The Instigator
Rousseau
Pro (for)
Winning
63 Points
The Contender
revleader5
Con (against)
Losing
33 Points

The Character Limit at Debate.org is a Nuisance and Should Be Removed.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,561 times Debate No: 901
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (32)

 

Rousseau

Pro

I beleive the character limit is a nuisance to seriosu debaters, and in some cases (see my debate on Africa, in which I have had to delete several things on almost every post due to the character limit) actually limits the debate. I beleive that there should be no character length, but rather a trust that no one will go ridiculously in depth with superfluous information. Added to this I can see no reason for it to be around. At the very least, I support lengthening it.

I beleive it was added as a sort of parrallel into normal debate, serving as a sort of time limit. However, online debate is very different from speech and debate, and therefore doesn't deserve a limiting function such as the character limit.

Reasons there should be no character limit:
1. It is a nuisance
2. It gets in the way of serious debate
3. It has no purpose
4. Removing it could only have positive impacts
5. There are no negative impacts
revleader5

Con

HERE IS YOUR ARGUMENT- I beleive it was added as a sort of parrallel into normal debate, serving as a sort of time limit. However, online debate is very different from speech and debate, and therefore doesn't deserve a limiting function such as the character limit.

HERE ARE YOUR REASONS. Reasons there should be no character limit:
1. It is a nuisance
2. It gets in the way of serious debate
3. It has no purpose
4. Removing it could only have positive impacts
5. There are no negative impacts

You have 4 reasons. Saying that something is positive then saying it isn't negative is a little childish.

Here are some reasons for HAVING the limit-
1.It prevents people from going extremley into depth.
2.It prevents people from just copying and pasting from websites most of the time.
3.It helps debate.org keep its bandwith strong.
4.It serves a purpose- just to contradict you saying that it doesn't.
5.You get 24,000 characters in a 3 round debate. That should be more than enough.

This argument has 6,948 characters remaining.
Debate Round No. 1
Rousseau

Pro

First off, thank you for taking part in today's debate. Admittidly, I'm a tad surprised that someone took the challenge so quickly, but maybe not as many other people have needed more space. I'm just speaking out of personal opinion on the matter, as I have quite recently run out of room in my debate on the Water For The Poor Act. I ended up having to delete a point I was trying to make that would have added to my stance.

Secondly, to clarify points 4 and 5. Point 4 was establishing that my proposal had advantages whilst point 5 was establishing that my proposal had no disadvantages. I guess it could be combined into one point saying that the overall impact is positive, however I see no way that not doing so makes me "childish". I was just clearly putting it out there in a way that would confused no one.

Your Points:
1. It prevents people from going extremly into depth.
2. It prevents people from just copying and pasting from websites most of the time.
3. It helps debate.org keep its bandwith strong.
4. It serves a purpose- just to contradict you saying that it doesn't.
5. You get 24,000 characters in a 3 round debate. That should be more than enough.

My Responses (In order)

1. Why would going in depth into a topic be a bad thing? If going in depth is neccesary to discover reasons why one side of a debate is wrong, than thats what should happen. I hardly think a debate should not be able to showcase the debaters logical prowess to its fullest extent just because "going in depth is bad". That is a ridiculous notion and one that is against the very heart of debate: education.

2. People copying and pasting from websites isn't really a problem in debate. Maybe plaigarism is an issue, but that has real-world ramifications. The fact is, debate is about proving your points are stronger than the other points. There are 2 ways to do this. Step-by-step going thru the points and proving that, logicaly, your points are better OR by providing literature and evidence that supports your views. I hardly think that people copying websites is really bad in a debate, as a debate is about education. If the content is appropriate and reasonable, then why not copy (and site) the website? The only problem about copying websites is plaigarism, which the character limit (or lack thereof, hopefully) doesn't affect.

3. When I suggested removing the character limit, I wasn't suggesting people start pouring essay's in. Obviously it should be kept to a reasonable level, but I also suggested that it could possibly just be upped further to say may double what it is at. You may say that the majority of people wouldn't use that much, but to the few that do it would be a nice feature. To the many who don't, it wouldn't affect them.

4. This point was just in contradiction of what I said, with no real backing on it. I'll just clarify what I think the debate should be voted on. I think that Con should win if the Pro side doesn't respond to a significant point and then Con mentions that, or if Pro loses on an important point and the Con points it out. I don't think the Con should have to attack everything to win, as there may not be attacks on everything. However it is worth noting that without a reason for having it, the character limit is superfluous and therefore unnescesary. I think if I respond to everything adequately, I should win the debate, and if revleader5 wins on a significant point, he should win. It's as simple as that. Go ahead and provide clash on every point if you want, but I won't burn you for not.

5. I, myself, have had cases where 8,000 a round doesn't hold to be enough. Now I'm not pretentious enough to even suggest I know the experiences of all other users, but I'd feel relatively confident in saying that at least some people must have wanted more space at some time in a debate.

