The Instigator
zippo
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Maikuru
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

People should be banned for forfeiting debates on debate.org

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,362 times Debate No: 7546
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (47)
Votes (12)

 

zippo

Pro

This debate was not some random idea that I came up with and decided to post. It was from personal experience on debate.org I have only been in about 5 debates and only 2 have been fully completed, the others have been forfeited. I know a lot of newer sites are started with word of mouth and this site is still fairly new. I'm not saying that's the only method to gain popularity but it does play a huge role.

I loved the setup of this website and the atmosphere. It was very intuitive and very well designed. I knew then, i might finally have a chance to get my mother a bit more interested in some online activities. So i thought this would be a great place for her to start her online experience, beyond msn and hotmail. Well she spent quite some time writing up her argument for her opponent to see, she had notepad (yes an actual notepad,) taking notes to come up with a debate) Her opponent forfeited and also didn't even have the common courtesy to respond in the comments to say sorry, he just let it dry up and die. I understand people have lives, and sometimes things come in your way that will prevent you from doing a debate. However, there are 72 hours on most debates, and on mine and my mothers specifically. So there is ample time to come up with a debate to continue and FINISH what you started.

So I feel there should be some rule to deter this type of carelessness, because for people who actually want to have an enjoyable time here, its ruining our fun. We spend so much time researching to debate someone, only for them to give up and all your hard work is suddenly washed down the drain. They should be warned, 3 times or something then after that removed from the site. Like that famous saying goes. "Once a quitter always quitter" do we really need quitters on this site.?

I challenge you to prove to me, at least, that forfeiting should be allowed and there should be no punishment involved.
Maikuru

Con

Thanks for the debate!

First, a clarification. The title refers to banning forfeiters but Pro's arguments refer to a warning system or some punishment in general. Let's split the difference; I will argue against a punishment system of 3 warnings followed by a permanent ban for forfeiters.

-Pro's Points-

1.Forfeits hurt the site's image

With punishments in place, debaters who have lost interest in a debate but still support their position will have to half-heartedly continue. Such unwanted debates would lower the quality of the site's discussions and give the appearance that they are not taken seriously. A forfeited debate quickly dispatches one-sided discussions and allow readers to place judgment on the forfeiter rather than the site.

2.Forfeits are no fun

Fun is subjective; I would consider researching, stating my position, and winning my first debate (as your mom did) fun. If her opponent conceded to her point, she should feel satisfied. If they lost interest, any unenthusiastic continuation would have been much less fun than accepting the win.

3.Research is wasted.

If your opponent forfeits because you have the superior case, then your research did its job. If they forfeit because of time constraints or a sudden lack of interest, you still bettered your understanding of the issue, improved your ranking, and can reopen the debate another time. You stated this same point to an opponent who forfeited one of your debates: "Its no problem at all. Once you get everything sorted.. We'll start this debate again…maybe we can even copy and paste what we already put down lol..Take care man"

-My Points-

1.Unwarranted bans

Imagine the following scenario: A regular debater is currently involved in four debates when some unforeseen incident (computer or internet problems, a health issue, etc.) occupies them for a few days. In the course of that time, this user could receive multiple warnings and be banned. Since members are often busy with work, school, and family issues, it is likely many will receive warnings or bans from a single untimely event (or a handful of smaller events). Surely you don't want to punish users for ill-timed problems but this system would do just that.

2.Forfeiters already face repercussions

A forfeited debate counts as a loss and lowers one's ranking. Because rankings and past debates are public, repeat forfeiters already reveal themselves as poor and untrustworthy debaters. No ban is necessary here. Also, this site is very communal and debaters quickly earn reputations. If forfeits are tracked, forfeiters will promptly earn a bad rep and suffer socially, even if their forfeits are unintentional.

