The Instigator
Yraelz
Pro (for)
Winning
42 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Con (against)
Losing
38 Points

Voters should be required to post their reasoning behind each vote they make.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2008 Category: Arts
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,984 times Debate No: 2751
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (34)
Votes (20)

 

Yraelz

Pro

I like debate. I like debate.org. I think it is a really cool idea. However I find myself often dissatisfied with the voters. In debates where I feel I have clearly won its not so bad because to some extent I can justify my loss in my head with the thought, "Wow... those people are idiots!"

Its when I'm debating someone of equal or similar skill level to myself that this annoys me the most. To lose a debate that I am unsure of how I did on and personally feel was close is o.k. in itself. But when I do not know why I have lost that debate I can't actually modify my strategy or improve my debating skills.

Therefor I advocate that each time someone votes they should be required to post a reason for why they have voted in such a way. While many comments will doubtlessly say something to the effect of, "~INSERT DEBATER~ IS STUPID!" or just a persons personal view on the issue I feel that some would actually post helpful criticism. (The voting comment section should be separate from the actual comment section.)

I now stand open for my opponents first rebuttal. I reserve the right to clarify my arguments if necessary.
Logical-Master

Con

Greetings. First, I'd like to thank my opponent for starting this debate. Second (AND MOST IMPORTANTLY), I'd like the voters to vote based on who supported their position better rather than which side you personally agree with. With that said, let us proceed carefully.

First, my opponent insinuates that it is difficult for one to modify their strategies and improve their debating skills without commentary from an audience, but this is certainly not so. Having been an online debater for a number of years, the audience's opinion has almost never been of much help in letting me know when I've sorely been pummeled intellectually; the ones who were helpful were almost always none other than my adversaries (regardless of whether or not it was their intention). As my opponent suggest in his profile, debate is a game. Like any game, it is your adversaries who help you increase your skill level. The most beneficial debates are the debates where you've debated on an equal footing or have been sorely defeated. If both of these cases, you've allowed your opponent to make more good moves than you have been willing to allow. You get better by understanding these good moves your opponent has made and by coming up with ways to prevent them in future debates.

When debating in the eyes of an online audience (such as the kind of audience's you'll run into on debate.org), their concerns on the debate (which are mostly represented through the votes) are hardly ever beneficial to the many of the votes being made for partial reasons. Sure, there are times when a voter will actually provide some beneficial reasons as to why he/she voted impartially on the debate, but this is sadly not often. Thus, the debate.org votes should not be used as a means of determining the level of your argumentation skills.

My opponent then proposes that voters be required to post a reason as to why they voted, but concedes to the fact that many comments will undoubtedly be unhelpful. There are two problems that come to mind merely from reading this statement.

1) My opponent is aware that this plan will no doubt encourage irrelevant posts in the comment section. If he is aware of this, he is aware of the fact that this system won't be of much help in solving the problem he brings up. So if that is the case, what is the point? Why should the administrators allow more bandwidth to be wasted if this solution will hardly be beneficial to the members of this website?

2) If the majority of voters who vote don't comment now, what will be their incentive to actually take the time to EXPLAIN (to the level my opponent wishes) why they voted when this program is initiated? Voters who don't feel like typing much (which is most of the voters on this website if you take the time to compare the number of votes in the debates to the number of comments from different members in most of these debates) would merely have to say something along the lines of "Oh, I thought PRO won because he argued better. 25 character limit."

I now stand ready for my opponent's first rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Yraelz

Pro

Nice, I would like to thank my opponent, Logical-Master, for taking this debate. I would also ask that voters vote on who presents the better argument and support their position better.

So to begin, my opponent starts out attempting to prove that comments on debating performance are not helpful. This is simply not true. Any debater reading this debate has seen at least one comment that opened their eyes up to a new idea or an alternative way to which they could have debated. Even my opponent admits to this in saying, "Having been an online debater for a number of years, the audience's opinion has almost never been of much help". The words no notice in this sentence would be "almost never".

My opponent once again admits to their being a benefit when he says, "Sure, there are times when a voter will actually provide some beneficial reasons as to why he/she voted impartially on the debate, but this is sadly not often."

I can only agree with my opponents two statements and move on as disagreeing would be arguing against myself.

Next my opponent puts two point of offense against my case.

1. Summary: "My opponent is aware that this plan will no doubt encourage irrelevant posts in the comment section."

Response: I am well aware. However once again there is some benefit, I will touch on this more in the second point.

