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

That, on balance, social networking web sites have a positive impact on the United States of America

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,874 times Debate No: 6243
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)




That, on balance, social networking web sites have a positive impact on the United States"
I reserve the right top clarify

1st Round (Evidence and the case)
2nd Round Rebuttal

1. Social Networking web sites Definition

this is where people develop networks of friends and associates. It forges and creates links between different people.

2. impact- strong effect: the powerful or dramatic effect that something or somebody has
An impact could be direct or indirect

List of Positive impacts
1. Economy

Social Networks are boosting economy through helping businesses advertise.
Social networks account for billions of dollars
2. Democracy
Social networking web sites help people exchange ideas and ultimately spread their beliefs and in result the democratic beliefs are the ones being spread to places like China. Therefore social networking websites are key to increasing number of democracies

Social networking websites also help people organize and politically participate this leads to increased participation in US democracy, past 2-3 election prove
3. Terrorism and wars
1. A better economy is key to battle terrorism
"(U.S.) Amin remembers that eight years ago we had a budget surplus-- and now our deficit is huge. If we can solve the economic problem, other problems will diminish."
2. A strong democracy is key to solve war and terrorism
Democracy is the answer (to terrorism). We will solve all the problems. We have a situation. We have issues. We've got problems. But we will solve them and we will rise to the occasion.

And, democracies don't go to war with other democracies, so if the number of democracies increases the number of likely incidents around the world decreases.

Best of Luck
PS the reason i issued a debate to you is because i saw a few of your debates and liked them plus my debate tournament is Dec 20th and i want to get some practice


Thanks for this debate and good luck:


-From: Merriam-Webster (
-"To have a direct effect or impact on."

Resolutional Analysis: The burden of proof lies with pro.
-Within this debate, it is pro's job to prove that there is some sort of positive impact on the United States. Therefore, if I prove negative effect or neutral effect, I ought to win.

-Therefore, my claim is simple: That social networking websites have a NEUTRAL impact on the United States.

A. Social Networking Sites are simply a tool.
- Since Social Networking Sites are generally meant for friends meeting up with each other and sharing information, you will see that these sites are simply a tool for people to use. Thus, this debate asks the question, does the tool have an impact? And the answer is no. You see, it is the PEOPLE THAT USE THE TOOL that determines what kind of impact exists. A person could use these sites well and nothing bad could happen, OR someone could anonymously abuse someone to the point of suicide on these same sites. For example: A hammer is a tool. A person could use the hammer to build a house. But a person could also use the same hammer to murder someone. Do either of these actions determine the impact of the tool? No… Therefore, it is the PEOPLE that determine whether it will impact anyone positively or negatively.

B. Definition (of impact) places no impact on Social Networking Sites.
-How can something have a ‘direct effect' on something when it doesn't have a brain? It doesn't think. And it therefore can't positively or negatively impact anything.

In the end of this debate, ask yourself…

Does a hammer build a house or does a person build a house with a hammer?
Does a hammer kill someone, or does a person kill a person with a hammer?

Does a gun kill someone, or does someone kill a person with a gun?
Does a gun protect a family from a robber, or does someone protect a family from a robber with a gun?

Since the answer to all of these is the latter of the two, you will see that it is the PERSON that has the impact, not the tool.


Onto my opponents case:

1. I accept the definition (of Social Networking Site) as a way Social Networking sites could be viewed. Although, there can be multiple interpretations, I will not be abusive and I will accept this as the general purpose of a Social Networking site.

2. I will urge the voters to use both definitions of impact. Use my opponents as the "how much" and use my definition as the "how." In other words, his points out to a strong effect while mine points to a direct effect. And since these are mutually inclusive, use them both to determine if PRO has met both of them.

Onto the arguments now:

1. Economy (and the business advertisement argument)-->

A) The economic benefits simply transfered.
-You have to acknowledge the simple fact that Social Networking Sites bring in revenue to other companies ( being one of those). However, this revenue transfered from previous popular advertisement locations (such as newspaper and billboards). And although those are still used, they have decreased in popularity while Social Networking sites have balanced it out. Therefore, the economy really didn't benefit as much as my opponent claims. The article (of the link below) shows how search engines may die because of social networking sites, which is a huge amount of income.

