The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The debate.org site rules should be more strictly enforced.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+20
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,273 times Debate No: 44274
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (7)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

The debate.org site rules are the debate.org Terms of Use. [1. http://www.debate.org...] Among other things, the member agrees he:

Will follow the following rules while participating on the site. Any disregard for these rules or any of the other terms or guidelines may result in termination of a member's account.

    1. No use of profanities or swear words.
    2. No personal attacks against other members or a member's opinions.
    3. No use of racial, sexual or religious slurs.
    4. No threats or implications thereof.
The site owner has discretion as to how and to what extent the rules are enforced.

In this debate, I will argue that the rules prohibiting profanity and personal attacks ought to be more strictly enforced. I'm not saying that DDO is totally negligent, or that there aren't many sites on the web that are worse. It may be the case that DDO is currently stepping up enforcement. For this debate, the level of enforcement typically practiced in the past year is the level referenced for discussion. I will argue that more strict rule enforcement aids in establishing the site as the premiere site for debate.

The first round is for acceptance only. All arguments and source citations must be made within the character limits of the debate. No new arguments may be made by Con in the last round of the debate, because Pro has no debate round left to rebut them.

This debate is the third round of ClassicRobert's Gauntlet Tournament. [2. http://www.debate.org...] I welcome my opponent to the arena.
imabench

Con

I accept, you may state your case.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro


Dinsdale Piranha nailed heads to the floor, but people really feared his brother. “I was terrified. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug. He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.”


-Monty Python [3. http://www.intriguing.com...]


In this debate I will argue that Doug, not Dinsdale, should be the model for debaters.


1. There is room for improvement on debate.org


So I don't have to repeat “use of profanities or swear words or use of personal attacks against other members or a member's opinions” I'll use ranting as the generic term. The official definition of rant is “to talk loudly and in a way that shows anger : to complain in a way that is unreasonable.” [4. http://www.merriam-webster.com...] That's close enough.


For the purposes of this debate, a troll is defined as a DDO member who makes a habit of ranting.


In terms of civil behavior, DDO is not particularly bad as opinion web sites go. I think the site is more closely moderated that it was a couple of years ago. Google searches for profanity show fewer hits in the past year than previous. I think the amount of bad behavior on DDO would be acceptable if it were on Facebook or other non-debate opinion sites sites. But because DDO is a debate site, it should be dedicated to civilized discussion rather than rants.


A few examples of current behavior should suffice to show the less-than-perfect enforcement of site rules.


The “Weekly Stupid” characterizes specific arguments as stupid. Site rules prohibit insulting a person's arguments. [5. http://www.debate.org...] (I don't object to critiquing the specific logic of debates, only to using insulting characterizations.)


Topic: “is Dann a tool or a moron?”[6. http://www.debate.org...] Forum post, “.. you are a sleazy moron” [7. https://www.debate.org...]


Opinion: “what f*cking stupid excuse do you have” [8. http://tinyurl.com...] “Everyone posting to this page, besides me, is a childish moron.” quoted by darkermit [9. http://www.debate.org...]


A google search using “site: debate.org fvcking” [10. http://tinyurl.com...] produces 229 hits in the past year. E.g., “You're a fvcking fool.” [11. http://www.debate.org...] Similar searches show sh!t used 440 times in the past year, and f*ck 172 times.


The obvious letter-substitution profanities could be detected automatically and deleted or replaced.


Ranting does not require use of profanity. It's easy to be insulting using non-profane words. “This is why I called you biased (even though liar is more appropriate).” [12. http://www.debate.org...] Words like idiot, stupid, fool, liar, thief, cheat, weirdo, and pervert cannot be automatically deleted because they may be used in non-insulting ways – or used to insult politicians or other non-members, which is allowable. As moderation of bad language is tightened, dedicated trolls use more non-profane insults.


On DDO stricter standards can be applied, more user-moderators could be recruited, and user-moderated threads could be instituted. Abusive members could be banned with less hesitancy.


2. More strict moderation will attract and keep better users


Ranting is used to express emotion and create pointless turmoil. The less ranting allowed, the fewer users who rant rather than debate will be attracted to the site. Trolls exist for the satisfaction they get by exercising their power to ruin other people's serious attempts at discussion. If they are neutered by aggressive moderation, they are likely to leave more quickly. They can also be booted more quickly.


Some new debaters recoil at the vitriol and leave the site after a few debates. Other members stay on the sidelines rather than debate or participate in forum discussion where they are likely to be attacked by trolls. Some people are used to immature behavior played out to get attention, and they are more likely to tolerate ranting.


There is a large potential DDO audience of high school debaters. The more ranting, the less likely that teachers will steer students to the site. In fact, some schools may block the site with Net Nanny type software.


The frequency of profanity as measured by google hits has dropped in the past year. At the same time, membership and page visits on the site have grown substantially. This doesn't prove that tighter moderation causes site growth, because the site has added features like the Opinions section that attract a following, redesigned the site, and done other things designed to attract interest. Also, the pattern of ranting has to some extent shifted to other modes. However, it does show that depriving members of unlimited ranting has not devastated the site. It cannot be that a major attraction of the site are the mindless antics of the trolls.


3. More strict moderation will improve debate skills


Some claims really are “stupid” – meaning that they cannot stand up to logical scrutiny. “Stupid” claims are not as easy to refute as it might seem. That's because illogical claims deny the premises that most people readily accept. For example, someone posted a challenge on the topic “The earth is flat.” The web, courtesy of various put-on web sites, has stock rebuttals to various disproofs of the flat earth. For example, the sun is claimed to circle over the earth at low altitude to explain day and night. After a few of those bogus refutations, it's tempting to say, “Well, it's just stupid.” Okay, but if so, why can't you explain the faults in the flat earth claims?


