The Instigator
bsergent
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Con (against)
Winning
37 Points

The need for "Identity Confirmation" with a phone number is aburd.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,452 times Debate No: 5490
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (28)
Votes (9)

 

bsergent

Pro

Debate is inextricably linked with journalism. Journalism ideally is the process of informing people so that they can make a legitimate decision.

Debate is the discussion that hopefully precedes that decision.

To levy such a heavy handed and draconian caveat to the freeness of speech such as any demand of absolute identification is a corruption of the entire ethic behind debate itself. This entire idea is disgustingly manipulative.

Anonymity is a serious personal right, and the desire to remain anonymous does not strip one of his or her first amendment rights, which regardless of your country of origin should be seen as a human right.

To counter with any variant on "It's a private page we can do as we like" Admit that the entire page is a sham. And beyond that your rights end when they begin to infringe on another, and making a page with such a lofty implied goal as sheltering general debate, you've passed form the private into the public domain.

This page is a travesty. I mindless puppet theater where all that remains is only what is safe and approved of.

No real discussion can happen under these conditions.

This site has become a classic example of how intellectual property law destroys innovation.

This page does not deserve ownership of its domain.
beem0r

Con

Activating claim and response mode.

Claim 1: Debate is meant to inform people so they can make a decision.
Response 1: This is completely irrelevant, and also not always true. Sometimes debate is just a sport for some good fun. If my opponent wants this claim, I ask that he tell us why it has anything to do with the issue at hand.

Claim 2: Identity confirmation is heavy handed.
Response 2: A heavy hand is sometimes needed. For instance, in dealing with those who would set up multiple accounts to distort the voting outcome.

Claim 3: Identity confirmation limits freedom of speech.
Response 3: No, it doesn't. I'll ask my opponent to back this up. There is no loss in freeness of speech through identity confirmation.

Claim 4: Identity confirmation is against the entire ethic of debate.
Response 4: Once again, how? What ethic does it breach? Most debates are carried out in real life, and there most certainly is identity confirmation in real life [visual confirmation, aural confirmation]. If this is against "the entire ethic behind debate itself," then my opponent should inform the rest of the debating community, since he seems to be the only one who knows what this mysterious ethic is.

Claim 5: Identity confirmation is disgustingly manipulative.
Response: "Manipulative: tending to manipulate others cleverly or unscrupulously." - http://www.askoxford.com...
Nothing is being manipulated here. You are simply being asked to confirm that you are a real person rather than a mule account before you are allowed to vote on debates.

Claim 6: Anonymity is a serious personal right.
Response: Really? In person it's not. Even so, how is this identity confirmation limiting anyone's anonymity? No one on this site has any idea who you are unless you make that information known yourself. That's anonymity, and it's intact.

Claim 7: Stripping anonymity is limiting First Amendment rights.
Response: First, you still have your anonymity. Second, the First Amendment says nothing about anonymity.

Claim 8: All that remains here is what's safe and approved of.
Response: Indeed. There are terms of service which we must all agree to before using this site. For instance, profanity is disallowed. This is because this site is intended for people of all ages and all walks of life. We are also not supposed to insult each other and such. This is because the creators of the site wanted a safe, friendly place for people to have a meaningful exchange of ideas, rather than a site filled with flaming and trolling.
Even so, this point is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand, since identity confirmation does not remove any content.

Claim 9: No real discussion can happen under these conditions.
Response: Then what is this? What is the comments area? No discussion is stopped or limited due to identity confirmation.

Claim 10: This site has become a classic example of how intellectual property law destroys innovation.
Response: Intellectual property laws have nothing to do with identity confirmation. Also, what innovation is being destroyed?

Claim 11: This page does not deserve ownership of its domain.
Response: They paid for it, and they put a lot of work into making a great site around it. My opponent gives no reason why they do not deserve their domain, and even if he did, that point would be completely and utterly irrelevant to the issue at hand, like most of the claims my opponent has made.

Now, I will tell you why the need for identity confirmation is not absurd. As a long-time member of this site, surely my opponent knows of the utter blight multiple accounts were on the voting outcomes of debates. As one of the older members of the site, let me assure you that it has been a major problem in the past. Luckily, the debate.org staff came up with a good way to limit the usage of multiple accounts without causing other big problems. Identity confirmation. It serves a very much needed purpose, so one could hardly call it absurd.