B) If anything, the economy got worse.
-What happens when one location begins to receive all advertisement revenue? Simply, they begin to dominate the market. AND, they begin to pocket it. Both of these have a negative effect since dominating the market will simply lead to people only going there to advertise. This will increase the amount of revenue they get, thus they can begin to 'save' it for whatever reason. Once they save it, the flow of money seizes and the economy actually suffers.

C) If it did get better, it is because people used the tool well.
-The biggest argument my opponent will have to deal with is the fact that "social networking sites" did not have a direct impact on the market, rather the intelligent businessmen did. Social Networking Sites are something we made up, a simple tool of possibility, but as we all know, Social Networking Sites can be used for bad as well. For example:

-From PC MAGAZINE ONLINE, July 22, 2008, pNA, GALE CENGAGE LEARNING, Expanded Academic ASAP
-QUOTE: "With more and more kids communicating online, Internet bullying has become a larger issue. About 22 percent of kids said they have friends who have been bullied online."


-From Jessica S. Groppe; Catholic U. Law School; COMMLAW CONSPECTUS; 2007; ONLINE; LEXIS-NEXIS; p. 218
-QUOTE: "In over half of these incidents solicitors request photographs of youth, and in twenty-seven percent of such occurrences solicitors ask for sexual photographs. These pornographic depictions involve abusive activities that "exacerbate the already vulnerable status of children" who consequently become mere sexual objects in pornographic work. Compliance with solicitor's pornographic requests often results from youths who lack the prudence or maturity to understand the implications or consequences of such pictures. Children's meager knowledge of the nature of sexual acts bolsters the fact that children cannot meaningfully consent to participating in child pornographic activities, and thus, suffer harm from its production."

From this you can see that the economy is little to no benefit. ESPECIALLY when you weigh it against the benefits of sexual predators and how they can use it as a tool to further abuse the children of America. Just ask the father of the raped daughter what he thinks about the better economy that we got because of a social networking site.

Again, it's all how you use it.

2. Democracy-->
-Here is just one example of how it could be used as a good tool. However, on top of this, you also have a HUGE increase in the abuse of the candidates. For example, Obama got made fun of and slandered against. And McCain was a war monger because of videos that were put up on the internet. OH... and maybe people even PMed each other with a plot to kill them. All made possible because of Social Networking Sites.

3. Terrorism (and 1/2 under it)-->
-Also, a good parent-child relation is good for fighting immature adolescent behavior. However, because of social networking sites, we don't have that either.

-From Kaveri Subrahmayam & Patricia Greenfield; Professors of Psychology at Cal State U. and UCLA; THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN; Spring 2008; p. 119
-QUOTE: "Qualitative evidence is starting to accumulate that social networking sites such as MySpace are ausing serious parent-child conflicts and loss of parental control. Rosen's interviews with parents revealed several typical problems. For example, a boy who failed to do his homework before midnight because he was on MySpace reacted to his parent's efforts to curtail his use of MySpace by sneaking back online."

-Not to mention that I have already proven that the economy is not necessarily better because of Social Networking Sites. Furthermore, you will see that the economy is bad BECAUSE of the War on Terrorism (in part anyway):
-QUOTE: "By contrast, the Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee, which estimated a $3.5 trillion cost through 2017, say the war will cost the average U.S. family $46,400. Per person, the total cost, given these estimates, would be $11,627, or $830 per year."

Through this, you will see that my opponents arguments are irrelevant. It ALL depends on use. Therefore, I urge you to vote CON!

