The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

On balance, the current voting moderation standards have been a net harm to DDO.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 983 times Debate No: 94554
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




First Round is acceptance only.

Structure: Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructive (No rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing ArgumentsDefinitions:

Notes: No new arguments in the final round. If you'd prefer, you can open with your case in the first round and push each subsequent round forward, and when round 4 comes, you must post a quick message such as "Thanks, vote Con." or "Left blank as agreed upon." If you take this path of action, no substance can be included in R4.

No kritiks of the resolution.

No trolling.

No semantics.

ThinkBig waives all rights to add definitions, change structure, or any other aspects of this debate. Should he attempt to do so, do not weigh these ideas when voting.

BoP is shared, resolution must be looked at on balance.

Thank you to ThinkBig for accepting this debate. I look forward to an excellent and challenging discussion.

Link to DDO Voting Guide:



I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you ThinkBig


DDO is facing a voter turnout crisis that makes American midterm elections look good. This is due to a variety of reasons. However, one of the major factors is the inadequate set of guidelines in place as to what constitutes a “good” vote. I will prove why the vote moderation standards are both inadequate and harmful to the DDO community. Please remember that the resolution applies to the current standards. I am not advocating complete abandonment of standards.

I. Voting standards are inadequate.

Taking a glance at BlueSteel’s guide, it seems simple. In essence, as long as you explain your vote and it’s sound and coherent, it constitutes a good vote. However, there are some points where the guide seems to have some issues.

“If your RFD mentions that you voted for the side you agreed with before the debate, your vote will be removed.”

This should not be reason enough to remove a vote. I many times have voted for the side I agreed with before the debate, just as I have oftentimes voted against that side. I believe many other DDO members would agree that they too, have done this. If the reason for voting for a particular side is because you agreed with their stance before the debate began, it makes perfect sense that such a vote would be removed. However, as it stands, mere mention of your initial thoughts on a topic are grounds for removal.

“You’re only allowed to vote on things the debaters actually said. You shouldn't be using your own arguments to rebut something a debater said, or as a reason to vote for a particular side.”

The vast majority of the time this is a legitimate rule. However, when one debater makes statements which are objectively false, I think that previous knowledge of an issue can and should be utilized. For example, in a debate over BLM, one debater posed the question:

Why then are we not seeing people with no criminal history being killed by police?”

This question should surprise anyone who pays attention to America’s instances of police brutality. Though many suspects shot by the police are guilty, many others are innocent. My previous knowledge proved the debater’s rhetoric of absolute guilt false, but now I was put in a difficult position. Though the debater was objectively incorrect, I knew that I was not supposed to use previous knowledge to shape my decision. I eventually did decide to include it in my RFD, though it was supplemented by other arguments made by the opposition.

“You can read other RFDs after you have already reached a decision, but not before. You should only be reading the debate before making a decision -- you should not read comments, RFDs, or anything else that might sway you.”

This too, is a problem. There is a popular thread in the DDO category for unvoted debates. Users can post debates, along with a short synopsis or comment. This can be used to sway potential voters and is not only legal but promoted by moderators. Disallowing voters to read other RFDs or the comment section but promoting the habit of one of the debaters themselves soliciting votes is absurd, as the latter is the seemingly more egregious of the pair.

II. Interpretation and implementation by moderators

A. Adequate votes are removed.

The first two examples are votes of mine that have been removed, the third is one from my opponent on another of my debates.

Part of RFD that caused removal: Con wins sources as they were properly utilized, while Pro's side was devoid of sources, but abundant in claims that should have used them.

Reason for removal: “Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter has to establish that the sources used by Con were reliable, and not just that they were the only one to use sources at all.”

I will be the first to admit that this was not my best RFD. However, it was not horrid to the point where it should’ve been axed. I went on to analyze arguments, and awarded points there, and apparently that analysis was sufficient, as it did not appear in the message. I’d contest that my sources part of the RFD is also adequate. Con used strong sources to supplement her stance, while Pro simply made claims without evidence when evidence was needed. Obviously I made this slightly more in depth than my RFD, but my idea was clear.

Part of RFD that caused removal: Pro calling Con's distinctions "arbitrary" repeatedly weren't sufficient, and that alone would give Con the win, but additionally he set up a framework as to the legality. Even if Pro had won the moral argument, morality doesn't necessarily equate to legality. Sources: Con. Consistently using YouTube isn't sufficient.