I'll now let my opponent take the floor.
Debate Round No. 1
bsergent

Pro

Claim 1: How does a populace form consensus in your world? I simply cannot imagine debate not being included, except among maybe a completely homogeneous population. We are not ants, opinions differ even with the same dataset, debate is required.

I pointed this out to show how important debate itself is, and its relevance to human and civil liberties. It may not appear immediately relevant to you but given the flavor of your wholly anticipated responses, the relevance will soon become apparent.

Claim 2: A heavy hand is only "needed" if we agree on the purpose of voting, and if no viable alternatives exist. We do not, and there are viable alternatives. I don't care how many ballot slips a person can fit in the box. As noted above debate is part any valid democratic process. Voter anonymity is paramount with regard to accuracy.

Claim 3: Explain to me the purpose of confidential sources. This is so basic its hard for me to demonstrate. It's almost axiomatic. Whistle blowers. You act as if fear of reprisal is a non-issue. I agree that should be the case, but sadly it is not. In a world where kids get set on fire over World of Warcraft, and the defense of our personal information is attacked by both government power madness and corporate greed, anonymity is the only real defense left.

Claim 4: As above, the ethic is related to freeness of speech. Already you've proven my point by trying to muddy the issue with the appeal to the people coupled with some attempt to personally humiliate me into silence. If you care so little for anonymity I would like you to post your name, address, and phone numbers for us. No? Thought not. You confuse political debates with public debate. I'm not talking about rhetoric, I'm talking about logic. A point is valid or invalid regardless of who it comes from.

Claim 5: It manipulates the general demographic of voters by insuring that only those with cell phones get a say. And that's in addition to the general consequences of stripping away anonymity. Soon the site will degenerate into a parade of "experts" and life experience comparisons. Identity control is data control, as Silence Dogood could readily explain. You act as if people need to be told when a vote has been altered. I have more faith in them, despite the Bush fiasco which is more a symptom of apathy in my view than ignorance. Besides, the vote doesn't matter to an informed reader. These votes accomplish nothing, its merely a popularity issue.

Claim 6: Just because people waive that right commonly, does not mean it does not exist. Many people don't leave their homes at all, and I am perfectly within my rights if I choose to leave the house in full disguise and use an alias. Most certainly people passing me on the street don't get my cell phone number.

Claim 7: My first amendment rights are centered on freedom of "speech" which has time and again been legally defined as a form of expression, from t-shirts to blog posts. As explained above, forcing me to present identification before I am allowed to speak, is an infringement on that right. Only in the most extreme cases is this countermanded, such as inciting other to commit violent crime or threats of violence.

Claim 8: My rights end when they begin to infringe on another's. Show me where the first amendment says freedom of speech except words arbitrarily defined as profane. This behavior while common is not on the most stable of ethical ground. We are still struggling with our puritanical roots. Further, they, nor anyone but me own my words. To bring up the EULA expresses a defacto defense of my point. What you are saying is that this behavior is justified, and in order to do that you therefor admit this behavior of speech infringement exists. Thanks for the help.

Claim 9: and what happens when the discussion begins to affect other? What happens when the administration of this farce deem me a rabble rouser? The moment they perceive me as a threat to their profit margin, is the moment the jack boots slip on. I've had my debates deleted by these people before, Rest assured, the only thing you'll see here is toothless meaningless intellectual "self abuse". (that's self abuse in the Victorian sense, to avoid using a word which may be construed as "profane."

Claim 10: One, the only reason they have even a tenuous right to demand such invasive measures is because as you already stated they own this site, domain, and under current property law, which I choose not to honor where appropriate, my very words. Two, the innovation that is being destroyed is nothing less than the open development of a system which could foster general peer reviewed debate amongst the populations of the earth. Are you really unable to envision the power of global, affordable, and accessible, communication? Trust me, its chief use is not to fill "WebCorp's" pockets.

Claim 11: If its so "irrelevant" then don't respond. But since you did... Paid who? What gives them the right? I suppose the white settles who traded a hand full of beads for the east coast were perfectly in their rights as well. This may come as a shock to my fellow westerner, but not all things can or should be bought and sold.

Final words: The voting system was broken not because of a lack of Orwellian identification measures, but because people were harshly limited in what they were voting for. The new choice system shows great promise, but so long as it sits behind a wall of personal invasion, it is fundamentally useless. As an old hat at tech support once said... "Don't shotgun fix it." Which means don't try multiple solutions at the same time to a single problem, as often times one will solve the problem and the other will create a new one. Such is the case here.

