The Instigator
liberty
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
beemOr
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points

Debaters have to have a US cell phone in order to be able vote.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/2/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,272 times Debate No: 5238
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (6)

 

liberty

Con

I do not believe that Debaters have to have a US cell phone in order to be able vote.

Contentions

Contention 1: It is a fairly ineffective solution

Someone who has friends or family members who also posses cell phones can easily get their permission to use their cell phone in order to create multiple accounts and cheat anyway, consequently this solution does not provide an actual solution, to the contrary it creates new problems.

Contention 2: Discrimination

A major issue that has to be addressed is that of discrimination, people who are not residents of the US or do not have cell phones are robbed of their right to vote. Also these groups will always start a debate voting period with one vote behind due to that they can not vote for themselves unlike the rest of the debaters.

Contention 3: Objections

I first entered the site this morning after a week and noticed a lot of change which with the exception of the the current debate topic I am particularly pleased with. I also noticed that many other people besides myself objected to the mobile phone solution, each one of them felt that it was unfair for their own reasons. I dare to say that I have noticed more objections to the solution than I did to the problem... So if many people object to the decision and many others don't do so openly but admit through the comment box admit they would change it if they could. How can we say that it is useful solution if many of the people it was made for, the debaters themselves don't agree to it?

Contention 4: Alternatives

There are many alternatives to the mobile phone solution that cause less problems and provide an actual solution unlike the current one. If a logical and creative human thinks for a while he/she may come up with many other better ideas. One is that of transparency (to see who voted for who and why), so if users notice any suspicious users (usually those without any debating experience are most possible to be second or third accounts of real people), they can report those who got the controversial vote. There are many more solutions that one can think of that would be more efficient in preventing potential cheaters to succeed. So why discriminate specific groups and cause problems in general for an infective solution, when there are better alternatives?
beemOr

Pro

First, I would like to clarify what is meant by the resolution, since it is poorly worded.

I believe it was my opponent's intent to make this a debate about whether or not the current cell phone identity confirmation system is a good thing. Reading through his round 1 arguments makes this pretty clear.

I am indeed in favor of the current system. It is one of the best ways to deter people from using multiple accounts for extra votes. It's probably even the best system that would be easily implemented. Also, as a side note, I have not yet gone through the process of confirming my identity, since I don't actually have a cell phone. I will probably borrow my brother's sometime later this week to do it.

My opponent made a list of 4 contentions, so I will respond to those now.

Contention 1: Ineffective
My opponent claims that this system just doesn't do much. People will still make extra accounts, by borrowing cell phones from friends or family. However, it does make the whole process a lot harder. Not only that, but many friends and family would not comply. "You need to borrow my phone? Why? Just use yours!" is something we might hear. Also, it definitely puts a limit on the number of accounts a person can control, since there's only going to be a limited number of people you can borrow cell phones from. In the old system, one could make as many accounts as their heart desired, and if they played their cards right, people wouldn't know. The new system at least limits people's ability to cheat.

Contention 2: Discrimination
It's not really discrimination, since everyone's expected to do the same thing. It makes all people -- black, white, American, Jamaican -- do the same thing: receive a text message on a US cell phone. More appropriately, we might say it is skewed to favor Americans. But then again, if we look at the people who use Debate.org, that's most of the population of the site. So yes, it might be a bit more trouble for someone like my opponent, who lives in Greece. You are always free to not use the site. Just as I probably wouldn't use a site skewed towards people living in Europe. You can also continue using the site, and just not vote. Or you could put in some work to find someone in the states willing to do you a favor.
It may not be fair, but life rarely is. This is the best system we have available.

Contention 3: Objections
Yes, not all debaters think it is a good solution. For that very reason, I'm likely to lose this match of ours. However, it is true that we do not always know what is best for us. For instance, if given the choice to live in a society where taxes were optional rather than mandatory, many would do so. However, that society just doesn't work very well, and whether they know it or not, most people would prefer life in the mandatory-tax country.
People dislike the system because they had to go through some trouble to start voting again. Very few people on the site were very concerned with the problem of multiple accounts, but as an old-timer, I can assure you that mutliple accounts was a problem, especially if that person decided they didn't like you. I've seen people with outstanding win ratios all of a sudden get five votes against them on all their debates. With the new system, things like that will not happen as often.