A little though produces some arguments that go beyond standard flat earth bogus rebuttals. The observation that storms rotate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere is incompatible with even a flat earth that rotates. ...


My point is that once the cop-out of dismissing arguments with an insult is not allowed, then one is left to figure out what is specifically wrong with the logic and then refuting it. Stupid arguments are not easy to refute succinctly, which is why it's tempting to yield to frustration and use insults. Debate skills are improved by reducing the cheap alternatives to reasoned debate. Stupid arguments are common in the real world, so how to face up to them is one of the most valuable skills of debate.


Some trolls are proud of their ability to rile people up, thinking that they have mastered a difficult art. In fact, if one's goal is to be obnoxious, it's nearly impossible to fail. Moreover, the skill of being obnoxious is not a useful life skill. You are likely to be injured on your first trip to Texas. By contrast, the skill of efficiently defeating stupid arguments logically is valuable. It will be useful every week, perhaps every day, of one's life.


Trolls may believe that the site will be no fun for them if ranting is prohibited. Trolling is like having fun by randomly pounding on a piano keyboard to make distracting noise. It's more fun to learn how to play the piano. In debate, one can learn sarcasm, and all the tricks: dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. That is really vicious.


Debate.org will be more valuable if it promotes useful debate skills rather than allowing cop-outs. DDO cannot compete head-on with social networking sites like facebook or twitter as a vehicle for ranting trolls. The big sites have too large a following. DDO has done a good job of carving a niche as a place for reasoned debate. It should build on that by more strictly enforcing site rules.



imabench

Con

1) Room for improvement

Just because something HAS room for improvement it doesnt mean that we have to go to absurd lengths to actually improve it...... And the areas of where DDO could improve do not relate to higher or lower enforcement of the ToS, the site would become infinitely better off if instead of more strictly enforcing the rules in the ToS it decided to cut down on the number of forfeited debates or put cap limits on how many polls someone could make in a day.....

Yes DDO has room for improvement, but much of that potential lies in dealing with the clutter of crappy debates in the voting section and spam in the polls, not cutting down on bad conduct in the forums.....



". I think the amount of bad behavior on DDO would be acceptable if it were on Facebook or other non-debate opinion sites sites. But because DDO is a debate site, it should be dedicated to civilized discussion rather than rants."

DDO at this point is more of a discussion + socialization site than a debate site, with a large percentage of activity on the site being in the forums than actual debates.... But if we agree that DDO IS primarily a debate site, that doesnt mean that as a debate site is has to be held to a higher standard than other non-debate sites, thats just an arbitrary condition you are imposing.

Nothing about debate sites requires it to have inherently higher standards than non-debate sites.




"The “Weekly Stupid” characterizes specific arguments as stupid. Site rules prohibit insulting a person's arguments."

I would like to offer this argument for reason as why the site rules SHOULDNT be more strictly enforced.... Even if you personally dont like the show, a lot of other people still do and prefer the show to at the very least not be banned since it is entertaining even if it is insulting at times.....




“is Dann a tool or a moron?”........... Forum post, “.. you are a sleazy moron”

What are you, caplox? If you were to enforce the rules so much more to the point that calling someone else a moron is a ban-worthy offence then there wouldnt be ANYONE LEFT on DDO. Some of the smartest and most intelligent people on DDO regularly call stupid opinions as 'stupid' or 'moronic', and they should have the right to also.

DDO is conducted in a way where when someone's profanity does become a problem, then moderators can address these instances on a case by case instance, rather then just flat out banning the person for cursing or saying something insulting a single time.....

Facts themselves can be considered insults too. If someone has a tremendous misunderstanding of economics, and someone were to say 'you have a tremendous misunderstanding of economics', that can be considered an insult even though it is true. If the site rules were to be more strictly enforced to the point that basic insults are banned, then you could actually be banning people simply for telling the truth....





"A google search using “site: debate.org fvcking” produces 229 hits in the past year."

Given that there are 365 days in a year, then 299 hits from last year computes to an average of literally less than 1 instance per day, which isnt even CLOSE to an amount that would warrant such an absurd raise in the enforcement of the rules.....

"Similar searches show sh!t used 440 times in the past year,

Which is still an average of only slightly over 1 per day...... Which again isnt nearly enough to warrant raising the enforcement of the ToS to such an absurd level.

" and f*ck 172 times."

1) Thats actually an average of 1 instance every 2 days, which is even lower then of the other two.
2) Half of those probably belong to me, and now that ive given up cursing that number is only going to plummet.


"The obvious letter-substitution profanities could be detected automatically and deleted or replaced."

Only one of those words you gave is said on this site at a rate of more than 1 occurrence per day though, and that is more then reasonable enough to be deemed acceptable compared to the sleaze you see on other debate sites......



"As moderation of bad language is tightened, dedicated trolls use more non-profane insults."

That also sounds like evidence for why the rules shouldnt be more strictly enforced.... If you ban a certain set of bad words, then people will just jump to the next available bad word or substitute a letter to get around the curse filter and continue being insulting..... Therefore its useless to try to better the conduct seen on the forums since members can simply jump to another insulting word or use some other means of bypassing the curse filter.




"more user-moderators could be recruited, and user-moderated threads could be instituted."

But what is gained for such an enormous cost? If you give dozens of members the potential power to become mods then that only opens the door to having good members unfairly banned, people with mod powers can become immune to other mods, they could censor people they dont like and opinions that they dont agree with, etc..... All just so that people are a little less insulting to each other?

That doesnt balance out at ALL.




2) Stricter moderation will attract and keep better users

You know what else will attract and keep better users? Cutting down on the crap that is cluttering the debate and voting sections while reforming the polls section to cut down on spam..... And im willing to bet that good members on this site right now would much rather have some of those updates installed instead of immensely enforcing site rules to an absurd degree.....