Thanks for this debate!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for the debate and best of luck,

1. Prefer Pro's definitions
a. First of all there are many definitions for multitude of different words, including "impact"
b. Con's definition is unapplicable because if you actully go that web site ( you will find that the definition has to do with th ehitting of the ball as in baseball, which does not apply to social networks
c. Con's definition is also false because it uses the word "impact" within the deffinition which goes against the rules of Eng. language
d. Pro's definition is best of both because it defines what the impact does: "impact" produces an effect; and it defines what that "impact" could be "direct and indirect" and my opponent has conceded the fact that my definition is correct when he stated "I will urge the voters to use both definitions of impact"
2. I agree to my job of proving a positive impact, and because the reolution call for "impact" which could be direct and indirect, my job is to prove either of the possible types of impacts
3. Social netw. web. have a positive impact on the US, because the impact could be direct or indirect as Con conceded, the perception and the use of the tool is an indirect effect because without the tool thee would be no use of it, and thus it has an indirect impact
a. For example, my opponent mentioned "gun", the thing is that the sight of the weapon alone incites violence
Homer: "The blade itself incites to violence."
and thus the weapon itself has an indirect impact on the people, also when someone gets killed by the weapon, it is the weapon that killed, sure the blame lies with the killer, but the weapon aided the kill so it has an impact
4. Also because the debate asks for "on balance" which mean on average, I urge you to vote in consideration of both negative and positive impacts
5. Lastly on the "impact" debate, my opponent concedes this debate, when he acnowledges some possible impacts, the fact that he argued impact at all proves that there could be a debate of both positive and negative impacts
Onto my opponent's ans. to my case:

1. I agree to your evaluation and thank you for not making this a definition type debate
2. Prefer Pro's definition
3. Econ.
a. My opponent's argument is not exactly true and unaplicable to social networks for a few key reasons
- This article is talking about how the newspaper circulation has been aroding for the past 20 years, during which social netwoking websites have been almost unexistent if not completely unexistent,
- Further more, its aknowledging that these newspapers have been losing their custumers because of both TV and Internet Usage, not social networking specifically
-Finally ask yourself, if not for the social networking which account for much advertising, where would those bussinesses be, the key thing is that to put an ad into a newspaper or journal, is expensive, to put it onto Social networking websites or internet in general, is almost free, thus it encourages these small businesses to advertise which ultimatlely helps them out and because of these businesses our economy thrives
-Finally sites like LinkedIN help people get jobs, it is a bussiness oriented social network, which also hires people and in December 07 it got over 400% more visitors, which means that there was net benefit in social networking, because way less people went away from newspapers than people got onto social networks, my sorce for the increase is Wikipedia, and although its not the best website, the statistic is correct as i have checked
-Prefer my answer because I have qualified how the economy has improved with statistics unlike my opponent
b. The economy didn't get worse because of social networking websites, if my opponent would be correct than the newspapers, where the advertising was before would have had the same impact as social networking websites have now
-Also the fact that newspapers are still there and TV plus the social networks, meansthat there is more competition involved and competion is key to a succesfull economy
-My opponent claims that the fact that money is congested in social networks is bad, however the fact is "Eager estimates there will be as many as 250,000 sites that call themselves social networks within a year, compared with about 850 today." USA, Today
c. The fact that my opponent stated "If it did get better" proves that he is not sure of the result and thus it means that Pro has more of a chance to be correct
-USA TODAY : "Total ad spending worldwide, by comparison, is expected to grow 4.6%, to $653.9 billion this year, says Universal McCann." This is the billions I am talking about, the economy needs money to flow around to do well, when the money doesn't move, meaning it's not spent, the economy soars and becomes volitile
-The principal fact Pro is claiming is that the economy is boosted by the social networks
-Just ask thousands of people who benefit from a good economy how they felt when they had nothing to give their child to eat. Look i agree that there are some negative impacts however there are way more good impacts than bad, which is what the resolution asks Pro to answer, and thus sure a few people get hurt, but ask yourself, don't the people get hurt in democracy, yes, but is democracy on balance bad? no
Firstly, Johicle, is there a website link to the PC Magazine Online evidence and the Jessica Groppe evidece, because i could not find it, I am not denying its validity, I just want to read it
1. Think logically, why would you be a friend with someone who bullies you? really, if one is bullied, one has the controls to block that person, and with the networks getting so much safer, the bullie's message might not even get to you
2. UCLA study, shows that people get bullied offline (85%), so if they are bullied offline the fact that they might be bullied online shows that there is no net impact
3. UCLA study also shows that 75% of the kids showed positive feedback, while only 6-7% got negative response, and because the resolution calls for "on balance", average, 75 and 7 obviously prove that on average the impact is positive
4. UCLA stdu also shows that the problem is declining about bulliying
Onto the sexual predators
1. "Those concerns about predators and stranger danger have been overblown," she said. "There's been some confusion about what kids are actually doing online. Mostly, they're socializing with their friends, people they've met at school or camp or sports." This proves that there is more positive than negative impact andso Pro wins
2. Because Constates a negative impact proves that the impact could be neg. or pos. which cancels his first arg.
Onto Terrorism
1. Good parent relations? Kids are eager to learn from their peers not their parents, and there is not evidence showing that without social netwokring those relation would get hurt, I mean think critically, without talking to your friends online, you would just talk offline, so there is no trade off in the relations
2. What impact do those realations have and what do they have to do with the war on terrorism, people still realize that terrorism is bad regardless of what they think about their parents
3. Although parents might say they were way more respectful, they are forgetting the fact that they weren't, if you ask your gradnparents they have the same opinion of your parent as your parents of u
4.Terrorism outweighs any neg impact and thus Pro wins