Contention 4: Alternatives
My opponent says that better alternatives exist, and that we could think of them fairly quickly. Well forgive me for being an ignoramus, but I cannot think of a better solution to the problem of mulitple accounts.
My opponent does give us an example of an alternative system - that our votes be made public, and we be forced to post reasoning behind it. This would be horrible for debate.org, especially with the recent addition of more social networking.

Let's say my good old pal Logical-Master has a debate with NoNameDebaterX. Let's say I think Logical-Master got owned. With anonymous voting, I have no qualms with voting truthfully. With public voting, I have to not only show everyone that I voted against Logical-Master, but I have to say why! Many people would prefer not to vote at all than to insult their friends' performance. So then we end up with a system where the more friends you have, the less likely people will be willing to vote against you. That's not good. Not to mention that it would require a huge change in the debate.org database infrastructure, and it would be incompatible with all the debates that already went by. Consider an old debate like this:
http://www.debate.org...
With the system my opponent hails as better than the current system, all those votes would now be incompatible. Would we retroactively show who voted for whom in the debate, even though the voters thought they had anonymity when they voted? What would we show for their reason for voting how they did?
Not to mention that anonymity while voting is very nice, because like I said, you're more able to vote based on what you actually think rather than on what you want people to see.
Also, this system my opponent gives us doesn't even address the problem. Cheaters won't care how you view their dummy accounts. They'll still vote however they want, and simply fill the reason why with generic garbage supporting person X.

My opponent closes by saying that there are MANY more solutions that one can think of that would be more efficient than the current system. Well, my esteemed opponent, I'M READY! Bring ALL your numerous solutions, I will show you why each one is worse than the current system.

Our current system makes making dummy accounts difficult enough that people won't abuse it as much, with the added bonus of placing a physical limit on the number of accounts a person could potentially have [you can't borrow infinite cell phones from friends].
I'm very excited about the many superior alternatives my opponent is going to tell us about next round. With that, I'll end my first round.
Debate Round No. 1
liberty

Con



"My opponent claims that this system just doesn't do much … The new system at least limits people's ability to cheat."

- First of all my opponent clearly misses the point of my first contention. I mean that although the solution does have a small effect, it is not worth the trouble. This is because it creates new problems such as the ones that I explained in the rest of my Round 1 contentions. Also, I would like to address the hypothetical discussion my opponent provides as a counter argument. We all know that it is not hard to persuade a family member to lend you their cell phone, if you find an excuse or even tell them the real reason that you need it for and my opponent knows this. So SOME people will still have multiple accounts and this is not fair.

"It's not really discrimination, since everyone's expected to do the same thing. It makes all people -- black, white, American, Jamaican -- do the same thing: receive a text message on a US cell phone."

- True, but this is irrelevant. It isn't discrimination against blacks or whites, its discrimination between people who have US cell phones and people who don't. I'm sure that plenty of people on this site don't.

"More appropriately, we might say it is skewed to favour Americans."

-I agree.

"But then again, if we look at the people who use Debate.org, … Or you could put in some work to find someone in the states willing to do you a favour."

It may not be fair, but life rarely is. This is the best system we have available."

- There are many non Americans and American users don't have cell that use the site phones. These groups of people consist of a large percentage of the users of the site. It's not fair, I agree, but we can change it so it is. My opponent suggests that those who are foreign or those who don't have cell phones simply leave the site or be less privileged than the American users, my answer is that I'm sorry for disappointing you, but I like the site and intend to stay and I certainly don't agree to not being able to vote or use the other privileges of the site that my privileged opponent enjoys when the system may be changed to suit us all.