Reason for removal: (1) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter has to specifically assess points made by both sides. In this case, the voter does somewhat assess Pro's point, apparently preferring legal interpretations to moral ones, but fails to assess any specific points made by Con. The distinctions and legal framework hint at that, but none of that analysis explains why the voter found these points convincing. (2) Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter isn't required to find value in the usage of Youtube, but if they wish to vote on the basis that it is used, then it should be clear why that was so damaging. The debater used other sources, so even if the voter discards the Youtube videos, he's still required to assess the other sources presented and compare them between the two sides if he wishes to award these points.

(1)In this debate, the Pro case hinged upon the idea of something being lawful if it was moral, and unlawful if immoral. Con quickly set up that morality and legality are not always aligned, which went unrefuted. One argument debunked all of the Pro case, which was why I felt only one argument warranted analysis. Additionally, I pointed out how instead of refuting many Con arguments, Pro simply called them “arbitrary.”

(2)This reason is more justified. Pro did use other sources. However, of the six sources used, three were YouTube videos, which I see as a cop-out for real research and is usually anecdotal, which rang true in this debate. Two of the other three were also unreliable, but I understand that was not addressed.

Part of RFD that caused removal: “SOURCES - I give con an edge in sources as pro made several claims that were presented without evidence. For example, pro claimed that Clinton is a war criminal, Stein is a liberal doctor that doesn't believe in the constitution, and Sanders is a communist that wants to tax us to death. Because pro never provided proof for his claims, sources go to con.”

Reason for removal: While arguments are sufficiently examined, sources are not. The voter bases their decision here solely on the absence of sources from Pro's argument, but is required to explain how Con's sources were reliable (i.e. relevant to the debate) in order to award these points to him.

This is like my first example. Just because he omitted that he deemed my sources reliable, ThinkBig’s vote was removed. It is implied that he deemed them reliable, and the vote was otherwise a good one. (PS Thank you for re-voting!)

B. Misidentification

Though I cannot attest to how widespread this issue is, I have had a vote removed that I did not even cast. I contacted the debater voted against and apologized, as I thought my account had been compromised, but one of the debaters, bballcrook, responded to my message saying a it was a different user who posted that vote.

III. Impacts

Voter turnout is decreasing. Debates from years ago would get hundreds of votes. Now, we are hard pressed to get any. Though this is not caused only by vote removal, the decrease is facilitated by removing many adequate votes. Users are also deterred from voting, afraid that their votes will not meet the inconsistent standards of the moderators, and in turn jeopardizing their right to vote.

Misidentification hurts innocent individuals’ right to vote, as they are penalized for an act they didn't commit.

Thank you, over to ThinkBig.



I would like to thank warren42 for this debate. I look forward to a good exchange.


The purpose of this website is to encourage intellectual discussion, read the opinions of others, and produce productive online debates. When it comes to judging a debate, we ought to prefer a system that encourages quality RFDs and quality votes. Because of the nature of debates, disagreement and personal bias often cloud our judgements. In order to prevent biased voting, voting standards ought to be in place to ensure that the voter read the debate and is casing a proper vote.

Voting standards promote quality over quantity

Voting on is a privilege not a right. One of the most viewed and voted on debate in DDO history was a debate between Contradiction and WriterDave on the topic, "Homosexual Acts are Immoral." [1] The debate received 54 votes. The quality of those votes, however, were lacking. Of those 54 votes, 17 votes were vote bombs or counter vote bombs. The votes that were not necessarily vote bombs were still pretty bad. Here are a few examples:

"There were a lot of arguments on the part of the Contradiction that didn't necessarily make too much sense, and overall, the CON had stronger rebuttals that swayed me more toward his position"

"Conduct and sources for con because of Pro's formation of arguments outside of the debate with his sources. Argument to Con because Pro failed to clearly establish a strong connection between function/purpose and morality."

"Good debate, but Pro failed to convince me his side was the better one."

These were the nature of votes prior to the current voting standard. The impact of vote bombs resulted in several members of leaving due to vote bombs. For example, InquireTruth was one of's most respected Theist debaters on the website. When izbo10 vote bombed his debate at the last minute, it caused InquireTruth to become upset and has since been inactive on [2] Had the current voting standards been in place, izbo10 would have lost his voting privilege and his vote would have been removed. This could have saved from losing one of its most valued members at that time.