1. Although sure there were some hate speeches, the fact is is that social nets. helped civic engagement= democracy
Thank you for debate, Good Luck!


Impact Definition

1a--> There are many definitions I agree. Which is why I urge you to accept both. To have a direct impact on AND to have a powerful effect.
b--> Notice my opponents definitions anyway where he said, "An impact could be direct or indirect."… Basically from this you should see that the impact is all dependent on the actor. The economy is indirect, and the child molester cases are a direct effect. Both of these are acceptable and both of them prove that social networking sites have a neutral impact because it ALL depends on the actor, something that isn't specified in the resolution. So impact can be a baseball bat. But a baseball bat is a tool, JUST LIKE a social networking site.
c--> 1) It also says effect, please use that if impact in the impact definition is that bad of an ordeal.
2) That must mean that Webster's Dictionary isn't legit. Which is absolutely ridiculous.
d--> If social networking sites were to have no members, then they would have no impact right? This is the same as hammers, guns, and even baseball bats. So if you even accept the positive influences of social networking sites of my opponent, then you must see that it has only been used well. The ACTOR has the impact NOT the TOOL.

2--> Ok, but you misinterpret my position which I'll get to later.

3--> Your entire position is based on the idea that tools are positive OR negative and can't be both. But what I have shown is that it is not the tool that decides this, it is the person. I have proven this through guns, baseball bats, hammers, and of course social networking sites. If you have yet to understand my position (judges), then think of it like this. Social Networking Sites, have BOTH types of impacts on us (positive AND negative). The impact that happens in a subjective case can be positive OR negative, but when you look at it objectively, you will see a mixture. Thus you can not determine the actual impact, but rather, notice the true determining factor. The user of the networking site.

3a--> Are you contending that the site of the social networking site helps our economy and fights the war on terror? If anything you have conceded the fact that it helps sexual predators. Also the gun did aid in the killing (just like the aiding of sexual predators), but it is not what had the impact. It is the one pulling the trigger or the one lying of his age and stealing a child to rape them. No difference. So would you contend that guns have a negative impact on society? Or would you agree with me that it is the shooter, not the tool that determines the positive or negative impact.

4--> Cross-apply the sexual predators and child-parent relationship harms against this point. It proves that "on balance" it is the user of the social networking site that causes the impact.

5--> EXACTLY! It has both positive and negative impacts, so how can you claim that "Social Networking Sites have a positive impact on the United States" when there are ALSO negative ones as well.


1) The USA Today link evidence only proves my point. That the newspaper sales have gone down and has generally switched to TV and Social Networking Sites. AKA: The Economy has been going up for Social Networking Sites and down for newspapers. A transfer from one to the other creates a net-benefit of nothing. And although the evidence points to a few sources, it fails to even talk about Social Networking Sites. Therefore, they could be a part of the downfall of Social Networking Sites. I for one know of several people who stop reading newspapers and rather use the internet to get their news.