Also as for what I should do I would prefer my opponent leaves out of his arguments them out of this because this debate is not about me personally. I neither appreciate his offer for me to leave the site, nor not vote or bother others so I can use their cell phone.

Thanks.

Yes, not all debaters think it is a good solution. For that very reason, I'm likely to lose this match of ours.

- I directly disagree with this but then again, you were the one who accepted the challenge. If this observation of yours is made to make voters sympathise with you, you are sadly mistaken in doing so, if not I withdraw the comment.

"However, it is true that we do not always know what is best for us … With the new system, things like that will not happen as often."

- Again my opponent misses the point of my argument. I did not say that I object to solving the problem, I simply believe that the solution is not completely satisfactory and creates new problems (discrimination between users and objections of others) and that a new and better one is necessary. Also my opponent believes that people didn't have a problem with multiple accounts he is wrong. Also, these people (and believe me there are many of them), who object to the old system deserve a more effective and fairer solution.

"Cheaters won't care how you view their dummy accounts. They'll still vote however they want, and simply fill the reason why with generic garbage supporting person X."

- Oh yes they will, you can report them and they, along with all their dummy accounts will be BANNED and their bogus success in debates, which is the basic reason of cheating (:recognition) will be lost. So they will care. A fake account has certain characteristics: the user always votes for, or against the same person and they don't have any debating experience, just report such profiles and get the cheaters banned.

"Let's say my good old pal Logical-Master has a debate with NoNameDebaterX …. I have to not only show everyone that I voted against Logical-Master, but I have to say why!"

" Not to mention that anonymity while voting is very nice, because like I said, you're more able to vote based on what you actually think rather than on what you want people to see."

- Not unless you care about people's opinion so much or lie about who you voted for, if your friends are really your friends and not people who use you to get votes, so they can win debates, they will understand that you believe that they lost.

Don't be afraid to express your opinion!

Even so, I will respect my opponent's fear of showing people what he believes and accept his challenge:

I obviously can't give my opponent ALL the solutions one can think of, but I will give him 2 that popped out of my mind, I hope he's content:

1) Earned Right to Vote:

A possible solution is that users will have to earn their right to vote. Just like children can't vote in real life until they reach the age of 18, because they supposedly lack fair judgement, in the same way debaters will have to have participated in at least 2, or more, full debates of their own not phony and without forfeiting more than 1 Round in total) in order to be able to vote. That way, cheaters will have to go through a lot of trouble to be able to use their other accounts.

It is better than the current system, because:

a.) Debaters need to have fair judgement anyway and what better way to obtain it than debating?
b.) It is harder and more time-consuming than just borrowing another person's cell phone so it will be more effective against cheaters.
c.) It does not completely exclude certain users, because it's just a matter of time before even the new members can vote
d.) The first thing a new user usually does, anyway, is start a new debate so this will bring his just extra debate away from voting.
e.) You can always report cheaters (ex. People who make phony debates for their extra accounts to be able to vote), unlike the current system where you don't know who has more than 1 cell phone.

2.) Judges:

Let's face it; the public voting system has many defects:

>People can cheat easily with or without the mobile phone solution.
>Users can use friends to vote for them, so whoever has more friends or has multiple accounts usually wins.
>Many people vote for specific debaters, rather than the actual contents of the debate.
>Many others vote for the opinion they support, rather than the actual contents of the debate.
For example view this debate and its comments:
http://www.debate.org...
>Grudges and hatred, as my opponent accurately commented, may cause certain debaters to be targeted by a user (with or without multiple accounts) or a group of users.
For example view this debate and its comments:
http://www.debate.org...