"The less ranting allowed, the fewer users who rant rather than debate will be attracted to the site. "

Theres no evidence that suggests that ranting on DDO attracts other ranting people to join the site. Everyone here wound up at DDO for varying reasons, and that includes good and problem ones alike.




"If they are neutered by aggressive moderation, they are likely to leave more quickly"

No they wouldnt, they would simply resort to spamming, which is equally as annoying as slinging insults.





"There is a large potential DDO audience of high school debaters. The more ranting, the less likely that teachers will steer students to the site."

There is again no evidence that teachers are not recommending the site to students because of ranting they see on DDO.





"The frequency of profanity as measured by google hits has dropped in the past year. At the same time, membership and page visits on the site have grown substantially. "

So then if the trend that is desired is already being achieved, then why go to such absurd lengths to try to extend this?






3. More strict moderation will 'improve' debate skills

"Okay, but if so, why can't you explain the faults in the flat earth claims?"

You still have the liberty to do that though, its not insult or argument only, you can more than explain the faults in the claims while still ridiculing the other sides arguments as ridiculous......





"My point is that once the cop-out of dismissing arguments with an insult is not allowed, then one is left to figure out what is specifically wrong with the logic and then refuting it"

Not really..... If insults are not allowed then that could just push people to give up on DDO and go somewhere else where they can more freely denounce idiotic ideas like the Earth being flat. By eliminating insulting, youre not just leaving people the option to refute the argument, youre still leaving them with the option to take the door and leave, which many people would.





"the skill of efficiently defeating stupid arguments logically is valuable. It will be useful every week, perhaps every day, of one's life."

But you cant force people to become more efficient in doing that, you can only give them the chance to hone their skills under their own will in an environment that isnt constricting, like what we have right NOW.




The simple truth is that DDO does not gain much by outlawing insults on DDO, and at the same time it has WAAAAAY more to lose by doing so.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

1. There is room for improvement on debate.org

Con grants that DDO has room for improvement, but argues that the site would be more improved by getting rid of what he calls trash debates and spam polls. The argument assumes that there are finite resources available for improvement and spending those resources on A implies that B cannot be done. This type of argument is often true; if you have only so much money, you must choose between buying A or B if you can't afford both. However, the argument does not apply to enforcing debate.org site rules almost entirely changes in enforcement policy that do not increase the workload. If there is any increase in workload, user-moderators can be used for the enforcement, as I suggested.

The topic is whether the rule enforcement should be tightened, not whether minor policy infractions should be unmercifully punished. No one should be banned for a single offense or even for occasional slips. Well, maybe a couple of trolls ought to be water boarded, but that's not essential. Members need to made aware that the rules will enforced, by a number of warnings --perhaps three or four. Too much effort is spent chasing a few trolls, so if a reasonable number of warnings do not sink in, then they should be summarily banned.

Facebook has a mechanism for setting up a group with user moderation. “The Lunchroom” is a chat room with rules against personal attacks, moderation of topics selected, and a rule that requires sources be supplied if another person in a thread so demands. [http://tinyurl.com...] If one group fails in its promise, there are others.

Con argues that featuring poor-quality debates and posting spam opinions ought to receive resources that might go site rules. But those are policy issues, not limitations of resources. If the DDO wanted to, it could easily filter debates by the Elo rating of the debaters and feature the ones involving the high-rated debaters. The idea behind the Opinions section, as I understand it, is to provide a place for people who want to spout off without every learning to debate. The idea is to divert those people away from the debates and forums, so they can play while being less annoying to people who want to debate. Each policy issue is independent. There is no tradeoff of doing some in favor of others; all or none could be done. Xx The Opinions section is much like the facebook principle of compartmentalizing participation into civil and uncivil sections. The subject of our debate is whether DDO should expand the region of civility. Xx Con wrongly supposes that I'm advocating banning The Weekly Stupid. Not at all. All that's required is to rename it something like The Weekly Worst, and to avoid direct insults like “stupid” in the descriptions. According to Con, profanity was taken out of the presentations recently. The lack of profanity caused no harm. Avoiding the insults would make it better. It's a debate site so critiquing debate arguments in appropriate.

2. More strict moderation will attract and keep better users

Con claims, “If you were to enforce the rules so much more to the point that calling someone else a moron is a ban-worthy offence then there wouldnt be ANYONE LEFT on DDO.” Nah. I never suggested banning without ample warning. Besides alling a member a moron is nowhere near universal. Google finds 317 uses of the word “moron” on DDO in the past year. About half of the uses are from darkkermit's signature block where he is quoting another member. Most of the remainder of users are generic references like “Anyone who hates Miley Cyrus is a moron.” (Surely debatable, but not necessarily a rule violation.) So maybe there are 30 to 50 uses in the past year of one member calling another member a moron. Of those, most members would take the hint from a warning.

Con argues that since I only cited profanity use at the rate of a few instances per day, it shouldn't be viewed as a problem. Even if uncommon, the site would be better if it were less. But I didn't search all the different forms of profanity and letter-substitution profanity, so what I cited are just examples, nowhere near a complete survey. The goal of debate is to argue based upon facts and logic, which is why the site ought have higher standards against ranting. Xx There are whole threads full of insults but with little profanity. The forum thread [12. http://www.debate.org...], posted within the past week, is a prime example. It includes:

“This, ... is just stupid.“

“You are full of it. .. You are a debate cheat.”

“The only think that is "spot on" is that you are a debate cheat, and dishonest. … And, I don't need to study anything. You need to take a course in Ethics.”

“You're a strange little fellow, ...”

“... dumbo.”

“... you're such a fuckwit. ”

“You should leave this site because you are intellectually dishonest and a debate cheat.”

“you don't know what the Hades you are talking about!... Don't make stupid statements that you know nothing about.”

“.. spoiled rotten retard.”

“You are an immature pathetic debate cheat,”

“demonstrates his utter inability to read or think.”