I leave you with a quote that expresses my general feeling quite well.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." - Max Planck

I already know I can't convince anyone. These debates amount to polls. At best I'll get rated on my form.
beem0r

Con

Claim 1: Debate is the means by which people come to consensus in the world.
Response 1: Really? I have almost never seen more than one or two people swayed by arguments on this site, nor in real-life competitive debates. If debate is the main discourse by which people come to a consensus, there will always be a great amount of disagreement among people.
Further, even if debate was the means by which we come to consensus, the identity confirmation is not required for you to continue to debate on this website. It is only required if you wish to vote, and only because otherwise people make multiple accounts to up-vote themselves or down-vote others.

Claim 2: Voter anonymity is more important than how many votes a person who exploits the system can make.
Response 2: When people have 5-10 accounts, voting gets VERY distorted. However, a loss of voter anonymity would have a trivial impact at best on voting. Even so, voter anonymity is NOT lost. When you vote, no one else knows who you are and who you voted for. Does that not fit the definition of anonymity?

Claim 3: Identity confirmation limits freedom of speech because ????
Response 3: I really do not know what my opponent is driving at with this point. He admits that it's "so basic it's hard for [him] to demonstrate." Apparently. He claims that I have claimed that fear of reprisal is a non-issue. I never claimed this. Even if you confirm your identity, you are still anonymous. No one else can see that phone number. Even so, one does not have to confirm his or her identity. I haven't yet done it, though I plan to. I am still capable of making all speech I want on this site. And there is no fear of reprisal. I do not see how there would be fear of reprisal if one did confirm his or her identity, either. I ask my opponent to please try explaining this in straightforward terms next round.

Claim 4: The ethic is freedom of speech...
Response: Alright, a core ethic of debate is freeness of speech. Sure. But my opponent has failed to show any link between Identity confirmation and any loss in freedom of speech. Or a link between this Identity confirmation and a loss of anonymity. Most people on this site have went ahead and gotten their identities confirmed. However, note that you or I know nothing more about this person. Only the debate.org database knowns anything more, and it already knew identity-compromising information, like your email address. However, it's not compromising, since this database does not let anyone else know this information.

Claim 5: The demographic is manipulated, since only those with cell phones get a say.
Response: it is better than the twisted voting demographic we had before: people who were willing to make 5-10 accounts got 5-10 says. Not only that, but these extra accounts were made specifically to distort the voting outcome. If you do not have a cell phone or do not trust this site with your phone number, you do not have to give them your number. It's true that voting will be a bit distorted because of this. However, voting was much MORE distorted beforehand, since people would intentionally use accounts to downvote all of a person's debates, to vote for themselves multiple times, etc. The distortion we face now is far lesser than before.

Claim 6: Anonymity is an important freedom.
Response: And you still have it. Even if you define anonymity in some strange way, where giving a site your number whose privacy policy prevents them from doing anything with your number is a breach of anonymity, you do not have to go through the identity confirmation process.

Claim 7: Identity confirmation hurts our First Amendment rights.
Response: Your speech is not restricted due to identity confirmation. You are still allowed to voice your opinion in debates and comments, you just cannot have your opinion count towards the voting outcome. This is necessary to reduce cheating with multiple accounts, which wildly distorted the voting on many debates. Also, note that there are terms of service already that limit what we can and cannot say. We cannot swear at each other. We cannot make personal attacks on one another. This is because we are not in the public realm right now, we are on a private website, and they have decided that they want an environment where there is no swearing. They want an environment where there are no deliberate personal attacks. And they want an environment where there is no ability to cheat the system as so many have done in the past.

Claim 8: Cursing is against the first amendment.
Response: The first amendment does not protect your rights everywhere. For instance, schools have their own policies that limit your speech. You cannot scream profanities and not get in trouble there. Any establishment can set rules like this. What they cannot do is govern how you act outside their establishment.
In this sense, infringement of freedom of speech exists on this site [in the same way it exists in any private place in person], but it has absolutely nothing to do with the identity confirmation system.

Claim 9: See claim 9 in my opponent's R2.
Response: If they do not like the content you have put up on their webserver, they are free to delete it if they wish. Sure, this may be unjust in your opinion. However, once again, it has NOTHING to do with the identity confirmation system. Perhaps my opponent forgot what he was arguing against.