Taking all the above into consideration, and since real debates are not decided by popular opinion but with judges, I suggest that the site does the same. They can either hire or appoint people from their own staff to judge debates. This solution is better that the system current because:

a.)Users can no longer cheat in any way! While with the current system they most certainly can.
b.)The results will be fair, unlike the current system where the public doesn't chose the real winner very often, because of reasons that I mentioned above in bullets.
c.)All users will be treated equally. While now, as my opponent pointed out "it [the system] is skewed to favor Americans" and users without cell phones are being being excluded in many ways
d.)Certain users would no longer be targeted or favoured by the opinion of individual or groups.
Thanks
beemOr

Pro

Recognize that my opponent has abandoned his old alternative system, clearly accepting that it was successfully shown inferior to my own position.

NOTE TO THE READERS: The actual debate.org system does not require a _US_ cell phone specifically - but I will continue arguing in favor of this system. If your cell phone carrier is not listed on the identity confirmation page, you can contact support and they will add it. With that cleared up, back to the debate:

My opponent corrects his first contention, which was originally meant to show that the cell phone identity confirmation method was "ineffective". HE now insists that it is effective, just not effective ENOUGH to justify the trouble of having to confirm your identity via text message.

I would go as far as to say that most people would not feel comfortable asking their family or friends to borrow a cell phone to make an account on a website. The obvious response from the family member or friend in most cases will be "Why don't you use your phone?", and they will have to explain that they already made an account, and then they will have to explain why they want a second account. People do not want to tell others that they are cheaters. Also, "Let me borrow your cell phone to register for a site" is alrready something many people would not allow - fearing extra charges and such.

However, my opponent is correct in saying that even under the cell phone confirmation system, SOME people will have multiple accounts. How likely is it that someone will have a second account? Not very, I think I showed that in the last paragraph. What about three accounts? Very, very unlikely. Four? It gets increasingly hard to find people to scam into letting you use their phones, and most people just don't have it in them to do this anyway. In the old system, I can say that there were people who almost certainly had five or six accounts. This is just so far-fetched under the new system. Indeed, the very 'trouble' that my opponent says makes it 'not worth it' is the 'trouble' that stops people from making multiple voting accounts.

My opponent is holding on to the notion that it is discrimination against people who do not have US cell phones. Under this logic, all web sites are 'discriminating' against all people who don't have computers. TV shows 'discriminate' against people who don't have a TV or don't have access to that channel. Radio stations 'discriminate' against people who are not in the local area, and those who do not have radios. Wo while under some definition it could be called 'discrimination' to require US cell phones for voting priveledges, do not let the negative buzword 'discrimination' mislead you. In the same sense that this is discrimination, all media is discrimination. Telling a joke is discrimination against anyone who isn't in earshot. Having a party on saturday night is discrimination against people who are busy that night. There is nothing wrong with being discriminatory in this sense.

My opponent continues to claim that the system can be changed to suit us all, but this is not the case, and I will shatter his new alternative case later this round. This is the best system that has been advocated in this debate. We must accept the fact that it is not perfect. Yes, you have to go through a little bit of trouble to gain voting priveledges. Yes, you have to have a US cell phone. But there is no other way that will accomplish the same goals that need to be met.

And when I said "You are always free to not use the site. Just as I probably wouldn't use a site skewed towards people living in Europe. You can also continue using the site, and just not vote. Or you could put in some work to find someone in the states willing to do you a favor," I was not referring to my opponent specifically. You will note that every time I address my opponent, it is in the third person. I use the second person solely to talk to my audience, and sometimes to speak about an unknown person. Therefore, his objections to me focusing on is specific case are unfounded, since I never did such a thing. I focused on the general case of people living in other countries, unable to access US cell phones. And he fails to refute my advice:
A person who is not in the US can do one of the following things under the US cell phone confirmation system:
1> Not use the site. Just as I would not tune to a California radia station - living in North Carolina would limit my ability to receive their transmissions. This is "discrimination" according to my opponent.
2> Continue to use this site, but not vote. In fact, it is what I have done so far. Just as an open source project will generally only accept contributions to the source code from people they know they can trust, but allows everyone to download it, Debate.org allows everyone to use the debating features, but not everyone can contribute to the judging of the debates - only people debate.org feels it can trust.
3> Find someone in the states and get them to let you use their US cell phone for confirmation. It's what I have to do, since I have no cell phone.

