The Instigator
shockwave188
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
progressivedem22
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Debate.org voting protocols

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
progressivedem22
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 934 times Debate No: 46495
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

shockwave188

Con

Although I believe this topic is a good one I am trying to get my voting privileges quickly which is why I am only hosting two rounds and setting the argument time to 24 hours. My goal is to finish this debate and others to achieve voting privileges. If you want to discuss the topic in more detail please by all means create a longer debate or in the future I may bring up the topic again in more detail.

I believe that the protocol of debate.org requiring one to complete three debates in order to vote is not a productive policy. I believe the idea of forcing future voters to get experience is a good idea however the action taken is poor. I believe this because debaters can do what I am doing and create and complete three debates quickly and thus pass the requirements. With a loophole as large as this I believe that it renders the whole policy only an annoyance and not a effective means of only having proficient voters.
progressivedem22

Pro

I accept, and wish Con the best of luck.

I support DDO's requirement that one complete three debates prior to gaining voting capabilities. In fact, I believe Con himself is an argument for such a stipulation. He admitted in his first argument that his intention in introducing a two-round, twenty-four-hour debate is to quickly gain his voting privileges. Had this requirement not been in place, he could simply begin voting whenever he chooses -- perhaps as soon as he joins the site, before he is acclimatized; before he has participated in a debate, and thus understands the rules, the conventions, and the parameters by which we gauge quality, and so forth. His debating skills would never have been put to the test by the other members of this site. Therefore, why should he be allowed, merely on the grounds of fairness, to gauge the quality of other's skills? Is it not possible that, without the firsthand experience that engaging in three debates would provide, that he would not understand how to properly and objectively evaluate a debate based on the selected criteria? Please understand that I am merely posting these as problems with Con's logic. I am not suggesting that he, or anyone else, will have these problems, nor should this be seen as an attack on him. The case is simply that, in principle, these problems will exist, and DDO intends to have a policy broad enough to account for them beforehand.

So, my first argument is that the experience is quite valuable. My next argument is in response to Con's case that this policy allows debaters to "do what [he] is doing and create and complete three debates quickly and thus pass the requirements." In practice, this is actually an argument for more strenuous, rather than laxer, requirements -- he should not be arguing, as he is, that this policy is annoying and contrary to the aim of producing proficient voters, but that it is not strict enough at accomplishing this end. If voting requirements were made laxer than they are, he would need not complete three debates; he, once again, could simply sign-up and vote: vote for his friends, his relatives, his cousins, neighbors, what have you. He could even create several multi-accounts in order to votebomb -- and I say votebomb in the sense that the votes would at least appear real -- his own debates, and thus gain an unfair advantage. Without a mechanism in place to require that someone be committed and dedicated enough to the site -- to see that they cared enough about debating and voting that they fulfilled the modest requirement of three finished debates -- it would simply be possible, in principle, to gain the upper hand by deceptive, illegal means.

I submit that, though a loophole exists -- one, in fact, that he is admitting to utilizing at this very moment -- there is an even larger loophole in not having this requirement, and thus the case he is describing becomes exacerbated. Without any requirements whatsoever, multi-accounts would spiral out of control, placing a burden on the moderators of this site, the server, and other dedicated members. Therefore, there are more benefits to having a three-debate requirement than not having it, and it should remain.
Debate Round No. 1
shockwave188

Con

I agree with what you said pro to the extent that there needs to be a way to ensure people can not "votebomb" debates, and that one way to address the loophole is to increase the requirements. For my rebuttal I will suggest a solution.