"Just ask thousands of people who benefit from a good economy how they felt when they had nothing to give their child to eat."-->

2) I really don't think that the few pennies that people are saving from this minor change are not going to feed or not feed a family. It is nice, certainly, but not going to be the reason that I get to have chicken rather than chicken ramen noodles. ONE GROUP OF INCOME IS NOT GOING TO CREATE OR DESTROY THE ECONOMY!

3) 250,000 new social networking sites?!?! How can any legitimate jobs be created out of this? Not to mention that this will lead to a growing obesity rate :D … And those new fatties are probably the ones raping our children.

"Look i agree that there are some negative impacts however there are way more good impacts than bad"-->

4) Even if the judges agree that the positive outweigh the negative, you still can't claim that it is ONLY a positive impact (like the resolution asks for). In that case, the resolution shall be negated AS: "That, on balance, social networking web sites have a positive AND NEGATIVE impact on the United States of America dependant on the user of the site." From this, you vote CON!


I got the evidence out of an evidence packet that gets sent to our school for our team. If it isn't legit, then you can bring it up with "Squirrel Killers."

1) You're a friend with me on a Social Networking Site and you hardly even know me. Watch this… I hate you… Now you see that. I just bullied you and you had no choice in the matter. The site did nothing to prevent it and if we were in real life, I doubt I would have been able to even say it. This is because social networking sites make it so much easier over the internet. You can hurt someone just as much without having to say it in person. A lot easier for mean people like me ;)

2) You claim that there is no net-impact. But look to the situation where some neighbor parents pushed a girl to suicide through a social networking sites. This would not have happened in real life since they couldn't pretend to be someone (like they were). Thus there ARE impacts because of social networking sites.

Sexual Predators:

"Mostly people that they know"-->

-As you can tell, we are now friends on a social networking site and we do not know each other. There are several people that I have "met" online and I know others who have as well.

-Therefore the sexual predator arguments still stand. Please flow through the evidence and by this, you can further see the inherent negative impacts which thus proves that it is all dependant on the user of the tool (in this situation, the social networking site being used by sexual predators… They have a negative impact just like the advertisers and small business people have a positive impact. They use the tool good OR bad and the tool doesn't determine ANYTHING.


"Kids are eager to learn from their peers not their parents"-->

-Which is why bullying has such a powerful impact on social networking sites. Please cross-apply this statement on the bullying line of arguing.

-Also, are you saying that we ought not be concerned with kids learning from their parents? Users of social networking sites are getting younger and younger. It will only be some time before everything is learned online (from my opponents statement). This is OBVIOUSLY a bad thing. Kids must learn from their parents.

"4. Terrorism outweighs any neg impact and thus Pro wins"-->

-The War on Terrorism argument was ONLY linked to the economy which was argued earlier.

-We are not going to win or lose the war on terror because we do or do not have social networking sites. Nor is there going to make that big of a difference. Such as I proved before with the economy.


There was good debate on the candidates (positive) and some unnecessary slanderous videos on the presidential candidates. Because of this, you MUST see that there are both positive AND negative impacts DEPENDING on the user of the tool (of social networking sites). Because of this, I urge you to vote CON!

Thank you for this GREAT debate!
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by anikiforouk 8 years ago
Alright, that's cool, and yeah regular debate would be a good idea I can't wait till it starts.
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Also, feel free to submit topic ideas as well as be ready to sign up on February 1st. I'll probably have the topics ready to vote on by then.
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
I think that everyone should do Regular too since we all can do that type. It would be an equal playing field for all.
Posted by anikiforouk 8 years ago
Thanks, I have joined the club, I might do both policy and LD
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
May I extend a personal invitation to join my "tournament" group. A new tournament is set to begin March 1st. Right now we are prepping all of the technical stuff. Here's the link:

You can do any event from Regular Debate (like this debate), LD, Policy, and/or Team/Video/CBA Debate.
Posted by anikiforouk 8 years ago
I guess the only thing about that's not that good, is that we have a limit on the characters.
Posted by anikiforouk 8 years ago
Sure, I got finals too, can't wait
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
I might accept it later on during the week, but right now I've got finals to prep for and 2 shifts at kmart that go past midnight.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Johnicle 8 years ago
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