“... young immature arrogant self-proclaimed pseudo intellectuals at this site, like you?”
you are a pompous Arse!

“ … insanely absurd and not supported by anything but your delusional opinion”

This thread has dozens of insults over a few days -- with little profanity. I reported the insults, but moderators did not intervene. There was no question of limited resources; it was purely policy to allow it. I think the insulting language in the posts should have, at minimum, been deleted. The main responsibility lies with one member who started the insults and drew other members into the fray. He should have been warned before it got out of hand.

Here's another recent thread that start politely and degenerated into ranting. [13. http://www.debate.org...] This one features lots of creative spelling of profanity, all of which my counts missed.

Con argued that debate.org is a “discussion + socialization site than a debate site.” If DDO goes head-to-head with facebook as a social networking site, it's sure to lose. Even facebook is figuring out that civility is a sought-after commodity. DDO should build it's position as a place for legitimate debate. That includes the forums, which are mainly topical discussions related to debate.

Con argues that there is no evidence that increased civility promotes teacher recommendation. It follows from the nature of the responsibility of teaching.


3. More strict moderation will improve debate skills

Con argues that if DDO gets rid of members showing bad behavior, they will just go elsewhere. Yes, that's the whole idea.

Con argues that letting members deal with bad behavior on their own is more educational. Debate is learned by participating, so I'll make an analogy to learning competitive swimming. If you are trying to learn to swim, it's not helpful to have non-swimmers throwing objects into the pool. Having flotsam teaches something, but it's not competitive swimming. The correct response is for the swimmer to find a place to train where it can be accomplished without interference. Debate skills are learned by debating, not personally fighting trolls.

Con argues that if members are banned for insults, then they could be banned for telling the truth, because in truth the person may have severe misunderstanding. No one would ever be banned for saying another member misunderstands, because that's not an insult. Depending upon the specific language, “You don't understand anything ...”, there might be warning to explain what is misunderstood and why. There are borderline cases of everything from insults to first degree murder. Moderators get to use use judgment on insults.

Con argues that tighter enforcement of rules will induce other bad behaviors, but better enforcement encourages trolls to leave the site. They'll go where there is less enforcement.

imabench

Con

1) Room for Improvement

"However, the argument does not apply to enforcing debate.org site rules almost entirely changes in enforcement policy that do not increase the workload. If there is any increase in workload, user-moderators can be used for the enforcement, as I suggested."

But 1) Giving mod powers to more people DOES require a workload from Juggle, especially if you are proposing that there be 10 new mods..... And 2) The explosion of user mods already presents a crapload of other potential problems that are far worse than just harmless insults.

Juggle does have a very, VERY finite amount of resources to expend by updating DDO, and it would be far better to use those updates on cutting down on spam and forfeited debates than it would be to give out mod powers to a ton of other people JUST to cut down on insults.




"The topic is whether the rule enforcement should be tightened, not whether minor policy infractions should be unmercifully punished"

What youre proposing though is exactly that though, unmerciful punishment/censorship of minor policy infractions, in this case petty insults.






"Con argues that featuring poor-quality debates and posting spam opinions ought to receive resources that might go site rules. But those are policy issues, not limitations of resources. If the DDO wanted to, it could easily filter debates by the Elo rating of the debaters and feature the ones involving the high-rated debaters."

That still requires significant effort and resources on Juggle's side to carry out such an update though.





"The subject of our debate is whether DDO should expand the region of civility"

And im arguing that its fine the way it is, with personal insults being allowed yet people who significantly abuse the privilege being dealt with on a case by case basis...... The current policy is a hell of a lot better then the crazy police-state youre advocating.






" Con wrongly supposes that I'm advocating banning The Weekly Stupid. Not at all. All that's required is to rename it something like The Weekly Worst, and to avoid direct insults like “stupid” in the descriptions. "

That is single handedly the stupidest and most asinine recommendation I have ever heard......






2) Stricter moderation attracts + keeps better users

"Nah. I never suggested banning without ample warning. "

Youre proposing massive censorship on anything that you deem an insult, which according to your definition of an insult includes just about everything.





"Google finds 317 uses of the word “moron” on DDO in the past year."

Which again, is a rate of less than one occurrence per day.....

"So maybe there are 30 to 50 uses in the past year of one member calling another member a moron"

And that doesnt warrant cracking down on insults and enforcing the ToS to the point where its just stupid. 30-50 times in the past year averages out to just ONCE A WEEK.





"Even if uncommon, the site would be better if it were less."

But the difference wont be that much better, especially if 15 people are running around with mod powers being able to censor anything they want, insult or no insult.





"The goal of debate is to argue based upon facts and logic, which is why the site ought have higher standards against ranting."

Calling a stupid argument stupid though isnt ranting, its a does of reality, which a lot of people on here could use once in a while...






"This thread has dozens of insults over a few days -- with little profanity. I reported the insults, but moderators did not intervene. "

Yeah, because youre the only one on here who thinks that 'youre a debate cheat' is something that should be censored....





"He should have been warned before it got out of hand"

If profanity wasnt used and a line wasnt crossed, then it DIDNT get out of hand.





"DDO should build it's position as a place for legitimate debate. "

DDO already IS a legitimate place for debate though, if it werent then you wouldnt still be here now would you?





"Con argues that there is no evidence that increased civility promotes teacher recommendation. It follows from the nature of the responsibility of teaching."

Its not the teachers responsibility to go out and look for debate sites to recommend to her students, and claim that they are not telling their students of DDO because of the (low) frequency of personal attacks thats just stupid.....





3) More moderation improves debate skills

"Con argues that if DDO gets rid of members showing bad behavior, they will just go elsewhere. Yes, that's the whole idea."

So your idea is to ban everybody? Not everybody who shows bad behavior is by extension a bad member, and your standards of what qualifies as bad behavior can label just about anybody as someone with bad behavior, and by your logic also a bad member.....