Because of the way vote moderation is set up, it forces the voters to actually read the debate and analyze specific points of the debate. For debaters (such as myself) who wish to improve their skills, it is important for me to be able to get quality feedback. Personally, I'd take 2 or 3 excellent votes over 10 or 20 mediocre votes.

Vote removals and account restrictions are easy to appeal

In one instance where my vote was removed (it actually happened to be pro's debate), I failed to adequately explain the source point. I PM'd the moderators and asked how I can improve the vote so it would be sufficient. They gave me some tips and explained to me why my source point was lacking. I went back and and fixed my RFD and the moderators allowed it to stay. [3]

The impact of this is that it gives voters room to improve their voting skills while also giving them a way to appeal their voting restriction.


On a website such as, it is important to have voting standards to prevent vote bombs and from people to vote for a side simply because they agreed with that person prior to the debate. The current vote standards promote quality over quantity, force the voters to actually read the debate and analyze the specific points, and prevents voting based upon personal bias.

With that, we have seen the quality of votes improve on These standards have helped to keep me as a member and encouraged me to continue debating.

Thus on balance, I believe that the current voting standards have been a net benefit to The resolution is negated.


Debate Round No. 2


Thank you, ThinkBig.

My opponent has requested links to debates and screenshots of messages referenced in Round 2. Those can be found here, listed in the order which they were referenced.

Debate 1 (BLM):

Debate 2:

Debate 3:

Debate 4:

Screenshots of conversations:

I will add the rest of the screenshots pending permission to post screenshots of my conversations with Blade-of-Truth. These will be up as soon as possible.

Point of Agreement

Some level of voting standard is required to eliminate awful votes. Pro and Con differ in where that threshold lies. Remember, I am arguing against the current standards, not the general concept of having standards.

Refutations of Quality > Quantity

Undoubtedly, we all want quality votes on our debates. Nobody wants to be vote bombed and lose for that reason. However, the current system goes too far, throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  1. Vote bombs were often countered

Con seems to admit this, by referencing the “counter-vote bombs.” Though surely, not every “vote bomb” was countered, it is obvious that the DDO community banded together so that the problem of vote bombs was not as rampant as it otherwise would have been.

  1. It’s not only bad votes that are removed

In reading the RFDs on the debate Con linked, he is definitely correct in saying that, even of the non-“vote bomb” votes, many were insufficient. However, many other ones were good, or, at minimum, adequate. Let’s be extremely conservative and say only five of them were good votes. This is still 3-5 more votes than most debates have today. This leads me into my third response.

  1. Quantity is still important

We can both agree we’d rather have a handful of good votes rather than dozens of bad ones. But this doesn’t mean I’d like to have only one or two votes (if I’m lucky) on a debate I’ve put a lot of time into. Pull through my constructive argument about vote removal both removing adequate votes and deterring good votes from coming in, as the users that would be voting are scare of having their voting privileges revoked.

  1. Users can take precautions to minimize bad votes

This is going to be the major reason that my opponent’s quality over quantity argument falls, and why the voter(s) will be voting Pro in today’s debate. There are a few simple ways users themselves can prioritize quality over quantity. Setting an ELO minimum or appointing judges are both routes the Instigator can take during debate setup to prevent votes that would be more likely to be “bad” votes. If you really prefer just a few quality votes, you could have three judges appointed before the debate even begins.

Refutations of Ease of Repeal

This is interesting, as both ThinkBig and I have used the same example for our obviously opposing positions.

  1. The appeal is unnecessary

ThinkBig’s vote was only disqualified because he was “required to explain how Con's sources were reliable (i.e. relevant to the debate)” which is ridiculous. In this other debate, my opponent made claims such as Islam is not a religion and Islam is essentially the same as Nazism, without ever using sources. I used The Atlantic, CNN, WSJ, NASA, Forbes, Business Insider, etc. to support every claim I made so that my opponent and voters knew these weren’t ridiculous ideas I made up, but rather my own synthesis of real events and expert opinions. ThinkBig shouldn’t have even had to appeal his vote removal. It needn’t be removed.

  1. Regaining voting privileges is vague

If voting privileges are revoked, the process of regaining them is very vague and left to the discretion of the moderators.