-Conclusion-

A warning/ban system would most severely punish regular, well-intentioned debaters who accidentally miss deadlines. Given that there are already repercussions for forfeiting, there is no need to invent a system that will hurt those members who don't deserve it.
Debate Round No. 1
zippo

Pro

1.Unwarranted bans

Banning can be used in the most severe cases, like repeat offenders. Banning someone on their 1st offense is definitely ridiculous and that would be a bigger burden on the communities population that the forfeiting itself. I'm looking at a more gradual system where consequences are still there, but gives the debater who was unable to meet deadlines the benefit of the doubt. If we have a gradual system, where we only allow so many forfeits per week or per month it will help to deter people from forfeiting. This is just proven knowledge that when new rules are enforced it reduces the offenses. It will not cut the problem out 100% but it will make people think twice, before they easily blow off a forfeit letting all their opponents work get washed down the drain.

2.Forfeiters already face repercussions
Rankings are public, i don't see anywhere in the statistics on their profile where it shows how many forfeits there were, because forfeits simply show up as a loss. That's hiding the fact at how many quitters there are. Rather than what it should be doing, which is making it very public. Awareness is prevention, and the more that are aware of the forfeitures the less likely someone would end up in a debate with them. But as it stands right now, it only shows a forfeit as a loss and in my opinion that's hiding way too much. Also, for example when i start a debate anyone can take it like you did. Even if you were a seasoned vet and were here since the beginning of debate.org I would have no way of stopping you from taking the debate, nor would i have any reason to because all your forfeits simply show up as a loss.

Conclusion

Afraid I'll have to disagree with your conclusion. Its protecting them, just as much as its deterring them from forfeiting. I think they would appreciate the fact, that their hard work is somewhat being protected against being flushed down the toilet because of a lazy, inconsiderate unpunctual debater.

The way you make your case, is to totally ignore the fact that the person getting forfeited against should have no rights, and they should just bite their tongues and shut up. You make it seem only one sided, that the person who forfeits should have all the rights, and the other person have none. You make it seem as though the system is perfect in every way, and that implementing a new system to deter forfeiting will be the downfall of this site, you make it seem like a lot of things, but fair. I make the case that adding a new system to stop it is fair for both sides. To me that is the only way it should be done. I don't remember ever hearing about people getting paid for not showing up to work (who aren't on a yearly salary),in fact if it was a repeat offense most likely they would get fired.
Maikuru

Con

First of all, congrats to both of us for having a forfeit-free debate. This was my first debate and it was a lot of fun.

1. "Banning can be used in the most severe cases"

This last punishment system you suggested would be problematic for the same reasons I explained previously. If members would be banned for forfeiting, let's say, 4 debates in a month, members suffering from an untimely internet loss, computer problem, family emergency, etc. could still be banned in a matter of days. There would be no special circumstances for "severe cases" under any of your proposed systems and well-intentioned debaters would be banned because of bad luck.

Also, you have presented at least four different punishment systems at this point, uncovering another flaw in your premise: each method suggested is imperfect and will inevitably punish those who you admit do not deserve it.

2. "Awareness is prevention"

You encourage a "very public" warning system that allows users to avoid debates with members who have marks against them. However, you do not explain how such a system would protect accidental forfeiters. Under your system, good debaters who have received warnings because of unavoidable time restraints would be marked, have difficulty finding willing debaters, and gain an unwarranted negative reputation on the site.

3. "Opponents work get washed down the drain"

As I stated in Round 1, a forfeit does not mean one's research is wasted. You have won the debate using your research, you have expanded your knowledge on the subject, and you are free to debate the topic again using that same research. The quote of yours I posted in Round 1 supports this very statement. See my arguments there for elaboration.

4. "The person who forfeits [has] all the rights"

This point was also addressed in Round 1. Forfeiters' statistics are lowered and their forfeits are clearly visible by selecting their losses (it took only moments for me to find and review the forfeited debates you mentioned). In addition, the social atmosphere of this site chastises those who do not debate properly. On the other hand, their opponents have increased their stats, developed their argument for a future debate, and have been spared the irritation of continuing a half-hearted debate with an uninterested opponent.

-Closing-

I have shown how a ban for forfeiters is not only a threat to all users but also completely unnecessary. My opponent has presented no solid case as to why his proposed system is either needed or beneficial. Pro has made no attempt to defend his original arguments, has failed to suggest a consistent punishment system, and has not even attempted to refute the reality that good users would inevitably be banned by his suggestion.