" If you are trying to learn to swim, it's not helpful to have non-swimmers throwing objects into the pool"

And its also not helpful to be censored every time you say something when youre trying to learn to debate.





"Debate skills are learned by debating, not personally fighting trolls."

If someone being a troll prevents someone from improving your debate skills, then that person is too mentally incapable of ever becoming a good debater in the first place.




"No one would ever be banned for saying another member misunderstands, because that's not an insult."

Sure they could.... If there are 10 or more mods whose job it is to censor anything they deem insulting and ban repeat offenders, one of those mods could easily abuse their power and ban someone for saying another member misunderstands something, and does so in a snide tone..... On the other hand it can easily be seen as an insult by telling someone that they dont understand something, since you even consider the phrase “You're a strange little fellow, ...” an insult.....






"Moderators get to use use judgment on insults."

Moderators arent perfect though, and neither is their judgement.... They easily can make mistakes and make an asinine move when handling a situation that involves censoring something they percieve as insulting.





"but better enforcement encourages trolls to leave the site"

Not everyone who uses insults though is a troll, and that is something you cant seem to comprehend. There are tons of smart people on here who routinely insult stupid people for believing stupid things, while at the same time there are stupid people who never say anything insulting to anyone else at all..... Tougher enforcement, especially the level you are proposing it should be raised to, would not only turn DDO into a psychotic police state, but also open the door to allow for horrible abuse of power by a dozen different moderators, an exodus of intelligent people who frequently call it like they see it and insult others, postpone other much more needed updates DDO could use................ All just to cut down on insults that by your own statistics happen less than 1 instance per day........


===========================================================================================


The debate.org site rules should NOT be more strictly enforced. Its best to simply let personal insults take place and only go after people who cross a line and abuse the privilege, since actual curse words are only used at a rate of less than once per day while other personal attacks are very tame and well within the realm of what is considered acceptable conduct.
Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Pro

The reason for cutting down on profanity and insults is that these alternatives to reasoned debate, and DDO's value lies entirely in offering a place for reasoned debate. Profanity seems required for commercial fishing, and since I like eating fish I'd never suggest try to inject civility into that business. Boxing requires not just insults, but actually people hitting each other in the face. Civility, however, is required for reasoned debate, and since I like reasoned debate, I'd like to see civility expanded. It's the method appropriate to the practice of debate.

1. There is room for improvement on debate.org

Con argues that any form of user moderation would require substantial resources from the site owners and would necessarily lead to moderation that becomes abusive. I offered several rebuttals.

a) Increased enforcement has reduced profanity, with no significant problems. Con himself says that he stopped using profanity as a result of the insistence of site administration. Their work load has then decreased, not increased. Con says “The explosion of user mods already presents a crapload of other potential problems that are far worse than just harmless insults,” but he doesn't cite a single a single problem, nor does he provide any examples.

b) I pointed to a specific forum thread [12] where it was solely a matter of policy, not resources, that led to a failure to enforce the rule against insults. Con claims that I am the only one one on the site who objects to trading insults, but it's evident from that thread alone that there are others who object and are willing to go on record as objecting. There are frequent forum threads dealing with the problem, such as [14. http://www.debate.org...]. Searching “problem with trolls” on debate.org produces 10,100 hits, and there are many other ways to phrase the search.

Some members like to make and trade insults. That's because insults are easy, and logical debate is hard. In this respect it's like sports. Breaking the rules is easy while winning within the rules is difficult. In debate, insults and profanity are used as distractions.

Con was kind enough to provide an example within the debate. I claimed that “The Weekly Stupid” could continue by eliminating the insulting characterizations. My point is obvious. Exposing weak, unfounded, or illogical arguments is a valuable contribution to the site, so pointing to egregious examples is not a problem. Con's only reply was, “That is single handedly the stupidest and most asinine recommendation I have ever heard......” That response provides no reasoning and thereby has concedes the argument.

c) I pointed to the example of facebook creating user-moderated groups, and noted that DDO could do the same thing. There is no threat of over-moderation, because individuals can decide for themselves whether or not they want to participate in any group. On facebook, those who feel that ranting is fun can still do so. It simply offers the alternative of having civil discussion. If anyone feels a particular group is over-moderated, they can go to a different group. Facebook does none of the moderating and excises no control over the groups, so it's not taxing their resources.

Con ignored this method of increasing the enforcement of site rules. He pretends that even the slightest expansion of islands of civility in which site rules are enforced would lead to abuse of moderator power over the entire site. By failing to contest the argument, he implicitly concedes it would work. To “have fun” by insulting others, it's important that there be no easy way for others to escape.

Con argued that if calling other members “moron” was banned, then everyone on the site would end up being banned. In fact, there are only 30 to 50 instances of one member calling another a moron in the past year. Con then abandoned his argument that everyone would be banned, and retreated to the argument that insults are rare, so there is no need for stricter enforcement. He has to settle on one argument or the other, and since he abandoned “everyone will be banned” Simultaneously arguing that there is no significant problem and that everyone will be banned is a logical contradiction. Con granted that profanity had been reduced by increased enforcement, yet he could cite no instances of excessive zeal.

I pointed out that I wasn't attempting a comprehensive search for insults and profanity, but only a few examples. Con did not rebut that argument, continuing to claim few had been cited. Among the words for which I didn't search and have since appeared in the debate are stupid, moron, fuckwit, dumbo, retard, arse, cheat, dishonest, know-nothing, and delusional – and all of those from a single thread. [12]

2. More strict enforcement will attract and keep better users


What percentage of swimming pool users can poop in the pool before it becomes a problem? What percentage of baseball players can break the rules before it becomes a problem? It doesn't take many.

