards them and creates new ones. Therefore, he does not care if they end up getting deleted.

'Vote Removal' takes away this incentive. Under a system of Vote Removal, all votes from a closed account would be removed. 'The vote bomber' would find that the time he spent voting with his 'suicide vote bomb' accounts would be completely wasted. This would lead to one of two benefits for the DDC community:
1. The Vote Bomber is discouraged from practicing his craft, because ultimately his votes would be removed.
2. Illegal votes would be removed and everyone's records would fall back to normal.

Fournier's Proposal is an excellent short term fix. However, it would slow down the development of more efficient long term reforms such as Vote Removal.
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent brings to light the Vote Removal System (VRS), which is certainly something this site needs. However, the resolution did not state that Publicly Available Voting (PAV) was the only means by which the site is to be improved. In fact, ideally, both improvements should see the light of day. I present four scenarios ranked in order from most improving to least improving.

1. VRS and PAV.
2. PAV.
3. VRS.
4. Status Quo.

By far, the best approach would be to institute both programs. The VRS has the excellent virtue of reversing malicious voting practices, which is vital in deterring would be abusers. However, abusers have to be clearly exposed before such action can be executed. Without PAV, the admin (and there is only one at the moment) would have the burden of monitoring dozens of debates everyday all on his onesie (savvy?). However, the addition of the PAV means members can spot suspicious activity and report it to the admin, allowing the admin to examine and--if appropriate--fix the debates as they come. A perfect synergy between the web master and its constituents.

If, for some reason, both systems cannot be implemented and only one must be chosen, the PAV is the better solution. As it currently stands, the only deterrent against abusers is banning. Of course, as my opponent pointed out, this does not prevent abuse as much as slow it down. But then again, it takes weeks for the admin to single out the abusive accounts and ban them. With the PAV, abusers could be much more quickly identified and reported. Sure, abusers could still create new accounts, but if they were banned every other day rather than every other week, it still proves more effective than the status quo. By itself, the VRS suffers from the same slow response time as the status quo. A single admin cannot be expected to simultaneously improve and police this site with any significant degree of efficiency and accuracy. It is far better to get the community involved in the process. In fact, it's the community through a LOT of hard work (askbob) that is exposing the worst abuse this site has seen. Lets give them the tools they need to work with the admin in making this site what we all would to see it become.

In conclusion, I like my opponent's VRS suggestion, but I think it's effectiveness is limited without the PAV. And if we could only choose one, the PAV should be that choice. It transfers the burden placed on a single webmaster to the shoulders of a community dedicated to this site. Therefore, my resolution stands, no matter how you slice it, voter data should be publicly available.


Thank you for your quick response.

Pro agrees that the Vote Removal System (VRS) is vital to correcting the problem of voter abuse. It is his contention that the ideal situation would include both the VRS and Publicly Available Voting (PAV), as well as greater moderator presence. On this point we are both in agreement. The disagreement comes on importance.

Pro places PAV above VRS. With PAV, he claims, voter abuse is more easily identified. However, as I stated in the first round, this does nothing to dissuade certain people from creating a number of 'suicide vote bomber' accounts. By definition, these accounts do not matter to the vote abuser, so he will not care if it is public knowledge that his account participated in vote abuse. Worse still, the damage is already done. Without a VRS, the suicide vote bomber account is highly successfull because his votes will remain, and he can create new accounts to repeat the process.

In any Vote System Reform proposal, the VRS should be at the top of the list. The VRS is effective where the PAV is not. It dissuades people from attempting to abuse the voting system because their time will have been wasted once their accounts are banned. They would have no reason to even attempt such a thing when their actions literally produce no success.

I admit, the PAV would be a very helpful companion to the VRS, since it would make it easier to identify abuse. However, the VRS should take first priority. To pick up the work for PAV would require time away from completing the VRS, which I have shown is more effective at eliminating the problem.

I would like to close the debate by thanking the eminently respected KRFournier for providing the opportunity to debatee this most interesting of topics. I would also like to thank him on behalf of the DDC community for his efforts to improve the community as a whole.
Debate Round No. 2
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
This debate deserved more voters.
Posted by KRFournier 9 years ago
Funny. I was losing this debate before Josh's votes were reversed. Could it be that Josh had no interest in votes being made public? Hmmm....
Posted by RoyLatham 9 years ago
I'm surprised that Con did not make the obvious argument in favor of secret ballots, which is to remove pressure from voting. That would be the social pressure of "you didn't vote for me in my debate, so I'm not going to vote for you in your debate." It's tough to judge a debate when the central issue is not argued, but I'll give the nod to Con.

My solution to vote bombing is to require completion of three debates before a person earns the right to vote. Vote bombers would usually reveal their identity through their style of debate, and would in any case be deterred by the work involved. It would be easy to implement.
Posted by burningpuppies101 9 years ago
The VBS (as I will be calling it) will be nice, but you still need people to implement it. Phil doesn't have 25 hands.
Posted by JBlake 9 years ago
More moderator presence would be very nice indeed. But what is essential is the Vote Removal program that Phil has (supposedly) been working on. If we can undo the abuse of the voting system, we will eliminate the incentive to continue the abuse.
Posted by burningpuppies101 9 years ago
I'm with JBlake here. I agree, making votes public will be very nice. But vote bombing will continue. What we need is a combo. Make votes public, and either get more admins (i don't think 1 is enough, sorry phil.), or get site moderators. Some sites have moderators, who act like the police of the site. They could be either veterans of the site, experienced members, or whatever. I just think that the site needs more staffing.
Posted by s0m31john 9 years ago
I agree. It would be a lot easier to spot fake accounts.
Posted by KRFournier 9 years ago
Glad you like. And if I lose this debate by vote bombing, it only strengthens my position.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
YEAH IT SHOULD!!!!!!! I hope this one becomes true... as well as several others.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 9 years ago
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