Claim 10: See claim 10 in my opponent's R2.
Response: No innovation is even possibly being destroyed by this identity confirmation system. Whether or not you confirm your identity, you are free to post the exact same content on this site. The only difference is this: if you do not confirm that you are a real person, rather than an extra account made for distorting the voting, you cannot vote on debates.
Compare this to the political voting system. How ridiculous would it be to allow people who would exploit the system to vote as many times as they wished? Quite ludicrous. Any semblance of fairness in voting would be gone. However, what if they made you confirm that you are indeed a distinct individual before you voted [like they do]? This would prevent exploitation of the system. For the same reasons the political voting system needs your identity to allow you to vote, so does this site. Voting anonymously, with not even the system knowing who you are, simply does not work.

Claim 11: See claim 11 in my opponent's R2.
Response: I responded so that my opponent would not claim that I dropped a point.Whether this site deserves ownership of its domain has nothing to do with the identity confirmation system.

Claim 12: The old voting system was broken not because of a lack of identification, but because of a lack of voting options.
Response: Most of the voting issues were because a person wanted to have several votes. Not because of a lack of voting options. more voting options does not stop someone from wanting 5-10 accounts.

My opponent closes by claiming that these debates don't really convince anyone, and are basically polls or somewhere where people are rated on form. This seems to directly contradict his first claim, that debate is primarily a means of convincing others.

The voter identification system prevents cheating, which was a huge problem. Far from absurd.
Debate Round No. 2
bsergent

Pro

Personal note: Your misrepresentation of my claims is growing tiresome. It's obvious you're not even attempting to understand my perspective, merely looking for thing to attack. What was a debate in my mind is now just another argument. Oh well, par for the course.

C/R 1:Your personal experience does not constitute evidence. I wish it did, but it does not. Obviously idealism is not your strong point, and while I understand cynicism and apathy, I cannot condone them in principal. Besides which you are arguing against something that I didn't even say. But thats fine, because its all open to interpretation.

I'm aware of the flimsy justification for confirmation, my arguments stand. To paraphrase the now famous quote, sacrificing freedom for security is a bad move.

C/R 2: And yet with the cynicism presented before, about all people not forced otherwise being liars and fakers and cheaters, suddenly a ray of childlike trust for the administration of this site. Sadly I do not share your blind faith in a non-human corporation.

C/R 3: *sigh* Explain to me how one can be anonymous and still confirm their identity. Doublethink anyone? Sure I can be anonymous to users, but thats not my concern. What if I were to begin a debate that got national attention on say property rights activism? I don't know what bubble world you live in, but in the real world there are real life consequences if your words anger the right people, now I'm in a position where I'm pretty well not subject to those sorts of concerns, however, I'm not so short sighted and unimaginative as to think that will always been the case or so self obsessed to think that only my situation matters. Again, just because YOU choose to waive a right does not mean it should not be fought for on behalf of others.

C/R 4: As above, your double think is showing. How hard is this to grasp? If someone knows my identity I'm not anonymous. I mean seriously. ??!!? Your baseless faith in what ethically amount to a lemonade stand is shocking. You'll willingly hand your identity to a group of people openly seeking profit, but you'll not hand it to people who have no reason to care? Beyond that logical dead end, you bring up another wonderful contradiction. If email as you say is "identity-compromising information" Then why is that insufficient for identity confirmation? You can't have it both ways. Either email is identity confirming in nature or it is not. If it is, then the cell phone demand is redundant in addition to being invasive. Or it is not, and thus my anonymity is potentially secure so long as I don't give them my number. Go put disposable email in Google. And again, See C/R 3.

C/R 5: I'm glad you concede the point. The question of weather or not it was worse or better before is moot because the nature of the vote was fundamentally altered. You seem to think rather simplistically about human motives. Perhaps the voting fakery stemmed from a frustration with the vagueness of the vote itself. I believe that the additional voting options would have negated the need for any vote fraud, to attack the problem from both ends at the same time produces distorted results. You don't run two experiments at the same time on the same rat. You also seem to disregard the possibility of voter fraud being usable to counter vote fraud, and while you seem to trust the admins of this place to act as saints with your personal data, you now feel they are lazy idiots with regard to spotting and eliminating multiple account voter fraud. There are MUCH better ways to handle this problem than going 1984 on us. What happens when I just use all my friends cell phones to get 30 accounts? Gunna start asking for SSN next? This is a slippery slope you've mounted here, and I for one will attack it at every turn. How would you react to a demand for your credit card number even if it came with a promise of 0 charge?