My opponent claims that "real friends" wouldn't care if you vote against them, so no one should mind if voting was made public. However, this evades the plain fact that people want to avoid a conflict, and will vote for their friend to avoid any possible trouble. This is simple psychology. The negative consequence of bickering/flaming will make a person stop voting against their friend, or whoever is bickering with them upon being voted against. Thus, public voting is bad. And like I said last round, that went un-challenged, public voting DOESN'T address the problem AT ALL. People can easily make multiple accounts and vote publicly against the person they want to vote against. The problem is just as present with public voting as it was under the old system.

Now, to the new alternatives:
1. Earning the right to vote
"debaters will have to have participated in at least 2, or more, full debates of their own not phony and without forfeiting more than 1 Round in total"
The problem here is constant maintenance. Especially with so many new members expected in the near future, it would be way too much work for people to verify that a member has two debates that are not spammy. Even if we could have this done at an acceptable rate, and even if it wouldn't be a huge waste of human resources, it would not stop people from making as many fake accounts as they want. It is very simple to fake a debate between two fake accounts. In fact, it might even be fun for most of the people on this website, since we almost all love to debate - debating ourselves would be a nice change of pace.
So as was the case with public voting, this new 'alternative' doesn't even address the problem.

2. Judges
My opponent suggests that the staff of this website either judge debates themselves or hire professional judges. The obvious problem here is time and money. It is a massive waste of human resources. Even with the somewhat slow schedule debates fnish currently, it would take a lot of man hours to vote for every debate on this site - when you combine that with the fact that the site plans on growing massively in the near future, it becomes so absurd to suggest that the staff hire judges or judge the debates themselves. Also, one of the main reasons people read other people's debates is eliminated - most people read other debates so they can give their input - usually by vote. That means people view less pages on here, which usually means even LESS money for the site.
It is completely impractical from an economic standpoint. And it removes one of the things that makes people like this site - being able to have an affect on the voting outcome of debates.

I have shown that my opponent's alternatives either do not address the issue [publically displayed voting, 'earned' voting] or are completely impractical and absurd [judges]
Debate Round No. 2
liberty

Con


"Recognize that my opponent has abandoned his old alternative system, clearly accepting that it was successfully shown inferior to my own position."

- This is false, because I did counter his attack on my proposed solution.

"NOTE TO THE READERS: …"

- This can not be considered as an argument because this information was provided to my opponent through the comment box, from another person. He only provides this "note", so users won't be misinformed. So this should not be taken into consideration when voting.

"My opponent corrects his first contention, which was originally meant to show that the cell phone identity confirmation method was "ineffective". HE now insists that it is effective, just not effective ENOUGH to justify the trouble of having to confirm your identity via text message."

-this argument is completely false. The title of my first contention is: "It is a FAIRLY ineffective solution", meaning that it is effective just not effective enough!!! So I do not change my argument.

"I would go as far as to say that most people would not feel comfortable asking their family or friends to borrow a cell phone to make an account on a website. … Also, "Let me borrow your cell phone to register for a site" is already something many people would not allow - fearing extra charges and such."

- a.) Most people DO feel comfortable asking their family to use their cell phone.
b.)Most logical people would explain that it would not charge them extra, because it is just one message. c.) My opponent continues this hypothetical dialogue while trying to prove that it is hard to cheat, because persuading a family member to give you their cell phone, without charging them much which we all know is not that difficult.

"However, my opponent is correct in saying that even under the cell phone confirmation system

"How likely is it that someone will have a second account? Not very, I think I showed that in the last paragraph. What about three accounts? Very, very unlikely. Four? It gets increasingly hard to find people to scam into letting you use their phones, and most people just don't have it in them to do this anyway. In the old system, I can say that there were people who almost certainly had five or six accounts."