Con argues that moderator judgment cannot be trusted. This argument embodies the fallacy that because borderline cases exist, recognizing clear cases is difficult or impossible. By analogy to an extreme, one might argue that because there are difficult cases of determining justifiable self-defense, having a law against murder is not viable because it cannot be justly enforced. The answer with respect to DDO insults, and also arguments of self-defense, is that the rule is that borderline cases go to the defendant. Ordinary people serve on murder trial jurys; finding good volunteer moderators isn't a problem.

Con argues that because I have not left the site despite lax enforcement, that there is no reason to think that anyone else has left. Tolerance of immature behavior varies. We have many people who join the site, but don't participate actively. I cited facebook groups as an example of people seeking a civilized alternative to ranting.

3. More strict moderation will improve debate skills


I argued that proving something to be stupid is not as easy as it may seem, and therefore requiring the proof improves debate skills. I gave an example. Con never contested this argument.

I argued that while trolls may believe they are doing something clever, in fact if one sets out solely to be obnoxious success is assured. Con never contested this point either.

Con says, “Calling a stupid argument stupid though isnt ranting, its a does [dose] of reality, ...” The point of debating is to find out what is “reality” and what is not. Proclaiming an argument to be stupid doesn't prove it to be stupid. Instead, forget about making the proclamation and instead give the reasons why it is so. Don't say it, just prove it. If it's really stupid, then you should be able to do that. If you cannot, because it's not as easy as it seems, then work on debate skills.

Con argues, “Not everyone who uses insults though is a troll, ...” That isn't the debate resolution, so the precise definition of troll is irrelevant. The point is that a person may be a genius, but if he cannot say why an argument is stupid he is not a good debater, and he is not contributing positively to the site.

Debate categories


Con didn't run the spell checker, left out the apostrophes in contractions, and made confusing word substitutions (does, dose).


I think Con lost conduct with his calculated “stupidest and most asinine” in the last round. His effort should be rewarded.

Con dropped many of my arguments, implicitly conceding the points. He consistently posed the false choice between making no improvement and going to an extreme of over-moderating.

Con offered little or no evidence in support of his position. For example, he gave no examples of over-moderating. I provided ample statistics and examples.

I believe the topic of this debate will interest many DDO members. Thanks to Con for participating.
imabench

Con

"Civility, however, is required for reasoned debate, and since I like reasoned debate, I'd like to see civility expanded. It's the method appropriate to the practice of debate."

You also need the freedom to debate without fear of being banned or censored simply for saying something that could be offensive, which is something in addition to civility that DDO already has that it would lose under such a radical enforcement of the rules in which you are proposing



"Con says “The explosion of user mods already presents a crapload of other potential problems that are far worse than just harmless insults,” but he doesn't cite a single a single problem, nor does he provide any examples."

I did though. Not only do you risk over censorship of possible things that could be misconstrued as offensive, but with user moderated threads you also could have the censorship of opinions simply because the threads author doesnt agree with them, which you did not dispute.



"Searching “problem with trolls” on debate.org produces 10,100 hits, and there are many other ways to phrase the search."

And the best way to cut down on trolling is to crack down on spamming and forfeited debates, things that trolls actually do. Using curse words and occasionally insults isnt something just trolls do, and you havent disputed that.



"Exposing weak, unfounded, or illogical arguments is a valuable contribution to the site, so pointing to egregious examples is not a problem. Con's only reply was, “That is single handedly the stupidest and most asinine recommendation I have ever heard......”"

Thats cause thats not what you recommended.... What you recommended was "rename it something like The Weekly Worst, and to avoid direct insults like “stupid” in the descriptions."........ And the reason that its asinine and stupid is because you recommend that the show be renamed and reformed to not sound insulting, yet still allow it to air the 10 worst/stupidest statements in a given 2 week period in front of the whole site.

its an act of such hypocrisy and unreasonable censorship that it sounds like something out of Orwell's 1984.



"Among the words for which I didn't search and have since appeared in the debate are stupid, moron, fuckwit, dumbo, retard, arse, cheat, dishonest, know-nothing, and delusional "

And all of which also likely occurs at a rate of less than once a day, and I know this because if the most popular insults you already cited occurs at less than once per day, then the same is true for these other insults.




"What percentage of baseball players can break the rules before it becomes a problem? It doesn't take many."

It depends at what theyre cheating at. If its something major like taking steroids then that's a problem, but if its something minor like not having good sportsmanship, or in other words being insulting, then its manageable :)




"Con argues that moderator judgment cannot be trusted."

No, I said that its not infallible.




"the rule is that borderline cases go to the defendant. "

But that wouldnt be the case in the system youre proposing where having a web show that has the word 'stupid' in it is considered crossing the line.....




"Con argues that because I have not left the site despite lax enforcement, that there is no reason to think that anyone else has left"

You really like putting words in people's mouth dont you Roy? What I ACTUALLY said was that if someone as uptight as you could stick around a place like DDO for 4 YEARS, then DDO must have achieved a level of civility good enough for good debaters to stay and participate in for long periods of time, and that cutting down further against personal insults isnt necessary or badly needed as youve suggested.



" Don't say it, just prove it."

But you dont have to prove it if everyone else around you is rational enough to see that the statement is stupid without having to be explained as to why its stupid. I dont have to explain to someone why its wrong to say 'Hitler was a great man' rather then just call that statement stupid, because that person can likely on their own figure out why such a statement is wrong, and therefore, stupid.




"The point is that a person may be a genius, but if he cannot say why an argument is stupid he is not a good debater, and he is not contributing positively to the site."

Sure he is. Even if he's not a good debater, he can still be voting on debates or fostering a discussion, or making insightful polls and opinion topics, which contributes to the site.


=========================================================================================


Conclusion:

DDO has come a long way from its origins. We have a lot of flashy new features to keep people from getting bored, we have stats and leaderboards to keep track of stats for amusement, but most importantly of all, we have mods to settle disputes between members...... We didnt have that before, in fact in the past there was almost no way to get banned from the site due to bad behavior. Today that is a possibility though...... People can be banned for bad behavior, for crossing the line, and for being overly aggressive when uncalled for, and the mods can do this on a case by case basis.