As for the characters remaining in this post, I don't think that this debate should serve as an example for all other debates. Of course some topics can't be covered as much as others. But removing a character limit wouldn't hurt anybody. It would just help. For example, if a debate on abortion was opened (which I'm sure there have been several), I beleive that in order to cover it adequately, more than 48,000 characters would be needed (assuming 3 rounds for each person). So, in conclusion, I urge you the voter to consider this before anything else in today's debate.
revleader5

Con

So you suggest doubling the amount of avalible characters.

This would hurt many debaters. If someone was to use all of the characters, people might automatically jump to the conclusion that the longer argument is right. As a teacher of mine one said, "You don't have to say much to be right, you just have to be right."

This can almost be related to the "vote on the argument, not your favorite side" thing.
Debate Round No. 2
Rousseau

Pro

That argument could be a problem with the current system, and my idea wouldn't drastically exacerbate it in any way. My posts are generally longer, but I'd venture that I may not win this debate because I haven't seen a whole lot of support coming my way. Your attack is simply based off of problems with the voters, not the plan. Any disadvantage isn't unique to my idea.

I do agree with the voters not voting on the persuasiveness of the debaters, but rather their own personal stance. I guess its just something we have to deal with. Take it with a grain of salt because it is inevitable.
revleader5

Con

Interesting enough. You say the problems with your side are mainly with voters. Debates are arguments in which voters decided who wins. That is kind of important. That's like saying you're almost done building a bridge, only one part is missing, the structure.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rousseau 8 years ago
Rousseau
Right, but even if there is only ONE debate that needs longer than 8000 characters, the limit detracts from the debate. Removing the limit wouldn't force people to make long speeches, just allow those who need to make them, make them.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Another point is that sometimes having an argument that is too long can actually HURT your debate. Thus it should be up to the individual debater to use their best judgment in determining how long or short their round should be.
Posted by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
Let it be known that I vote for the pro in today's debate, simply because the con side did not take the time to respond to the arguments in depth and provided no well-backed-up arguments, though they had plenty of characters remaining to do so.

Personal bias has no place in debate, and if the con side had presented logical, well-reasoned and well-shown arguments I would certainly have voted for them. But they did not, and so the pro side wins.
Posted by g_of_tongues 9 years ago
g_of_tongues
I support either eliminating or at least adding to the character limit of debates for the biggest reason already stated, sometimes your point simply can not be adequately made using only 8,000 characters. Many times it is enough but I have come across instances where more characters were needed. However I would suggest that perhaps some sort of notice be added to debates containing what may be viewed as excessive/extensive character use, thus allowing for viewers to choose to read that debate or one that uses fewer characters.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
Its that same argument over and over again, and I believe I have responded to it, but its the voters perogative. Thanks for the feedback guys!
Posted by malmal16 9 years ago
malmal16
8000 characters should be enough. I admit I have had a time where a ran out of room, or where I come close, but doubling or making it unlimited is ridiculous. No one wants to/has time to read a novel of a debate. Make your topic more specific or only address the important points. I love to debate and am adament about making informed voting decisions, but even I lose interest in a crappy four page long debate. Make your arguments more effective and concise, rather than elaborate.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
Who would post a life-story? All I'm arguing is that some debates NEED more than the space allotted in order to adequately cover the topic. Some topics actually require going in depth in order to properly cover them. Besides, if you don't want to look at the topic in depth, then simply don't vote on that topic. Especially if the debater(s) thinks that, in order to make a non-biased decision, you need to read it all. This is even more important because you apparently vote on your own opinion. I think that this makes debate irrelevant. However it is you prerogative. I strongly urge you reconsider it though. As to your point on being entertaining, I was just saying that in public-speaking it is more important to be entertaining. Anyway, I don't wish to debate you in the comments section. If you wish to debate me, go ahead and challenge me.
Posted by fenderjazzerguy 9 years ago
fenderjazzerguy
Appeal isn't merely a factor in public speaking. You can just as easily put someone to sleep by writing a lot. Even easier because you can't write instantly exiciting actions. Websites like this are for the average person to debate, and most average people have school and work. With a character limit it allows us average people to frequent the site without having to read a life story in every debate.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
And I never said voters uniquely affect my suggestion adversely, just that voters could be a problem for debate in general.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
That's kind of the point I was making. Personal opinion shouldn't have anything to do with the round. If you were talking to me, I don't think I was ever really using "big words" or alot of them for that matter. As for how much a person appeals to the voter, that seems more like a voting issue for public speaking... but to each his own. I don't think there was ever a time when I was being superfluous in covering a point, and I usually cover why I think I won. My point wasn't that big words make people go over, yet some ideas cannot be communicated thru just 8,000 characters. Ah well, serves me right for taking (apparently) a unpopular stance.
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