- My opponent chooses to play a game of hypothetical discussions: I'll play along:
2nd account: Dialogue:
-Hey sis, can I use your cell phone?
-Why
-I need to send a message.
-Can't you use your own phone?
-No, because I need to sign up for a sight and it says that my number doesn't exist, I need yours in order to use the sight
-Am I going to get charged a lot or will they send me other messages other the first one?
-No, I promise it is just one message and it is charged normally
-Ok. Take it, but if I notice any problems you'll be in real trouble!

3rd, 4th, 5th accounts can be obtained in a similar way from borrowing siblings', parents' and friends' cell phones and CHEAT. Even if is not done in the same way as the example above it is very easy. So even if your family members are really suspicious, there is usually a way out of it. With the current system, people still cheat while in my 2nd alternative [judges] they can't cheat at all!

My opponent goes on saying that his suggestions were not addressed to me personally but to all users who don't have a US cell phone. I thank him for leaving me out of the debating and I am happy that he had no intention of doing so.

"A person who is not in the US can do one of the following things under the US cell phone confirmation system:
1> Not use the site. Just as I would not tune to a California radi[o] station - living in North Carolina would limit my ability to receive their transmissions. This is "discrimination" according to my opponent."

- Yes, but a European can enter the site but not vote, while my opponent wouldn't even know about the California radio station. As for the specific example of Radio stations, it is a thing that probably can't change while in the case of the site it can!

"2> Continue to use this site, but not vote. … but not everyone can contribute to the judging of the debates - only people debate.org feels it can trust."

- Sure we and can't be trusted by the site to vote or access certain features, just because we don't have a US cell phone, while my opponent can. This is specifically the point [discrimination] I made in Round 1 and my opponent now adds to it.

"3> Find someone in the states and get them to let you use their US cell phone for confirmation. It's what I have to do, since I have no cell phone."

- This is easy for my opponent to do because he lives in the US. Also, my opponent here, offers this advise as if it were easy to do , but if it so easy to obtain your first account by borrowing another person's cell phone, using logic, it would be just as easy to obtain a second or third one in the same way. I guess I should thank my opponent for saving me the trouble of refuting his points myself."

My alternatives

1: Transparency while voting:
My Opponent claims that it does not address the problem, but logic tells us that it does. If users notice (as it very possible), a user without debating experience voting for or against the same person (that are likely to be fake accounts), they can report them and get cheaters BANNED. So my opponent's claim lacks logic, because it does address the problem.

2: Earning the right to vote:
"The problem here is constant maintenance…Even if we could have this done at an acceptable rate, and even if it wouldn't be a huge waste of human resources…"

- Debates will stay up long enough for people to read them in any case so spamy debates will most likely be traced on time. Also, when someone has earned the right to vote, it will be written on his account and his right to do so will exist no matter if his debates are still up there or not.

My opponent says that this solution does not address the problem, because people can still cheat by creating phony debates. This is false, because it takes a lot of time to create such debates and for maybe the 2 first false accounts, the cheater won't mind but after that it becomes tiring and usually they would prefer to use their time for real debating or other activities, than wasting it on 1 or 2 extra accounts. So it does address the problem because it limits cheaters, it may not be perfect, but it defiantly addresses the problem more effectively than the current system, because it is easier to borrow your mom's cell phone than to make two entire 3 Round fake debates. Also, it is better because it doesn't cause the same amount of problems to users as the current system.

3: Judges
My opponent says that it would be a huge waste of human resources and man hours to judge all future debates. This is false, because only 10 debates max are completed each and to judge these it would take about an hour or two a day. So his claims of HUGE waste are completely false. Also I would like to remind my opponent that most people who view debates are users who are checking up on their friends, second accounts who are there to cheat and the debaters themselves, but (most of the time) users and non-users who are preparing for similar debates of their own. So to see who real judges chose as the winner would attract even more people. So the site is most likely to not lose at all. Therefore my alternative is neither absurd nor impractical.
Finally my opponent my opponent failed to refute the reasons I consider my alternatives better and why I consider the public voting system to have many defects. Therefore extend my argument.