C/R 6: You may be callow enough to bend to defacto restrictions, and "freedom for a price" thinking but I'm not. That same logic was used to defend segregation, and all other manner of oppression for profit. "If you don't like our policy you can work somewhere else." I don't know where you're from but in America some of us still remember our charter and struggle against BS like this on principal. I'm not a moron, I know I don't HAVE to participate here. I don't HAVE to vote either, if you get right down to it I don't HAVE to do anything, ask any catatonic. That changes nothing. The demand is irrational regardless of my response to it, and that is the issue. Do I look like I care about anonymity for MYSELF? I posted my name and my picture, rather than some anime character and a l33t speak car reference. You May not be able to grasp the concept of fighting for a principal, and thats sad for you, but I suffer no such disability.

C/R/ 7: And what happens when I start discussion the need for a revolution in this country and gather a following? What happens when the powers that be decide that my words constitute a threat to national security or some lesser degree of violation? As I said before and as you've ignored before anonymity is required for legitimate rule. Take a journalism or civics class, and explore the ethics behind confidentiality of sources. Explore the ethic behind the right to face your accuser as well, to understand the times when anonymity is NOT reasonable. I'm aware of those as well, its just that this is not one of those instances.

C/R 8: Sadly you are right, but a statement of corruption and injustice is not a defense of it, people are also raped and murdered every day or incarcerated unjustly or all three. That fact is not a justification. What happens when everywhere is inside some establishment? In a capitalist society virtually EVERYTHING is privately owned, are you saying that my rights end at the door in ALL such places?Sure its my company but that doesn't mean I get to run an ad saying "Dames with luscious stems only."
Of course not. My rights follow me. But I understand where you'd be confused given the damage done to our rights by our leaders and our own apathy.

C/R 9: My point was that the admins here are not the bastions of impartiality and honorability your argument requires them to be. I know the argument, perhaps you've failed to grasp that no position exists in a vacuum. It's called context, look into it.

C/R 10: 1. I'm talking about changes to the site itself, I'm talking about open vs closed source. 2. False dilemma fallacy. The choice is not between invasion of privacy and security. As explained before there are countless other ways to ensure one vote per person that do not require an attack on my civil liberty. Your ignorance of this is not an attack on my position.

C/R 11: So what a person or entity does with a thing has no bearing on its right to a thing? I believe you've misunderstood a fundamental part of general ethics. What happens to a lawyer who abuses his power? Or a doctor? When a person abuses a thing, in a just society that thing is taken from them. From children to licenses to guns to every other manner of social key.

C/R 12: And once again you over simplify the reason WHY a person would want to vote multiple times. See above.

Final note: It must be fun for you to totally misrepresent my claims. The net is crawling with Trolls. GIFT (this pertains to an internet theory related to anonymity, you might enjoy it) for the win.

My point was that THIS PAGE'S debates are pointless, not debate generally and you knew that. I will not be commenting further, indeed I will be deleting my account. My disappointment in this site is complete. Enjoy your last word.

Such squandered potential.
beem0r

Con

1:
My opponent claims that my personal experience - that people are rarely truly swayed by arguments on this site - is not a valid argument. First, it doesn't really matter, since this is one of the many points my opponent brought up that has nothing to do with the identity confirmation system. Second, my opponent himself made this very same claim near the end of last round - he said "I already know I can't convince anyone. These debates amount to polls. At best I'll get rated on my form."

2:
My opponent notes that he does not trust the site, and therefore doesn't want to give them his number. Fine. But it is invalid to claim that the fact that HE doesn't trust the site to live up to its legally binding privacy policy has any effect on the rest of us. Every day we place personal information in banks, we swipe a card at McDonald's [they can get your name on the receipt], and yet we [rational people] are fine with that. That is because if these corporations misuse the information, legal action can be taken. The same reason I trust that a person or company will not kill me. Because the site is not allowed to go giving our information to third-parties, we still have anonymity.
Even so, my main point here was that reducing the cheating that used to plague the site was more important than a supposed loss of anonymity, a point my opponent failed to address.