You can gain privileges back at the moderators' discretion only when we become convinced that you have educated yourself about how to properly vote on the site. That includes, at a minimum, reading this guide and leaving a sufficient RFD in the comments section of a qualifying debate (a traditional debate, with 3 full rounds of at least 4,000 characters of arguments, and no forfeits).”

The vote needs to be deemed sufficient by the moderators, who apparently believe simply reading the voting guide will produce better voters. Debaters can put a minimum on ELO limits or appoint judges. The debaters involved should be the ones that primarily keep bad votes off of their debates, rather than having to abide by these vague, strict rules.

  1. Mistakes are made

The misidentification referenced in my constructive means that people are punished for, and have to take time to appeal, votes that they didn’t cast. Moderators are also prone to make mistakes. Since Round 2, a vote of mine on another debate of ThinkBig’s was removed. I discussed the issue with Blade-of-Truth, and, after five and a half hours and the moderators revisiting my vote, they concluded that it had, indeed, been sufficient, and was wrongfully removed. Cross-apply my impacts of voter deterrence, because I had put a lot of work into this particular RFD, and its removal made me begin to believe no RFD I constructed would be sufficient.

Thank you. The resolution is affirmed. Back to ThinkBig.



Thank you warren42 for your speedy reply.

Re: Intro/Impacts

I am going to start here as this is the easiest contention to counter. In my opinion, it is also pro's weakest contention. In the intro and final contention, pro blames vote moderation for lack of votes. In order for Pro to be able to win this point, he needs to show that vote moderation is the sole or at least the most significant factor in the lack of votes.

I will contend that there are two other factors involved that are causing the lack of votes: 1) The debates are hard to find, and 2) An increase of overall debates.

Factor 1: Debates are hard to find

On the old design, debates were the front and center of the website (see screenshot). As soon as you went to, you saw the completed debates on the homepage. Debates were the selling point of the website and the first thing you saw. You could easily locate completed debates that needed to be voting on.

Screenshot from the Internet Archives.

The current user interface, however, is quite inefficient and hides the debates in the voting period. In order to find those debate, the fastest way to do that is to go to debates->voting period. Had simply kept the old design to the homepage, then the voting thread would not be needed (more on this later as pro brought this up in his arguments).

Factor 2: An increase of debates

Over the past few years, has grown exponentially and the overall number of debates have increased as a result. For example, as I am typing these words, there are 16 debates in the challenge period and over 8K debates in the voting period. Going back to the Internet Archive, we see that in the past two years, there has been a consistency in debates that are in the voting period. However, going back to only 4 years ago, there were only 4 debates in the challenge period (2).


"Misidentification hurts innocent individuals’ right to vote, as they are penalized for an act they didn't commit."

I will address misidentification later on however I want to address this point now. On, there is no "right to vote." Voting is a privilege that can be taken away at any time for poor votes. Similarly, whiteflame and the moderators are usually quick to acknowledge their mistake and oversite. Should a vote be removed in error, the moderators allow the vote to be re-posted and the removal will not be held against that person.

For example, Pro voted on my debate with Amed. The moderators failed to notice the RFD in the comment section (this is why I always post that my RFD is in the comments) and the vote removal is not held against that person. [2]

Re: Voting standards are inadequate

Pro begins by taking Bluesteel's comment out of context. It is quite clear from Bluesteel's post that she is referring to RFDs that are very clearly biased. Pro agrees that biased votes ought to be removed. I will screenshot the post to make my point clearer:

Bluesteel never stated that you cannot vote for the side that you agree with nor did he say that if your ballot on a 7-point system mentions that you agreed with this person before and after the debate your vote will be removed.

I do not know of a single case in which a vote was removed solely because you voted for the side that you agreed with. I also do not know of a single case where a vote was removed because you indicated on the ballot that you agreed with a particular side.


The next point that Pro brings up the issue he takes with voting on the arguments presented. Pro writes:

"[W]hen one debater makes statements which are objectively false, I think that previous knowledge of an issue can and should be utilized."

I am in full agreement with the voting standards on this one. It is important that the voter does not become a debater. In actual Lincoln-Douglas debate styles, the judges only vote on the issues presented. Let's say that I make a statement that says 2+2=5. If that point is not countered or is inadequately countered, then the point is dropped and should be given to the person making the claims, regardless if it is objectively false.

What you can do with your RFD is that while the point goes to that side, this point did not convince me because of X, Y, and Z.