Above, I have proven that the current system is not the best one advocated. Also I proved that there are better alternatives to suit us all and NO you don't HAVE to have a US cell phone, while the problem of cheating will be dealt with more effectively if the current system is replaced.

Thank you very much.
beemOr

Pro

First, I will respond to my opponent's claim that it is simple to get new accounts from friends or parents with the cell phone method.

He gives us a scenario. However, even in his scenario there are many things that can go wrong. Here's the scenario, for reference:
"-Hey sis, can I use your cell phone?
-Why
-I need to send a message.
-Can't you use your own phone?
-No, because I need to sign up for a sight and it says that my number doesn't exist, I need yours in order to use the sight
-Am I going to get charged a lot or will they send me other messages other the first one?
-No, I promise it is just one message and it is charged normally
-Ok. Take it, but if I notice any problems you'll be in real trouble!"

What if this person already knows that you use debate.org and have activated your account? What if this person is not okay with you using their cell phone, even if you promise there will be nothing wrong? This is only a good scenario because my opponent has already written the responses, but it is not such a sure thing in practice. Also consider that most people aren't good at deception, and that it would become exponentially more work after doing this on two or more people, since you would have to make sure it never came up in conversation while both people were around.

In any case, the cell phone method makes it so that there is a great deal of trouble involved in making fake voting accounts.

Also, I never said finding someone in the states to let you use their cell phone would be easy. I simply said that if you REALLY need to use the voting feature of the site and don't have a US cell phone, it's what you have to do. My opponent claiming that I said it would be easy is misrepresenting my argument.

Now, I will once again show what is wrong with my opponent's alternatives.

For voter transparency, my opponent now states that it would eliminate cheating because users of debate.org would notice a trend and get the person banned for voting for the same person so often. However, this is nonsensical. Just because person A votes for person B all the time does not mean they are the same person. People invite their friends here. Some friends come specifically to read their friends' debates. Consider that we have only about 1800 members who have participated in at least one debate. The overwhelming majority of these 1800 have only participated in one or two. We have about 4700 members who have had 0 debates. This is in large part due to people inviting friends. Friends are likely to read your debates, and when they do, most are likely to vote for you, since they're biased. This is not something we should ban people for - voting for the same person. Therefore, transparency does not solve the issue at all.

Next on the list of alternatives is 'earning the right to vote'. The main problem is indeed that constant maintenance is required. the last 10 debates to end ended in the last day, so even right now, that's 10 debates that the staff have to mark as deserving of voting rights or not. Considering that debate.org plans on growing rapidly, we can expect this number to jump significantly. It simply becomes overwhelming, and not worth the time. Not only that, but it's not even effective. People can still make legitimate-looking arguments between their fake accounts. In fact, we're all on this site because we LIKE making arguments, so it might even be fun to make new accounts under this system. A person can easily and enjoyably make as many accounts as he or she wants under this system.

Lastly, judges. This is the worst proposition. A website is supposed to make money. The second it stops doing that, it will be taken down. Hiring a staff of judges would definitely hurt debate.org's wallet. First, they would have to pay the judges. Currently, about 10 debates are finished every day. If we suppose that reading one of these debates, weighing the arguments, and posting an RFD takes only 30 minutes, that's 5 man-hours a day that must be spent voting on debates, and we consider growing considerably, so that number will only rise. A professional debate judger is going to make at least 10 dollars an hour, probably more. So that's 50 bucks a day the site is spending that it doesn't need to spend.
Then we consider that disallowing people from voting makes them visit less pages, view less ads, spend less time on the site, and perhaps even not visit the site as often, etc. This means that the site will also be making less money. I explained why last round - many people read so many other debates because they want to give their vote one way or the other. I haven;t activated my voting privileges yet, and I can tell you first hand that it makes me not really likely to read many other debates.
So why would the site have any incentive to implement a judging system when A> It's going to cost them $50 a day and rising, and B> It's going to lower their income by some amount? They would not, because it's a horrible system. It's not worth the money, and it makes the site less exciting for us, the users, since we would no longer be able to vote.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by beemOr 8 years ago
beemOr
I think we can agree that it doesn't really matter that you don't have a cell phone, since you should probably not be voting on debates anyway [you said it yourself - you're unwilling to read most of the stuff on here]. I am sorry to hear that this site was not for you, but do not blame things that have nothing to do with why you're leaving. You're leaving because you don't really like reading most debates, and you also don't really like having debates of your own [the fact that you have 0 debates seems to be a large indication of that]. If you don't like reading debates, and you don't like participating in them, I can't really recommend this site for you, whether or not there is cell phone identity confirmation.