3:
By my opponent's definition of anonymity, requiring an email address is already a lack of anonymity. Identity confirmation can still leave your anonymity intact because A> debate.org is powerless to obtain your personal information from simply having your mobile phone number and B> the ONLY people who could possibly look at your phone number are the staff, so anonymity is preserved completely for all your interactions with normal users, which are all of your interactions on this site, probably.

4:
My opponent has it stuck in his head that debate.org can use the phone number for one of their profit-seeking endeavors. First off, there is nothing debate.org would be able to do, even if it were legal. Having a phone number has no practical implications. They could call you, or send you a text message. That's all they could do with that information. And it is their policy that they will only use it for what you consent to them using it for - for instance, sending you a text message for identity confirmation, as well as supposed opt-in features that will be coming out sometime soon.

5:
My opponent keeps saying that the cheating that used to occur might have been prevented because of the new voting system [with the different categories]. However, it is blatantly obvious that at least most of the multiple accounts were used to vote people up or down to influence win ratios. Logic would make it seem as though having a leader board would further this incentive. Logic, however, does not lead us to conclude that people usually cheated because they were frustrated with the voting system. It does not make sense. We can use logic to come to our conclusions, we do not need to make everything an experiment. The identity confirmation system is not some experiment whose results we are testing, it is simply a logical solution to a problem we already knew existed.

6:
My opponent points out that he is a zealot, in that he is driven to defend the principle of freedom at all costs. What about the freedom of a site to operate how it wishes? No? The freedom of a business to hire whoever they want? No? So by freedom, my opponent is referring to mandating how certain entities act. Rather than the reasonable sort of freedom, where any mutually agreed upon arrangement is fine.
So then, since this site should not be able to know something as harmless as your phone number, why is it OK for a bank to know your name, address, social security number, etc.? I'll tell you why. It's because no one's forcing you to make an account at any banks. It is something you can choose to do or not to do. Just like this site. Indeed, debate.org voting privileges are far LESS mandatory in a person's life than a bank.
Giving information to someone is not a loss of freedom. You still have the choice.

7:
You can still discuss whatever you want. There is NO time when giving your mobile phone number to debate.org will even possibly limit your speech. Any speech one could even think of being at risk here would probably be taken down by the staff irrespective of identity confirmation.

8:
Every private entity is allowed to determine what you can and cannot do on their property. One is not allowed to urinate in the middle of McDonalds, isn't this some sort of oppression? One cannot yell obscenities in a library. This is because the library has determined what environment it wants in its walls, and it's not about to let some troll ruin that environment by making an obscene ruckus. However, an entity is not going to enforce ridiculous restrictions, because people would stop doing business with them. For instance, if McDonalds mandated that you'll be thrown out if you speak any words in their establishment, no one would go there. They're still free to mandate that, but they'd be quick to go out of business because of it.
So yes, private firms can determine the rules in their own property, as long as they are not in conflict with other laws.

9:
My opponent seems to be making arguments about people he doesn't even know. He criticized me in point 1 for using my own experiences as a basis for a conclusion, but now he is doing the same thing... except with NO experience. He claims that the admins are dishonorable and partial - likely to misuse your phone number. But he has nothing to back this up with.

10:
Apparently, my opponent was trying to make an argument about open vs. closed source. I think we can see that this is wholly unrelated to the resolution.
My opponent speaks of alternative means of confirming that a person is a distinct person rather than a mule account, but he has given no examples, thus I cannot argue against his nonexistant points.

11:
This is not an abuse of power. Only a zealot like my opponent would see it as such. Debate.org is not forcing you to do anything, and all they're asking for is a phone number so they can confirm that you're a real person rather than a mule voting account. This is reasonable by most standards, and those few who think it is unreasonable do not have to participate. Just as people who think it is unjust to have to give a bank your name would simply not get bank accounts.

12:
People do not vote multiple times because they're aggravated at the system. That makes no sense. People vote multiple times to either bring someone's win ratio down or to boost their own. It's happened many times in the past. People have gone from a win ratio in the 90's to a win ratio in the 20's, and this was with 30 or so debates. That isn't an instance of a person being aggravated at the simple voting system we used to have. That's someone deliberately manipulating win ratios due to their own motives [in this case, a vendetta].

I will advise my opponent that simply staying on the site and not voting would be better than leaving altogether.