Finally, Pro takes issue with the voting thread. I fully agree with him on this point that the voting thread should not be used to sway voters. The voting thread is important because debates in the voting period are hard to find. However, it should not be used to make additional arguments. I would argue that the main rule should be that the only thing that is allowed to be posted is the resolution and the link to the debate.

The voting standards are adaquet

I wanted to bring this point up in the pervious round but did not want to be seen as violating the rules of the debate and making a rebuttal.

The voting standards are more than adaquet because they require only a minimum adaquecy on your RFD. No moderator is going to make you write a doctoral dissertation on your vote. user TUF summed this up quite nicely [3]:

"[L]et's be honest, the vote standards aren't overly complicated enough to where all of the potential problems with a vote can't be solved by just reading the debate in it's entirety. That's what the standards encourage members to do. Do we really want members voting who don't want to put the time and effort into giving you feedback on a debate you worked so hard on? I say good riddance to any voter that quits voting because they think the standards themselves are "too strict" and happily welcome the new era of voters who care enough about the site and community to contribute to fixing the problems themselves. "

The voting standards are easy to understand, easy to follow, and do not require a ton of effort. If one is a decent voter and consistently posts good votes and good RFDs, then any vote standard will not effect you that much.

Re: Interpretation by mods

Re: A. Adaquet votes are removed

Pro cites a few times in which adaquet votes were removed and one of them happened to be my own vote. According to the vote guide, sources should only be awarded because one side had better quality sources. If one side used sources and the other side did not, then I still need to explain why I found that one side's sources to be reliable. In other words, quality is more important than overall quantity.

As I mentioned in the first round, I was able to repost my vote after I added some more detail on the sources. In both instances that Pro cites, the voter failed to properly explain *why* the sources had an impact on the debate, thus the votes were in violation of the voter guide.

As to Pro's argument that he has had a vote removed that he did not cast, this is the only time that I have heard of this happening. It is clear that the mods simply made a mistake as to who the voter was.

Re: B. Misidentification

I've already touched on this previously and now wish to slightly expand. Moderators are only human and will make mistakes regardless of the voting standards in place. When a vote is removed in error, the mods are generally quick to make corrections and will not hold that against the voter.

The resolution is negated. I look forward to your reply.

Debate Round No. 3


Thank you ThinkBig. Disclaimer to anyone else reading this debate: I already told this to ThinkBig, but Blade-of-Truth informed me that screenshotting and sharing PMs regarding moderation of the site is not permissible. Therefore, I am respecting this rule and will not be including his messages in the photo album being used for this debate.

Defense of Vote Mod. causing lower voting rates


Four of the top 10 most voted upon debates happened in the past two years, not including the top all time, which was just a vote bombing contest. At this point, the homepage had already been changed. Of those four, only one was in the past year. This means that some other aspect was responsible for the more recent decrease in votes.

-Number of debates

At the first date referenced, the homepage had been remodeled, but was not yet what we have today. [1] It seemed to have been in a transition phase, somewhere between the old and the new. Regardless, I took data from seven points in time. I tried to keep the dates consistent, with two from each of the years 2013, 2014, and 2015, one from early-mid August, and one from late December, as well as what is on the voting page here and now, [2][3][4][5][6][7][8] (sources are in chronological order) and by looking at each date we can see a general slight downward trend in debates being in the voting period. I do not see the logic in Con’s argument that more debates in the challenge period has an effect on voting. After all, we’re voting on the ones in the voting period, not the challenge period. Instead, I argue that the fewer debates there are in the voting period, the more votes there should be on each.

Therefore, it is unlikely that either of Con’s suppositions ring true. I maintain that vote removal and ensuing low vote counts are a cyclical reason for users leaving and not voting.

Defense of Misidentification

I cede that this is not a problem known to be widespread. However, I seriously doubt this is the only case where this has happened. It most definitely has happened before and will happen again. Though not a major harm, it still hurts innocent users’ voting privileges.

Defense of Inadequate Standards

-Initial Opinion

Con argues “Bluesteel never stated…that if your ballot on a 7-point system mentions that you agreed with this person before and after the debate your vote will be removed.”

But a direct quote from BlueSteel contradicts this.

“If your RFD mentions that you voted for the side you agreed with before the debate, your vote will be removed.”

