The Instigator
Paradigm_Lost
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
VenomousNinja
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points

Proposed improvements to Debate.org

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,595 times Debate No: 3818
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (13)
Votes (16)

 

Paradigm_Lost

Pro

I suppose I should explain from the outset that this is not exactly an debate, though I certainly welcome any one to express their points on why some of my propositions are bad or are idealized. All other readers are encouraged to give their opinions in the comments box. With that, lets get started.

FIRST CONTENTION: Debate.org needs to use html. Almost all forums use html. It allows for underlining text, boldening text, italicising text, can format in bullet formation, etc, so as to draw special attention to a point. As well, the functions can allow quotation boxes. You further can embed long web addresses in a single highlighted word. The beneficial functions of html abound.

The purpose for these functions is for clarity and conciseness. As it stands now, the debates are very muddled and disorganized, no fault of the debaters. It makes reading the dialogue for observers more difficult than a very structured post would, all of which could be a reality if they simply added html.

It would be in the best interests of everyone, the webmasters, the debaters, and the advertisers to install html.

SECOND CONTENTION: From the first day I logged on to Debate.org, I noticed certain trends taking place. Many eloquent and strong debates have not gained the respect they deserve. I noticed certain dialogues for certain debates. What I noticed quite clearly is that there are people on this forum who have forged alliances. I won't name any names, as my intent is not make defamatory remarks about anyone, but rather to fix the problem.

It seems that many (not all, but many) debates are being voted for on the basis of like-mindedness rather than an objective judging of the strength of a debate. Allow me to expound:

Suppose there is a debate and the topic is socialism vs capitalism and the debaters are ABC123 vs DEF456. Some people may simply find parity with either socialism or capitalism and weigh their decision a priori, without considering just how well one side did against the other.

Similarly, lets say that ABC123 is well-liked for their political, religious, or social beliefs. ABC123 may very well have a following behind him/her. There have been times when I've seen a topic JUST come to a close. Immediately (I'm talking, within 1 MINUTE) 4 or 5 votes were already accrued. No one can read that fast and make an honest assessment within that time. This suggests rather highly that alliances are indeed being formulated on the basis of personal biases and or vendetta's against other debtors they may loathe for whatever reason.

There is another possibility for why this is, and something Debate.org can address. ABC123 can open up as many dummy accounts they want. It's the same person, but they use the other accounts so that they can dishonestly accrue more votes than what is merited. If Debate.org simply had a function to where members can view all of the members, this would yield some evidence of dummy accounts. Not to mention that the admins can look at IP addresses, which also would benefit them against spamming.

If Debate.org simply developed a function to show who is voting for what, along with the times they voted, it would better serve to establish who is prone to bias.

Now, bias is not a crime. And if someone chooses to be biased, I would not deny them that right. However, there is a clear social stigma attached to bias. Keeping people accountable would better serve to stop their predilections for judging debates on preconceived biases. In the interest of equity, I see no reason why most people would not find this idea appealing. In fact, the only kinds of people who wouldn't benefit from this are the people forming alliances.

THIRD CONTENTION: Lastly, there should be a function where general questions such as THIS and brainstorming is encouraged. What do I mean? Debate.org can have something like a "Coffee House," where people are brainstorming and proposing ways to improve the site. If for no one else, the administrators of Debate.org would benefit from this. Any business who does not have the foresight to continually look toward improvements will show within a matter of time.

What will happen as a result is that people might become disillusioned, lose interest, and leave. The quality of the dialogue will suffer. Less and less lurkers will have any interest in the site. As a direct result, less people will become members. Companies advertising on Debate.org will pull their monetary resources out of Debate.org. Debate.org will then fold.

All of these proposals are within reason and are remarkably simple to institute. If you support these proposals, then vote PRO. But MOST importantly, whether you agree or disagree, please leave comments and critiques both pro and con. Because whether you disagree with some of the proposals, surely all people would agree that voicing opinions concerning improvements would benefit all people involved, regardless of specific differences.

Talk amongst yourselves.

I'm looking forward to reading all of the suggestions.

Let the People speak.
VenomousNinja

Con

My opponent says that this is not a debate, but rather a list of suggestions. This is wrong, however, due to the fact that I am able to post my argument, I was able to accept this debate, and this debate is going go to the voting stage that all debates do.

I should also automatically be considered a winner due to my opponent not providing a debatable subject. You cannot debate the subject of "Proposed improvements to Debate.org". You can debate similar subjects, but not this one.

My opponent is also biased, saying "As it stands now, the debates are very muddled and disorganized" and "Many eloquent and strong debates have not gained the respect they deserve", but he provides no proof, only opinion. To win this debate, I could simply say "You are wrong, and I am right.". As my opponent has not provided proof for his comments, and it is still only his opinion.
Debate Round No. 1
Paradigm_Lost

Pro

"My opponent says that this is not a debate, but rather a list of suggestions. This is wrong, however, due to the fact that I am able to post my argument"

I listed my intentions right from the beginning, meaning, because I did not intend for it to be a debate, doesn't somehow detract from your ability to respond to it, nor did I claim that it would. That was the WHOLE point! I stated very clearly that I desire to have a function on Debate.org where we can make suggestions. As it stands now, in order to get your point across, it all but forces you to debate in order to do so. I want to change that.

"You cannot debate the subject of "Proposed improvements to Debate.org"."

EXACTLY, which is why in the very first opening statement I said that very thing. Thanks for corroborating me though, right after you stated, quote, "My opponent says that this is not a debate, but rather a list of suggestions. This is wrong." Well, which is it? Is it a debate, or isn't it? You seem to be quite hung up on this minuscule aspect dealing with semantics. So please oblige us.

