The Instigator
delaineyk
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Double_R
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Members of this website should have to fulfill more requirements before they can start a debate

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Double_R
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 854 times Debate No: 17384
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

delaineyk

Pro

1st Round: Acceptance
2nd Round: Opening arguments--NO rebuttals
3rd Round: Rebuttals and Conclusions

To clarify the resolution: People who join this website (Debate.org) should not be able to start new debates immediately upon joining. They should have to demonstrate their commitment to the site and understanding of how a debate should work before they can start one.

Thanks in advance to my opponent.
Double_R

Con

Accept.

Good Luck.
Debate Round No. 1
delaineyk

Pro

Currently, anyone who joins Debate.org can post new debates far too quickly. There are no time requirements or minimum participation requirements. I propose the idea that this is detrimental to the Debate.org community for several reasons.

1. Many new members are ignorant or misinformed on the proper procedure for a debate on this site. They join and think it will be fun to accept or create debates, but demonstrate their ignorance. They often do not understand round structure, and sometimes ignore the guidelines set out by their opponent (in the case of them accepting a debate). The lack of understanding of proper behavior hinders their and their opponent's abilities to debate intelligently.

2. New members who have not yet had the opportunity to observe good debates are more likely to post weak arguments. This is inconsiderate to the opponent hoping for a serious debate, and to readers and voters. It fills the site with lukewarm, half-hearted debates that aren't worth reading.

3. Many new members are not committed to their membership on this site. They may post several debates at once, and then find that they have bitten off more than they can chew, so to speak, and cancel their account. This could clog up the "Challenge Period" section for days, causing annoyance and confusion for members. If an opponent has already accepted the debate when they cancel their account, then the opponent has to wait for the end of each round for an automatic forfeit.

4. Another problem associated with not understanding the time required to debate and posting multiple new debates even if the member does not terminate their account. They could attempt to debate all of these debates, and the quality of the debates will go down.

5. Some new members may not be serious debaters at all, but just trying to troll or pick a fight before abandoning their account.

Because of this, it would be far better if new members had to demonstrate that they had a serious interest in the site before they were allowed to start debates. If a member had to vote on a certain number of debates before they could participate in one, that would narrow debaters down to more serious contenders. It would also ensure that debaters would have a basic understanding of how a debate works, round structure, good conduct, and what works and what doesn't.

I realize that the rules are currently the reverse of what I suggest now; members have to complete a certain number of debates before they can vote. But this way makes more sense for the purpose of people learning to be better debaters.
Double_R

Con

The rules state that I may not make any rebuttals until the next round. In response to this rule, my argument was prepared in advance of my opponent’s argument:


Debates.org (DDO) is a great place for people to test their views and learn the art of debating. But like any organized website that relies on the participation of its members there is always be some issue regarding the conduct of those members. DDO offers forums and debates. Most people do not join a website such as this one just for the forums but even if one did, creating debates would likely not be an issue for that member.


This leaves us with debates. There are only 3 means of participation in a debate; Voter, Challenger, or Instigator.


Voter


DDO correctly restricts the right of a member to vote on a debate until they have been involved in 3 debates. This protects the integrity of the vote by helping to ensure that a member is a “real person” and not a second account created just to vote a particular way, or a non-member who has no experience in debating and decides to vote simply because they agree with the resolution. Participants put a lot of time and effort into their arguments, and there is noting more important then protecting the integrity and quality of the votes that dictate the winner.


Challenger


If we restrict the rights of new members to vote then that only leaves us with a member participating by challenging or instigating a debate. Since the resolution states that a new member should not be allowed to immediately instigate a debate, this would be the only option left. The issue here is that it is fairly difficult to find a debate that a new member would have interest in, and disagree with the resolution. We would be asking new members to join a website, wait till someone issues a debate that meets their criteria, and then they would also have to be the first member who decides to accept.


This would obviously deter many potentially valuable members from joining. Many members join because they have a few topics in mind that they wanted to debate. Forcing them to wait before issuing their challenge may cause them to lose interest and leave the site altogether.


Instigator


Being that the resolution states that new members should not be allowed to issue a challenge right away this is would not be allowed for them. However without them being allowed to vote, what would that do for those of us who have experience and wish for a strong and respectful debate? I think most members are very skeptical when being challenged by a new member because there is no telling if they will take the debate seriously, follow standard rules of conduct, or even finish the debate. But restricting their right to instigate will make this much more common. New members will wind up accepting any debate they can just to get debates under their belt and the community will suffer as a result. If a new member wants to gain experience or figure out if they really want to take this website seriously then they should do that on their own debates, not on everyone else’s.


Conclusion:


Restricting a new member’s right to instigate a debate may alleviate some problems, but will only create much bigger ones.

Debate Round No. 2
delaineyk

Pro

delaineyk forfeited this round.
Double_R

Con

I was looking forward to my opponent’s rebuttals, but unfortunately she has forfeited. This is quite ironic considering the topic of this debate. Since this is the final round I will proceed to refute her case and summarize.

Rebuttal

Pro begins with 5 points demonstrating the nuances of allowing new members of DDO to start a debate. I mostly agree with each individual point, but her argument does not take into account the challenges that DDO would face as a result of her resolution. What is also interesting is that nearly all of her contentions would also apply to accepting a debate challenge as the contender. Does Pro feel that new members should not be allowed to debate at all?

Pros proposal to solve the problem of not allowing new members to instigate a debate is to require that all new members vote on a certain number of debates before being granted this privilege. I have already explained some of the greater issues this would cause but will go further in this round.

As I mentioned, the quality of the votes is the most important thing this website must protect. Also mentioned earlier, many members join this site because there is a topic or two in mind that they want to debate. By requiring new members to vote on a certain number of debates before they are allowed to instigate their own topics, there is little reason to expect that they would judge these debates seriously.

More importantly, how do we expect new members to be qualified to judge a debate if they have never participated in one? While some members come in with prior experience many do not. There are many tricks and logical fallacies that may get a reader to go along with an argument. What helps to limit that on DDO is the fact that the judges will likely realize when these fallacies are being applied and understand when they are pointed out by the opposition. Experienced debaters recognize these tactics and will likely be much more capable of separating their own personal beliefs from the true strength of the arguments made by each side. To put it simply, experienced debaters understand what is going on, and thus are more qualified to vote.

Summary


I actually do believe there are things that DDO can do to ensure better overall participation of new members. I would discuss them and explain why I do not feel that they affirm the resolution, but I will not get myself into a game of refuting my own arguments. Pro had that responsibility and she forfeited it in her final round.
In comparing the lesser of the two evils brought up in this debate, it is clear that allowing new members to start their own debates as opposed to voting on them is the best option. Winning is certainly not everything, but debating seems pointless when you can not trust that putting together a solid argument is an indication of a likely victory. When the voters do not know what to look for, this would be much more common and will cause all debates to suffer, not just the spam ones. The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Double_R, I disagree that new members should be able to start debates right away without fulfilling any requirements. If you want a proper debate, I will take you up on this.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by QT 5 years ago
QT
delaineykDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 5 years ago
ApostateAbe
delaineykDouble_RTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
delaineykDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits, which concedes all arguments. Also poorly structured this debate, as she would have no chance to respond to cons rebuttal anyway.