And that, is the best policy for DDO.

Looking at extreme cases of bad conduct and handling it adequately on a case by case basis is a far better policy for DDO then blanket censorship of minor insults that nobody gets offended by, since it is flat out censorship of people and their opinions for no good reason. DDO is many things other then just a debate site. Its a place to unwind, a place to have fun, a place to connect with other smart people when in real life youre only surrounded by complete idiots.

DDO is more then just a debate site, and radically enforcing the rules to the level that Roy is proposing would not only make debating worse by getting rid of good debaters who dont mind cursing and being brutally honest off the site, but it also would take away from the general freedom that people have on this site which is ultimately what keeps bringing them back and logging on back day after day, week after week, for months to even years on end.

And THAT is why the site rules should not be more strictly enforced.


Arguments:

- Pro has dropped that the site could better use updates to deal with spam and bad debates instead of enforce the ToS more strictly
- Pro has dropped that all of the insults he claims needs to be censored happen at a rate of less than once per day
- Pro has dropped that dramatically increasing the number of mods could lead to abuse of power
- Pro has dropped that many great debaters on this site frequently curse, and could likely be banned under this policy
- Pro has dropped that such a radical enforcement of the ToS would turn DDO into a police state
- Pro has dropped that self-moderated threads could lead to opinions being censored just because the mod doesnt agree with them
- Pro has dropped that not everyone who uses personal insults or curses are trolls
- Pro has dropped that moderators arent perfect and could mistakenly censor material they see as offensive when its not
- Pro concedes that enforcing the ToS to a more radical level would cause the Weekly Stupid as we know it to be banned
- Pro has failed to prove that teachers do not recommend this site to students because of the insults that are waged here
- Pro has failed to prove that heavy moderation would actually cause people to become better debaters rather then just drive them off the site


Source Points:
I cannot give a source to prove that 150 is less than 365, or give a source that shows why teachers recommend this site to their students, if they even do at all.... The very nature of the position I am taking in this debate made it nearly impossible to cite sources that are even relevant to the argument, and im not going to resort to source-bombing in a desperate attempt to get points.


Conduct + Spelling points:
Im not going to tell voters why I should get them because again, im not desperate for points.
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
I would have liked to have seen something on elitism... one could argue that banning "profanity" is elitist, and another way debate becomes more exclusionary to the underrepresented...
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Yeah, derailed.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"No, they /don't/. You yourself admitted that there has never been a completely socialist or capitalist country, we can only draw conclusions from the degree to which something is socialist or capitalist."

"My home town was traditionally old-line Protestant New England. The story is that a painter up on a ladder dropped a bucket of paint, and it landed upside down on the head of a fellow worker. the guy with the bucket on his head said, "My goodness, what has happened?" Even the residents thought the understatement was funny."

---

So, this thread got a bit derailed, I think. =)

Also, I have no idea whatsoever what "understatement" was being made, lol.
Posted by Citrakayah 3 years ago
Citrakayah
No, they /don't/. You yourself admitted that there has never been a completely socialist or capitalist country, we can only draw conclusions from the degree to which something is socialist or capitalist.

Regarding the Scandinavian countries, the only part of the Index that would have to do with state-owned industries is public spending (see, I actually /read their description of how they made the Index/). And even the Index doesn't say they have more economic freedom, I suggest that you actually read it before making that assumption.

They haven't abandoned the welfare state model either--in 2012 Sweden, Norway, Finland, et cetera still spent over 25% of their GDP on welfare (if you don't include education, that's still the case with Sweden, but not Finland, which spent 24.8%, or Norway, which spent 23.9%--and, as pointed out in a different debate, as welfare spending has decreased, quality of life has decreased).

You want to talk about religious faith, how about you look in the mirror?
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
I said in the debate that I didn't object to insulting characterizations of people or ideas not related to the site. There is a judgement call as to when calling someone's specific idea "stupid" is intended as a personal insult, and when calling a broad idea or concept "stupid" is not intended as a personal insult. If doubt, don't call it stupid.

What is gained by calling something "stupid." I makes the claim that you are an authority empowered to make such judgements for the benefit of inferior people who await your pronouncements. Nah. It avoids having to say why, thereby avoiding the problem of figuring out exactly why, A good reason sometimes, but not on a debate site.

It's perfectly reason to point to an important aspect of religion and draw a comparison. Religion is immune to counter-evidence, and so is socialism. They share that important characteristic. No amount of failed examples have the slightest effect on a socialist believer.

Socialism is the control of means of production by the State. The Scandinavian countries have a few industries like utilities under state control, but they prosper entirely because of money-making private enterprise. They have more economic freedom than the United States. They abandoned the welfare state concept more than a decade ago.
Posted by Citrakayah 3 years ago
Citrakayah
1. You're changing what's okay. First it's not okay to call something someone said stupid. Now it is.

Regarding socialism and calling it religious, we've been through this before. Ignoring, for the moment, that you are using a warped definition of socialism that I have never seen any socialist use, I'd be willing to bet a fair amount of social capital that the same Scandinavian countries you say aren't socialist have an equal or greater amount of their GDP tied up in the public sector than many of the states you just mentioned.

Ignoring /that/, you're conflating "undiminished faith" and "religiousity." I sincerely doubt that you are actually incapable of telling the difference.

2. Not all of them, I am willing to bet.

3. And what about the Personal subforum? Or the Debate.Org subforum? Or any environment where people are less formal?
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
Guess who recently got temp-banned for breaking site rules?
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Saying "In[sic] think the most interesting part of this debate is that it shows the religious nature of socialism. Despite a hundred failed experiments, believers[sic] faith is undiminished. Experience is irrelevant to belief." is arguably insulting (and untrue), and pretty much the same as calling it "stupid," it just takes more words.