Con’s interpretation, I assume, is that BlueSteel was imprecise in her language. Yet on the same thread (see link in Round 1) another user questions makes the same assumption and asks BlueSteel to clarify.

It is very often the case, at least with me, that I will have an initial opinion on the topic of a debate. However, I don't see why it necessarily means that my vote would be biased and should be removed. I would still vote objectively, trying to meet the requirements of the RFD, and I could certainly vote for either position, as I would be taking into account reason and quality of the arguments, rather than opinion.

Do you suggest that I should only vote for debates where I have no initial opinion at all? Because this would severely limit my participation in voting, because, as I have said, such debates are quite rare. Also removing such votes would be an incentive to act dishonestly and tick "Tied" options for opinion.

BlueSteel responded that, indeed, your RFD should not contain any mention of initial opinions, regardless of your final vote.

An RFD is a place to explain your "reason for decision." It's all the things that helped you decide. There's really no reason to mention that you voted for Pro and you happen to also agree with Pro, unless that formed part of your basis of decision.

I'm not saying that you can only vote on debates you have no opinion on. Just be tabula rasa, and don't let your personal opinion enter into your RFD (including there's no reason to mention it in your RFD at all).

It is clear that regardless of whether or not initial opinion affected your decision, including it in your RFD is unacceptable.

-Objectively False Assertions

Con and will have to agree to disagree here. I stand by previous knowledge of an objectively false claim should be able to refute the claim. Subjective claims are different, but Con’s 2+2=5 example should be able to be disproven by judges. I’m not saying voters should be researching hardcore against either side, but if common knowledge disproves a claim, it shouldn’t be weighed. I debated PF rather than LD, and never encountered such a scenario nor anything within the rules that was ever brought up on the issue.

-Voting Thread

Con cedes that this is inconsistent with the rules against reading comments and RFDs from other users. It is promoted by the moderators, but directly clashes with other aspects of the voting guide. Please remember this when voting on this issue.

Defense of Mod. Action

I’m not saying any of the votes displayed in my constructive are perfect. They all have flaws. However, they are adequate. Con’s vote on the previous debate is self-explanatory. When Con says that my previous opponent made outlandish claims without sources, while I properly used sources, it is implied that he found respected agencies and publications I used more reliable than my previous opponent’s own ideas, and he needn’t go into thorough analysis as to why.

Moderator accidents occur, and cost users time they shouldn’t. Not the fault of the moderators. I agree, they are only human. However, it is still a harm.

Cross apply earlier argument about misidentification.

As my constructive has been defended, the resolution has been affirmed. I’d like to remind ThinkBig that this round is his last opportunity to bring up new arguments, as per the rules of this debate. Thank you!












I want to thank you for an excellent debate. I will decline to bring up new arguments in this round.


Quality over quantity

A. Vote bombs/Counter vote bombs

My opponent is right in saying that obvious vote bombs were often countered. However, whenever you have to counter a vote bomb, you lose a potential quality vote. Let's say that a person vote bombs this debate and someone has to counter it. That is one less vote that could have potentially been of quality feedback. Two votes are essentially lost.


B. Good votes are often removed

My opponent need to substantiate that the vote moderation is causing the lack of votes. I'll get more into this later in the debate, but 3-5 votes is the average number of votes most good debates have today.

My debate with Cobalt, missmozart, and Danielle received 5 votes (1, 2, and 3). Similarly, the amount of bad votes often times changes thte outcome of the debate (such as in the debate with Contradiction. Had the poor votes been removed, Contradiction would most likely have won).


C. Quantity is still important

I agree that quantity is important, but quality is even more so. Quality debates and quality votes will bring quality members to the site. The result is a more enjoyable for everyone. TUF summed this up nicely:

"[V]ote moderation isn't at fault for the "lack of votes", it's personal motivation. People are less willing to put the time and effort into winning an argument if they think they will lose the debate simply on a basis of being vote bombed by an individual who may be more popular on the site, or who has messaged more people lobbying for votes on their debate. Vote moderation by extension creates higher quality debates from the most committed community members. This doesn't push out the noobs; it creates a standard for the noobs to adapt to in order to fit in better on the website, and there is nothing wrong with that." [4]


D. User precautions

The problem with setting an ELO minimum is that it often locks out good voters who simply do not have a high enough ELO score. THe higher the ELO limit, the less votes you will receive. This is probably a more significant factor than vote moderation itself. Pro seems to be contradicting himself here. He wants a higher quantity of votes, but the very method that he chosen to prevent poor votes is the very system that will get less votes.