My opponent wants a society living on one extreme, the extreme where people have ultimate privacy and it is absurd for any establishment to ask for any information. Anonymity is only given up consensually, so there is no problem, even if we hold anonymity in as much esteem as my opponent does. Not to mention that the amount of anonymity that is consensually given up is laughable at best. When we consider this, and that the mobile phone confirmation is for a real goal [eliminating cheaters], we see that it is far from absurd.
Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 9 years ago
RoyLatham
I started out in favor of the resolution, on the grounds that other sites don't use the phone verification method, so no one else must think it is required. What changed my mind was the argument that "vote bombing" from false registrations was in fact a significant problem. I don't know of any other site where voting is a key component of participation, so it shouldn't be surprising that it is required here and not elsewhere. Even libertarians recognize the need to enter into enforceable voluntary contracts, and here the need is legitimate. Note the proposition was that phone registration is "absurd." There might be some better alternative, I don't know, but clearly the mechanism is not "absurd." I voted Con.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
I guess we can't say there is as much bias as there was claimed to be, since 50% or more of people said they agreed with PRO before the debate, and these same people also predictably said they agreed with PRO after the debate. Not sure why they confirmed their identity if they agree that the system is absurd, though.
However, more people thought I had more convincing arguments, better spelling/grammar, and conduct. Spelling and grammar was probably only because of the typo in the title, though.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Based on the data we now have access to, mostly people below the age of 25 disagree with PRO, no one outside of the United States voted, most are in college and agree with CON, females didn't vote, conservatives didn't vote, the agnostics who voted agree with PRO, all had an income of 25,000 or lower, and two Christians voted. Since one of them is me, it means that the other agreed with PRO.

Based on this information as well as pinch of speculation, I believe I know EXACTLY who voted on this debate.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
LOL! Check out the votes page listed besides "Debates Rounds" and Comments. THe admins do know that we can figure out who voted who through using this system, right?
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
That is quite a sampling bias, Tat. It's like a CWO debate.

Ideally, people would not vote based on what side they agree with, but on who was more compelling in their arguments. However, I realize that people are still biased to agree with arguments for what they agree with. It's unfortunate, yes, and the system makes debates on this exact issue rather one-sided.

And here's quick arguments against the alternatives you provided in that blog post, bsergent:
For IPs, people have dynamic IPs, people use proxies, and people sometimes use their accounts from more than one computer.
For manually seeing if people have multiple accounts and deleting them when they are found, A> very few instances are readily apparent, and B> that's a great deal of maintenance, especially if you want to undo all the votes that account made.
Rating systems would make it difficult for someone who doesn't debate often to vote, and there are many people who've only done 0-2 debates themselves but like to read other people's debates and vote. A good chunk of the site's members have very few debates, so the site would lose a great deal of traffic by implementing the rating policy.

There may be a better way, but it's not readily apparent. If they find something that by most people's standards is superior, they'll probably work on implementing it.
Posted by bsergent 9 years ago
bsergent
2000 character limit.

http://innomen.blogspot.com...

Will update. This has moved beyond a urination contest. The admin emailed me.

P.S. Tatarize, these people wouldn't understand sociological study procedure if it mailed them a questionnaire. But thank you none the less. I chose to point out that simple fact to the admin in the email quoted in full at my blog post.

For the record, if this draconian policy is repealed I will rejoin the group. Since a possibility for change has presented itself, I will stay until removed or until a decision is made.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
You folks realize that there's a bias right?

The people who totally agree that it is absurd... didn't do it. Only people who confirmed are here to vote! Talk about a sampling bias!
Posted by TheGameDefender 9 years ago
TheGameDefender
I believe that ID Confirmation is completely valid, but many people don't have cell phones (or can't receive text messages) and thus cannot partake in anything but commenting. They should come up with a better way.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
As a last comment on the issue, I'll just say this:

Debate.org is not some state that is oppressing us. It's not forcing anything on us, and it's only trying to make a mutually beneficial exchange. Those of us who don't think that exchange is worth it do not have to give them our numbers, but neither does the site have to let us vote on debates. Voting on debates on debate.org is not some inalienable right.

I have no problem standing up to authority, but this is an issue on which we give our consent. They're not forcibly taking our phone numbers, we're giving letting them have the numbers. There's nothing to be outraged at, it's a simple agreement between two entities.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
"I really wish there were some place where substantive issues could be discussed in a totally free setting, debate.org could have been that place. I guess time will tell if one will ever exist."

You could always create your own forum . . .
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
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