Having undiminished faith is not of itself insulting. There may or may not be good reasons for undiminished faith, depending upon the subject and the evidence. My faith in air travel is undiminimished despite air crashes. I cited the evidence why in the case of socialism why the faith was of a religious nature: all the countries in Africa opted for socialism and failed, most of the countries of South America tried and failed, India, the Soviet Union, and South East Asian countries tried and failed. Therefore, the description is accurate. Truth is a valid defense against slander. It's not insulting to make an argument as to why something is true. It's a debate site, so disagreement with reasons is perfectly sound.

"Stupid" implies a mental defect. If it's someone off the site, or a belief in general, it can be okay.

Neo-Nazi are trolls after attention, and are best either ignored or countered with arguments. Insulting them just feeds them.

The forums ought to keep debate decorum for the same reason debates keep debate decorum. Make it about the facts and arguments. I think members should put on judicial robes while typing forum replies, but sadly it's not practical.
Posted by Citrakayah 3 years ago
Citrakayah
1. Saying "In[sic] think the most interesting part of this debate is that it shows the religious nature of socialism. Despite a hundred failed experiments, believers[sic] faith is undiminished. Experience is irrelevant to belief." is arguably insulting (and untrue), and pretty much the same as calling it "stupid," it just takes more words.

For that matter, that would mean that so long as Imabench said, "This is stupid because X" the Weekly Stupid would no longer be a problem.

As far as neo-Nazism, we do have people who are neo-Nazis, and they sometimes do advocate things like Jews being evil or inferior.

2. As far as emotion and profanity, that would be a reason to deduct a conduct point, /not/ ban it across the site so that people can't even use it in casual conversation.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Citrakayah, Disagreeing with something or someone is not an insult. The difference is whether or not reasons for the disagreement are given or one just makes a pronouncement and leaves. Saying "socialism is stupid" to a socialist is pointless insult. Saying "Socialism was tried many times in the 20th century and never worked." is an argument. I won't claim to never lose my temper, but my goal is to always make arguments.

There is no rule or proposed rule about insulting characterizations of people who are not members of the site or their ideas. People are free to say "Sarah Palin is stupid." or "Joe Biden is stupid" or neo-Nazism is stupid. The point of rules of civility is to promote rational debate among DDO members, not to make the world a better place in general. Insulting characterizations of people or ideas generally doesn't accomplish much. It just announces which side of the fence you are on.

The problem with profanity in debate is that it a distraction from reasoning. If a person feels really emotional about a topic, that doesn't add to the facts or logic. It serves to draw attention to the person who's ranting and it discourages engagement by people who don't want join in a ranting contest. I think the site prospers by focusing on debate. Again, it has nothing to do with the world in general. People are emotional and expressing it is fine with me in general, but not on a debate site. it's like courtroom decorum. Suppose the Prosecutor laced his summary with profanity. The problem would be the attempt to sway the jury by emotional content.

My home town was traditionally old-line Protestant New England. The story is that a painter up on a ladder dropped a bucket of paint, and it landed upside down on the head of a fellow worker. the guy with the bucket on his head said, "My goodness, what has happened?" Even the residents thought the understatement was funny.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 3 years ago
Juris_Naturalis
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used sources to back up his points and maintained good conduct. Con was a poster board for Pro's cause.
Vote Placed by PeriodicPatriot 3 years ago
PeriodicPatriot
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: S/G: I'm just gonna let that a breeze, because mistakes land on DDO and not the members. CONDUCT: that clearly goes to Pro. Con resulted to several insults, misrepresenting Pro's case, and had very bad interpretation. That may have exent to argument points, rather than conduct. SOURCES: none were used in CONxs, and PRO'S were in good quantity and appropriate and significant interpretation.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro shows that stricter TOS enforcement would be beneficial to debate and to the integrity of the site. Even wile "fvcking" may be typed less than once per day, it is still done too much, as Pro notes. Moreover, there are other ways to insult people besides using that specific profanity. Therefore, args go Pro. Statements like "are you caplox" seem slightly rude and condescending, and so Pro also receives Conduct points. Grammar goes Pro due to Con's visibly and widespread lack of proper punctuation and contractions (your vs. you're.) Sources to Pro for using them in abundance--most of those sources were highly reliable. In conclusion, I vote Pro.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped many major points by Pro. Pro had less grammar mistakes.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Besides my voluminous RFD, I agree with ore_ele's RFD before mine. This debate inspired me to score only based upon conduct, which I will do at this point onward for debates where the winner also had better conduct than the loser. I will also add my end note from my comments: At a certain point, you have to grow up and realize that your actions have consequences. Justifying your actions is a life skill, indeed in the military it is a life-and-death skill. Calling people ?stupid? without establishing warrant is not. It is insulting, and wantonly destructive.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 3 years ago
Ore_Ele
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm going to give a pass on the S&G because there are issues with bringing over arguments from word and word processors. That is an issue with DDO, not the members. For conduct, that clearly goes to Pro. Con resulted to several insults, misrepresenting Pro's case, and often just one line replies. The misrepresentation, of course, extends to argument points. For arguments, Pro was asking for more strictly enforcing the rules. He was not arguing to a particular level. Con misrepresented it with such comments as, "What youre proposing though is exactly that though, unmerciful punishment/censorship of minor policy infractions," "the crazy police-state youre advocating," and "Youre proposing massive censorship on anything that you deem an insult, which according to your definition of an insult includes just about everything." Con also engaged in a some fallacies, as Pro pointed out. Namely the Non Sequitur that Juggle is not limited to only doing one or the other.
Vote Placed by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
RoyLathamimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made quite a few grammar errors, constantly using the wrong forms of its, your, and that's. Con didn't attempt to debate several of Pro's points, and just insulted them.