For example, in my debate with Amed, I set an ELO limit of 2,000. The problem is lannan13, one of the best voters on, could not vote because his ELO score is under 2,000. We allowed him to vote and used famousdebater to post his vote on his behalf. The trouble is, famousdebater is also an excellent voter. By having to use him as a proxy, we lost a potential vote. Instead of having three quality votes, we had to settle with two quality votes because of the ELO limit. [5]

Easy to appeal

I agree that the moderators were a bit too strict with my vote and the interpretation of the standards, however with the standards in place, simply stating one side used sources and the other side did (which is basically what I stated), the RFD is lacking with sources.


Pro goes back to the issue that mistakes are made. I got more information from whiteflame as to how the issue came about. Vote moderators go through scores if not hundreds of votes every single night. They use a template for posting in the comments about the removal and often times some things are copied over incorrectly.

Part of the issue is there are only two vote moderators and one head moderator. In a site like, the moderators can improve by having additional help.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

With the debate almost over, I want to do a final cost/benefit analysis.

Potential Costs
-Less votes
-Possible mistakes by moderators

Potential benefits
-Higher quality votes
-Higher quality debates
-Higher quality members

As I have shown, the potential costs are far out weighed by the benefits. Voting on is a privilege and not a right. The members that do not want to spend their time giving feedback to the debaters or whose bias is too strong to give a fair analysis should not vote in the first place.

Even though mods make mistakes, they are quick to recognize it and do not hold that mistake against the voter. Even when it is seen that they are too strict, they have been very quick to respond to my querries about my votes and have shown me ways to improve. This in turn has made be a better member of

Having defended my constructive case and showing that the benefits outweigh the harm, the resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 4


Thank you ThinkBig. As I assumed, you have been a strong opponent and I appreciate your time put into this debate. I think it has been excellent discourse, and I hope you and the voters agree.

I'd also like to remind anyone reading this debate to remember a few things. First, I am not advocating abandonment of all standards. Some level of regulation is required to make DDO an enjoyable site. This means that there are inherently some benefits to the current system. However, the second thing I'd like to remind you is that the resolution must be looked at on balance.

With that, I will get to the key issues which I believe should determine the outcome of this debate, and why these issues prove that, on balance, the current voting moderation standards have been a net harm to DDO.

Voting Issue 1: Mistakes/Moderator Errors
Both sides have agreed that this is an issue. The moderators have falsely attributed votes to the wrong people, and have taken down votes that deserved to be left standing. Once again, these votes are obviously not perfect. However, they were sufficient in analyzing the key issues presented in the debate, and the users gave enough explanation as to why points were awarded. More in-depth analysis could've occurred, but where the votes lacked explicit explanation, any rational observer could piece together what was implied.

Con's argument last round that moderators could better the system with more help is irrelevant, as the debate is about the current state of the vote moderation standards, not what they could be.

Voting Issue 2: Inconsistencies in Guide
There are two key pieces of information in the voting guide that should bewilder readers. The first is disallowing potential voters to read other RFDs and the comments section of the debate before casting a vote, even though there is a thread in the forums dedicated to individuals posting their unvoted debates. A debater involved in that particular debate contacting potential voters directly is far more likely to be influential to the voter than another RFD or a comment that may have been left. Con agrees on this matter. Promoting one method of swaying voters while outlawing another, less effective, indirect method is both confusing and inconsistent. Weigh this while considering the rules themselves.

The second one is the proclamation that mention of initial position on a matter is grounds for removal. Con attempted to refute this by claiming I took BlueSteel's words out of context, but in Round 4 I proved otherwise. When asked to clarify, BlueSteel made it apparent that she meant what she said. If you mention your original opinion on an issue, your vote will be removed. This is an absurd notion, as most voters will have some sort of opinion on just about any issue up for debate, and whether or not they happen to mention what that opinion is/was doesn't invalidate their vote. As previously stated, if it becomes evident a vote was cast because of the voter's initial position, this should definitely be removed. But mention of personal opinion should not be.