For these reasons, I strongly urge a Con vote.

Thanks for voting!
Debate Round No. 2
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
He also smashed Zippo out of existence! Zippo's account has now been closed!
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Maikuru utterly destroyed his opponent and shredded him to pieces!
Posted by trendem 8 years ago
trendem
zippo: Thank you, I understand your position better now.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
I'm with Pro on this one. Unforeseen circumstances should be rare, so we all ought to willing to accept a loss for forfeiting due to unforeseen circumstances. To avoid forfeting, all that is necessary is to be able to log onto some computer within three days and type, "Sorry, arguments are continued." With computers available nearly everywhere, this should be a one in a thousand occurrence. Forfeits are way more common than that. I have never forfeited a single round; my opponents forfeit rounds perhaps a third of the time -- I haven't counted. I travel a lot and have posted often with a laptop. It's not difficult these days.

It is not true that forfeits are counted as losses. If a person accepts a challenge then forfeits the firt round, it just kills the challenge with no penalty. Moreover, many votes come from voters who just read the resolution and just vote as to whether they agree or disagree, without ever reading the debate. We know this because people win without ever making a single argument supporting their position, let alone a winning argument. Forfeiting the first round should cause an automatic loss. Additional forfeits should score at least seven points to the opponent each time.

The reason that people want to debate is that they want active argumentation over ideas. If one enjoys researching and expounding, blogs are much easier. Arguing otherwise is like saying that if you enjoy playing basketball, you should not be upset if the other team doesn't show up, because you still got good exercise in practice. Nonsense.

Debate.org should impose some reasonable fixed penalties for forfeits. If you cannot manage to show up for games regularly, you shouldn't be in a league.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Conduct - TIE: Pro was getting a little harsh at the end, but wasn't enough to tip me over to one side.

S&G - TIE: It was fine for both sides.

Arguments - CON: PRO failed to refute his main point - that many forfeits happen because of circumstantial reasons. Though even I can think of an adequate response to this, PRO failed to do so in this debate.

Reliable Sources - TIE: No sources were involved in this debate.
Posted by zippo 8 years ago
zippo
As Con pointed out, Pro failed to advocate a consistent system of bans

I dont believe the debate was (prove to me that i can't come up with a perfect system of banning someone) The idea behind this was to deter as you said fruitless debates not to personally come up with an entire system to prevent it. As the debate went on, i had to change the "system" i was trying to come up with to match cons arguments. In the process of doing that we came to a conclusion ( or at least i did) within the comments that having a feedback system as an awareness would help prevent those fruitless debates. (Like an ebay feedback system) not exactly but the same ideal.

"failed to rebut the accidental damage that good users could suffer"

What about the damage of the person who spent their time researching a debate only for it to be a fruitless one. My system or idea was meant to be fair to all, preventing it as well as using consequences to help deter it.

"ignored the existent social censure on forfeiters"
your ignoring that its not there for people to see, as a forfeit shows up as a loss, rather than what it should be a forfeit." Accidentally done or not, there should be be rules for people to think twice in easily flaking off a debate because they have a date that night.
Posted by trendem 8 years ago
trendem
Conduct: Tie.
Spelling & Grammar: Tie.
Convincing Argument: Con. As Con pointed out, Pro failed to advocate a consistent system of bans, failed to rebut the accidental damage that good users could suffer, ignored the existent social censure on forfeiters, and ignored Pro's argument that forfeits prevent fruitless debates.
Sources: Tie.
Posted by zippo 8 years ago
zippo
oh just seen your post. yes, was fun man take care
Posted by zippo 8 years ago
zippo
You done commenting? was just getting good.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
Thanks so much, zippo. I had a lot of fun, too. I'm off to bed but I'll respond to any new comments on here tomorrow.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
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Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that the already existing repurcussions for forfeiters are sufficient detriments to forfeiting. He also showed that the harm that could come to accidental forfeiters outweigh any benefits. While Con presented superior arguments, I do somewhat agree with Pro's position.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
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