Also, while features like photo albums do not add anything to the debating functionality of the site, it does not detract from it. These new social networking features just allow us to communicate and make friends with one another more easily. Walls and messages and the upcoming groups and forums are great for forming a community. It will not draw new users who are simply looking for a social network. What it will do is make the people who use the site like it more and use it more, and those people will spread the site, either by someone seeing it and asking about it or by the person talking about it or recommending it. Debate.org is much more fun now than it was without the social networking features, and this will cause people to spend more time on it and spread it to their friends. I think it was a great idea.
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
Geez, I had forgotten how much of this site is tl;dr. I'm even interested in this topic (seeing as it is one of several reasons that I am leaving), but I STILL didn't read the whole thing. The point is moot anyway, since I can't vote.

I can, however, comment and say that yes, this cellphone thing is a PROBLEM more than a SOLUTION. It is DISCRIMINATORY and RUDE (to blow things out of proportion). And think of all the users (of which, I confess, I was one) who didn't know the mobile phone deal was to prevent cheating! It's pretty much twice the insult.

I can also comment and say that I HATE new debate.org. I mean, photo albums? Really? Social networking on debate.org doesn't even really draw new users; people who were interested in social networking would already have Myspace or Facebook or Xanga or something, and even if they DIDN'T, I doubt that they would turn to a debating website. The idea of messaging someone is a decent idea, but trying to be mini-facebook is going too far.
Posted by beemOr 8 years ago
beemOr
I don't have the power to votte, nor the power to vote. I have no cell phone, and have yet to confirm my identity using someone else's. Keep your baseless conjecture to yourself.
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
Lol. my opponent claims to not have a US cell phone but he obviously votted for himself.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Ah, then it would appear I was the one mistaken.
Posted by CogitoErgoCogitoSum 8 years ago
CogitoErgoCogitoSum
I do have a US cell phone... but it is bogus that I should have to give that information away or pay for text messages from this site... just to participate in its full features. This site has gotten worse since I first joined. I am thinking about canceling my cell and just get a land line or a cable phone vonage, or Skype. I should not be required to have an expensive cell phone, give that info away, or be forced texts on me, just to participate.
Posted by beemOr 8 years ago
beemOr
Oh, the level of misunderstanding that happens because of text conversation.

I understood that your comment was made in jest. I would still say it was mocking a point I made [the point that I might avoid voting against you to avoid creating conflict]. Not that I care, since that is a very mockworthy point. I would surely have mocked it in much the same fashion if you had insinuated that you should avoid voting against me to keep the peace.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Actually, I suppose that is a bit of a contradiction. I didn't actually come out and say I was joking, thus, I would have a hidden meaning. Okay, there were no NEGATIVE hidden meanings. Yeah, that sounds better.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
No non-verbal communication sucks.

I was kidding ( though not sardonically). You must understand, by no means am I attempting to mock you or anyone else.

No hidden meanings behind my post. Just joking for the sake of joking.
Posted by beemOr 8 years ago
beemOr
Oh, quiet. I was using you as an example. You know I'd probably prefer voting against you, just to start conflict. I was just trying to relay what is often the case - people will vote for their friend to 'keep the peace' if voting is publically displayed.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Chihuahuadogz 7 years ago
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libertybeemOrTied
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Vote Placed by DylanAsdale 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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