Voting Issue 3: Ease of Appeal
Both Con and I can agree that appealing a vote is not incredibly difficult. However, as I have stated previously, it's no walk in the park either. It is time that voters shouldn't have to take, and a better system would prevent this harm from taking place. In Con's cost-benefit analysis, this was left off of the "Costs" list. Weigh it when voting.

Additionally, Con dropped my argument that once voting privileges are taken away, the standards to regain them are not very specific and you are at the mercy of the moderators, who both sides agree are overworked and therefore prone to error.

Voting Issue 4: Voter Turnout
I have disproved both of Con's theories regarding decrease in overall votes. Logic proves my own argument about discouraging voters and removing adequate votes at least somewhat responsible for this downward trend in voting.

This is going to be the major reason you will vote Pro in this debate. ELO minimums and judge appointment are an individual's choice between quality and quantity. Setting restrictions may prevent some good voters from weighing in, but it also prevents bad ones. If the two debaters are so concerned about bad voters, this is their own decision which they are free to make. I am not contradicting myself here, as I am saying that individual debaters can decide quality vs. quantity on their own.

Additionally, Con dropped the part about appointing judges. Should two debaters agree that they want to get only three votes, but votes of the highest possible quality, they can appoint judges. Therefore, in my opponent's debate with Amed, they could have appointed both lannan13 and famousdebater, in conjunction with a third well respected voter to assure quality votes. Con never addressed judge appointment, so this still stands.

Ultimately, the responsibility to find the balance between quality and quantity should rest with the two participants of a debate. However, current vote moderation standards have caused it to become more difficult to allow for higher quantity, should the debaters prefer that.

For all these reasons I urge the voters to go Pro in this debate. Thank you to the voters for your time and analysis, and to my opponent, ThinkBig, for a challenging but enjoyable exchange.


Thank you for the kind words and for the amazing debate. This was a great discourse and I hope we can get some good votes.

Since there isn't any structure to round 5, I will simply use this round to summarize the main points and give one final appeal to the voters.

We both agree that there are improvements to be made, however, this debate is about the current voting standards and their impact on To properly analyze the, we must look at how was before the standards and where we stand today.

As I have shown in the example of Contradiction vs. WriterDave, prior to the vote standards, there were far less quality votes and less quality feedbacks. Moreover, vote bombs were a huge problem and they had to be countered. This resulted in votes being wasted by having to be countered time and time again.

Thankfully, the new standards resulted in a clear understanding of what was expected by the voters and we now have a way to remove bad votes without having to waste good ones.

Although vote moderation may cause a lack of votes, they have certainly improved their quality of votes.

Even though mods make mistakes, they aren't out to "get you" and aren't out to make less enjoyable. They are simply there to ensure that the votes meet the proper standards. Our moderators work very hard to ensure that is a fun and enjoyable place. They are willing to work with the community to improve the members to improve their voting and debating. They are often quick to acknowledge their mistakes and don't hold their mistakes against that person.

For these reasons, is a better site because of the current vote standards.

Restating the Cost/Benefit analysis

Potential Costs
-Less votes
-Possible mistakes by moderators

Potential benefits
-Higher quality votes
-Higher quality debates
-Higher quality members

The resolution is negated because I have shown that is a better site because of the standards in place. I urge a vote for con.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
Alright, let's do this.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
I'll try to get this in tonight. Sorry, I've been really really busy lately.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
I'll try getting around to this when I can, I'm in the middle of packing for moving and such, so IDK when I can get to it. I added it to the VU doc, so hopefully you'll get some votes there.
Posted by ThinkBig 1 year ago
Thank you, lannan!
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
I'll vote tomorrow. Was testing the ELO restriction.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 years ago
One thing I saw in your definition of "significant" that I'd like to consider adding or changing. "an issue severe enough that the moderators should allocate time toward revisiting the current system." By revisiting the current system should not be taken to mean a few minor adjustments or tweaks, but a complete overhaul of the vote moderation standards.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 years ago
Nope. Everything looks good.
Posted by warren42 2 years ago
ThinkBig, would you like to address anything you see in the format/make changes? Otherwise I'd love to debate you, as you're a strong opponent and I look forward to this.
Posted by ThinkBig 2 years ago
I'm interested in accepting.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Peepette 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD Conduct tied, both sides were respectful. Source points tied, both sides utilized DDO debates and contents to affirm contentions and rebuttals. Since all source materials was from a single site they weigh equally.
Vote Placed by Death23 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: test