"My opponent is also biased, saying "As it stands now, the debates are very muddled and disorganized" and "Many eloquent and strong debates have not gained the respect they deserve", but he provides no proof, only opinion. To win this debate, I could simply say "You are wrong, and I am right.". As my opponent has not provided proof for his comments, and it is still only his opinion."

I never claimed that it WASN'T an opinion of mine. These were pretty much all opinions of mine. That was made quite clear. I was asking other people to give their OPINIONS as well. Did you actually read my post or did you just skim through it? But since you feel that you have proof that it isn't muddled or disorganized (all of which is a matter of opinion anyhow, and can't be proven with some sort of empirical test) please oblige all of us why it is clear, concise, and not muddled. And of course, I expect facts, not opinions, since this apparently what you wanted.

If you are not going to follow my premise then why did you even bother accepting? I asked someone who disagreed with my points to debate, and then welcomed every one else to add their two cents. Do you want to actually critique my contentions or do you still want to focus on asinine things?
VenomousNinja

Con

"I did not intend for it to be a debate"
Then why did you create a debate?

"stated very clearly that I desire to have a function on Debate.org where we can make suggestions"
There is a function. You can find it here: http://www.debate.org....

"Well, which is it?"
It is a debate with a non-debatable resolution, which is why I should be considered the winner, as you have provided me with a resolution within a debate that you cannot debate.

"But since you feel that you have proof that it isn't muddled or disorganized "
More bias. I never said I have proof that 'it' isn't muddled or disorganized, however, I was pointing out your lack of proof.

"I expect facts"
Then why don't you start by providing us with facts yourself?

"Do you want to actually critique my contentions or do you still want to focus on asinine things?"
I prefer the latter.
Yea, I'm that kinda guy.
Debate Round No. 2
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
LOL @ Koopin! If they ever put a debate feature on Facebook this site would close down...
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
What!? There is a debate feature on this website?
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
"'...there will be forums when they do the next update'

Somebody else mentioned this. Where is everyone getting this information? I would be interested in reading about it."

Since the forums wre introduced more people use this site for social networking than for debating!
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
2: I'm just thinking people don't want to get into some unnecessary confrontation with friends. Although this is a debating website, so more people than I originally thought might be completely fine with that sort of confrontation.

3:
It's a link on the right of the home page.
Official story about the next version, which comes out in June (unless it gets delayed again). as you can see in the screenshots, forums, blogs, and polls are now included, as well as groups. And some other minor stuff. Most of it sounds pretty good, but there's going to be some problems and/or complaints about some of the new features. Overall, I'm looking forward to it.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 8 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
"On the first contention, perhaps something like BBcode"

BBcode would work too. I guess just something that would help with formating is what I'm hoping for.

"For contention 2, showing who voted for what would possibly be a bad thing. With anonymous voting, people are not swayed as much by their loyalty. Suppose I see a debate one of my friends was in, he put forth a strong effort, but I don't think he won. I would be more likely to vote for him if the votes were visible, since I wouldn't want to hurt our friendship"

To that I say, tough cookies... I would rather a friend be honest than placate me. Besides, I would think it much more likely friends voting for one another out of loyalty than actually judging the debate for its merits. By taking away anonymity you foster accountability and can establish trends of bias. Again, bias is not against any rule, so if someone wanted to be bias they could do that all day long. However, there is a stigma attached to perceived bias, and I'm hoping this proposition would mitigate the chances of voting for allegiance.

"For contention 3, there will be forums when they do the next update"

Somebody else mentioned this. Where is everyone getting this information? I would be interested in reading about it.

These are great ideas beem0r, and I appreciate you taking a time out to humor me. This was exactly the kind of spirit I was looking for when I decided to write it. Thanks for participating!
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
On the first contention, perhaps something like BBcode(1) would be best, rather than true HTML. HTML allows for a great many things to be put on a page that should not be put on a page. Just rudimentary text styling and the ability to make links have text other than the URL would probably be good. Maybe images too, but probably not.

For contention 2, showing who voted for what would possibly be a bad thing. With anonymous voting, people are not swayed as much by their loyalty. Suppose I see a debate one of my friends was in, he put forth a strong effort, but I don't think he won. I would be more likely to vote for him if the votes were visible, since I wouldn't want to hurt our friendship [actually, I'm the kind of guy who would vote against him publicly, but many would not].

Also, there is another reason why some debates get many votes within only a few minutes. People can view debates as they are going on. If you look at the list of debates in the 'debating period,' you'll see that many of them, especially ones between the more active members, have people commenting. People then get notified by email when new arguments are added to the debate, and they can read as the debate goes on. Often, by the end of round 2 in a 3-round debate, it is already clear who wins. Thus, as soon as a person gets the 'debate x is over' email notification, they can go vote on it.
Though in many cases, this is clearly not that case, and likely the cause of dummy accounts.

For contention 3, there will be forums when they do the next update, so we'll be able to discuss things like this there. Some people think it's a bad idea, but I'm wholly for it.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 8 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
Venomous,

I already knew about the comment box beforehand. I want more than just a comment box, all of which was outlined in the open discussion/debate.
Posted by VenomousNinja 8 years ago
VenomousNinja
Paradigm, have you found the comment box for suggestions??

Oh, and birdpiercefan - It could've been worth it. In fact, because of my actually debating him, this debate got more attention than it would've if it had just sit there, which means that my former opponent had less of a chance of finding the comment box for suggestions.

So, in reality, me being myself helped out a lot of people.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 8 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
Thanks to all who have responded. Hope there are more to come. I have forwarded this page to the administrators. With any luck they will consider them.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
I agree with the contentions of paradigm, mostly. :)
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Vote Placed by revleader5 8 years ago
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