I believe that no matter what policies are put in place that if someone wants to "votebomb" a debate that they will find a way. What I suggest is to make it not worth it. I suggest that a system of staggered influence be put into place. That using some kind of ranking system that takes the value of a users arguments, the difficulty of the topic and opponent into place not just the wins and losses, to increase or decrease the amount of votes a user has. For example pro is ranked in the 97 percentile in DDO. Between his statistics and briefly examining his debates I think when he votes he puts time and effort into it and therefore his votes can be deemed "good". Therefore when he fills out the form and clicks cast my vote instead of just putting one point towards a debater he puts multiple points in. Not only would this counter act the "votebombing" but it would be a more effective way of determining a winner. This would counter "votebombing" because pretending that I created four accounts purely for the reason of voting for my friends, according to my system unless I worked on them for weeks I would only have a maximum of eight to ten votes at my disposal and allocating those votes would take a lot of effort. Pro however would have much much more then ten votes, therefore he would not only counter act my votebombing but assumingly give the points to the rightful winner of the debate. This system would help progress voting as well because it gives more power to those who are better debaters. For example lets say I get the three debates done and can vote on a topic. I put one vote for con because I misread or misinterpreted what he said. Now con is going to win even though he had a worse argument. But progressivedem22 comes along and votes on the debate as well. He decided correctly that pro had the better argument and votes for him. In the current system that would mean that it is tied and now because of my stupidity and his lack of influence a good debater is going to tie on instead of win a debate which is a big deal. In my proposed system progressivedem22 would be able to not only negate my wrong but right it. As I continue on in my debates I can eventually gain that power as well. Not only does this properly allocate power but it will give me something to strive for and give me a reason to put my best into every debate.

Conclusion:
My proposed new policy for voting would render the current policy of three votes therefore making it unproductive.

I hope it was ok to use you personally in my examples, if not then I am sorry and apologize. I want to thank you for accepting my debate and putting time and effort into it. Have a nice day!
progressivedem22

Pro

Thanks for putting time and effort into this debate. It was really quite fun. I found it interesting that you used my name, haha.

Your idea is quite interesting, though I do plan to address some possible faults with it. My main point, however, is that in order to suggest a new system in lieu -- not in conjunction -- with the current system, it is critical to differentiate in what areas the old system faltered. Logically, your proposed system should address those areas.

What I can glean are your primary arguments against the three-vote requirement are:

1. It's annoying
2. There's a loophole
3. If people want to votebomb, they will find a way to do it

I'll address all of these in reference to the new system you've advocated. First, your argument that "if people want to votebomb, they will" is actually quite similar to arguments against gun control and gun background checks. I'm not accusing you, of course, of holding such a position, but I think the same logic applies. Opponents of gun background checks argue that people who want to break the rules -- which, in our case, is votebombing -- will find a way to do so, anyway. Therefore, we should rely on a "good guy with a gun to counteract a bad guy with a gun" -- in our case, a good debater and voter to counteract a bad debater and voter -- as Wayne LaPierre put it [1].

The problems with this position are as follows. First, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Gun control opponents are so adamant that bad people will be able to purchase firearms anyway -- even if they would have no hope of passing a background check (and, mind you, first-time offenders who have never committed a crime, but intend to, would be able to) -- that they're lifting what was likely the strongest restraint (gun background checks) that would have made it nearly impossible for these people to purchase firearms legally. Therefore, they have effectively made it easier for these people to purchase guns, because they can now simply purchase one at a gun store without restraint. Certainly that must be easier and more convenient than purchasing one on the black market, and quite likely much safer. At the very least, having more options would empower criminals.

So, why is this analogy relevant? Because I sense in your argument that your belief is that, because a loophole exists -- and we assume that no one notices this loophole and, consequently, they do not report the debate -- setting an initial requirement is not necessary, but merely regulating the amount of votes that a new user has relative to an established debater would deter this problem. Effectively, a "good guy with a gun" would save the day. However, why must we assume that, just because someone is good at debating, that they are a good voter? Could they be, in some cases, a troll? What if a strong debater doesn't vote as much as he or she should, and thus cannot counteract every bad vote? What if there are two many bad votes due to multi-accounts? Does this not place an undue onus on the site's best members, and thus serve to drive them away?

Now, I'm going to throw one member, whom I honestly respect dearly, under the bus. This isn't an attack on him in any sense, but I think he'll understand and appreciate my logic here. If not, well, my apologies.

Let's look at Imabench -- who is, by all accounts, a fine debater. The first two sentences of the "About me" section of his profile are as follows [2]:

"DDO Hall of Fame member. If you look at my Bio it mentions trolling 8 times and my debating skills only once, so that alone summarizes what kind of member I am."

So, he is indeed an excellent debater with an ELO rating of 4,239 at this moment. However, he admits to taking part in the convention of "trolling." What is trolling? Well, since it's a slang word, I suppose we have no choice other than to look at urban dictionary [3]:

"One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument."

Though I am not accusing Imabench of being a serial votebomber or potential serial votebomber, I do think his example causes us to rightfully call into question the "good guy with a gun" analogy. Is it not reasonable for us to question whether someone is a good -- or a serious -- voter, even if their ELO rating is quite high and they have proven themselves a worthy debater? Is there ever a possibility of "trolling?" Moreover, if these people have more votes than other members, who will counteract a bad vote by a high-ranked member? The analogy I often think of is one that is used in opposition to government regulation: who will regulate the regulators? How can you trust the regulators? No matter how you frame it, this system affords great power to someone and some group. The Bible says we're all sinners, right?

Next, I'd like to offer another comparison to a relevant outside source. Billionaire Tom Perkins, who recently got into trouble over comparing the Occupy Wall Street protesters to Kristallnacht [4], argued that rich people should get more votes in elections than middle-income and poor people, essentially because they "pay more in taxes." Now, let's look past the economics of this claim for just a moment -- as many would argue, myself included, that the very affluent are able to reduce their taxable income significantly with loopholes, deductions, and reduced rates for capital gains, while the poor pay a sales tax on the entirety of their income because they spend 100% of what they earn to survive (comparable, perhaps, to using troll debates to earn a high ELO).

Is the logic not the same as Con's -- that people who have been successful are, by definition, better voters and thus should receive more say in how the system ought to run? Here are the problems I see with this system -- and these extend to both the Tom Perkins analogy and Con's proposed solution:

1. As we have learned earlier, having a high ELO ranking does not preclude a desire for "trolling." In the case of the very affluent having more votes, the logic would be that a millionaire like Mitt Romney who enjoyed paying a 14% tax rate on millions of income would not vote to raise his own taxes, which brings us to my next point:

2. It preserves and perpetuates a social hierarchy. This brings us back to the claim of "who regulates the regulators?" More specifically, we must ask who regulates the "good guy with a gun?" If someone with a very high rating pinpoints and votes for their friends, or finds someone they don't like, who will counter this? They could prevent people from ever reaching the top tier.

3. Democracy is critical, and this is rooted in the idea that our self-worth is not determined by our debating skills, our intellect, or our connections. Thus, giving some people more of a voice than others runs counter to this claim.

To recap:

1. A three-vote requirement may be annoying, but it is even more annoying to endure a "votebomb" campaign or to receive a bad vote from an inexperienced member, or even an experienced member who has more votes, but is trolling or protecting a friend.
2. Debate experience is valuable.
3. The loophole in Con's proposed system is even larger than the loopholes in the current system. People can partake in troll debates to raise their ELO in order to get more votes.
4. Con's system relies far too much on the assumption that the "good guy with a gun" will be a fair, honest, good voter.
5. His system may perpetuate a social hierarchy.
6. Democracy is valuable.

Therefore, the current system should remain.

Thanks, Con, for a very interesting debate. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion.

1. http://www.npr.org...
2. http://www.debate.org...
3. http://www.urbandictionary.com...
4. http://www.ibtimes.com...-
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
The loophole is closed by people like me who report debates made for the expressed intent of simply getting three debates completed. At the very least the loophole is made smaller.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
shockwave188progressivedem22Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros argument makes more sense in light of the specific arguments given which currently exist on DDO. While I agree with Con that in the beginning (time after joining DDO) it can be frustrating if you cannot vote. The rules are in place for a reason, to help with the problems Con pointed out. Great debate to both of you and all other points are shared.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
shockwave188progressivedem22Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: First I do not consider this debate a part of the loophole, as it's a real debate, unlike ones with titles along the lines of "asdffgh." Con's argument was further weakened by being unable to defend his first suggested system, and replaced it with another one (which admittedly could go hand in hand with it); when this type of thing happens I wonder if a third round would have gotten a third idea instead of a proper defense of the first two... Pro on the other hand shot down the ideas proposed, with clear reason. Besides as this is a very subjective debate, I'd rather have equal say from equal voters, rather than say have my one vote (99th percentile) make several others irrelevant (imagine that back in the day of Counter Vote Bombs, then trying to find a balance of just the right people to counter one votebomb without tipping it in the opposite direction). ... None of this is to say the current protocols are perfect, there's always room for improvement; merely pro presented better here
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
shockwave188progressivedem22Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed that, the 3 debate rule is a happy median that is possible in possible site rules.