2. Summary: "If the majority of voters who vote don't comment now, what will be their incentive to actually take the time to EXPLAIN (to the level my opponent wishes) why they voted when this program is initiated?"

My opponent is fat!

Response: In most cases this will be true but it also offers more benefits that I will get to shortly. It should also be noted however that some debaters consider themselves to be good debaters and do not always add a comment when voting. Mandating this comment will force such debaters, as potentially myself and my opponent, to write something. As such debaters desire to uphold their honorable position on this site they will doubtlessly include an intelligent remark.

Having thoroughly debunked my opponents offensive claims I will now add my own defense onto this case.

1. Having everyone mandated a comment will quickly show who is voting. While it may not always show why, it will show debaters who do vote. This solves for my problem in my first round where I cannot determine why I would be losing a round. To see what voters had voted against me would make it easy to detect trolls and make it easy for me to justify loses in my mind when people I had previously thought to be dumb voters vote against me. Here are instances where this would help me justify my loss as I feel I have easily won these rounds.

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

2. Having a mandated comment will quickly show the entire voting community which voters are simply bad at voting. Here are two examples of debates where I was voted against despite my opponent making no responses to my contentions, these voters are obviously bad voters in the sense that they are overly biased:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

3. Solves for the mass troll voters. Being the voters who disagree with me on one issue and thereby go through and vote against me on every debate. My opponent has also had this happen to him occasionally. In fact, if my voters would be so kind the read the comment section of this debate they will come across multiple debaters disgruntled by this phenomenon.

4. Having mandatory comments prompts me to write a good comment for each and every debate. In the status quo I feel I usually offer good reasons as to why I voted but sometimes I do not bother offering a reason. Having compulsory comments would make this so.

Thank you, I stand open for my opponents speech.
Logical-Master

Con

The PRO starts off his round by claiming that I'm attempting to prove that comments are not helpful, but this is an obvious straw man. He even does my work for me through explaining the part of my case were I used the terms "almost never." Speaking of almost never, the PRO acts as if this benefits his case, but it actually does not. As I suggest below, debate.org should not employ a system that's only going to benefit a few users every once in a while (as it's merely a waste of bandwidth if the system cannot benefit all debaters most of the time). Also, there is the fact that users who wish to explain their reasoning already comment on debates. Users who don't can avoid this.

Also, notice how the PRO drops my argument which explains how becoming a better debater depends more on the debates themselves rather than the audience. Since he drops this, he concedes that debaters already have a quality means of augmenting their debate skills. Not only that, but in doing as I suggested, all debate outcomes will be beneficial. As the PRO agrees, the same cannot be said for merely relying on the voters.

The PRO then goes on by agreeing with my statement that suggests that this system will hardly ever benefit you. And given the flaws which I've pointed out (such as how voters can get out of having to actually explain their reasons for voting), this only further hurts my opponent's case.

Re Response 1: I covered this above.

Re Response 2: Keep in mind that the PRO yet again admits to how faulty his system is by conceding to the fact that many voters will easily get around having to explain their reasons for voting. He also states that debaters will be coerced to include intelligent remarks, yet this is completely false. All they will actually HAVE to do is provide a comment. The status quo point goes about assuming that most users will care about how other users label them (good examples of users who ABSOLUTELY don't care are Solarman1969 and bsergent). The only statuses which users on this website are encouraged to care about are their win/loss ratios. Anything which isn't visible (as in it isn't something which is permanently labeled upon certain users for ALL to see) won't prove effective. Of course, even then, those kinds of statuses would come with problems similar to the ones we are discussing now.

Re Offense Point #1: There are 2 points to note.

1) This system can actually encourage trolling/flaming. Take for instance "blond_guy" in this debate: http://www.debate.org... . He is pretty much advocating the same thing my opponent is and he even admits that he would DEMEAN the users who had voted against him in his debates which he thought he clearly won. In fact, the debate which inspired him to make this debate ( http://www.debate.org... ) was reported and shut down due to the content on the comment section.

As shown on the front page, the debate.org administration wishes to uphold a clean and friendly atmosphere and users having the ability to start flame wars against users whom they know are voting against them (even if these users don't really bother explaining their position) will no doubt prove detrimental to debate.org.

2) The PRO states that it would be easier to spot people with multiple accounts, but this system would IRONICALLY make it harder. With users having the ability to see who is voting, reports on this matter is will increase ASTRONOMICALLY. This will no doubt prove to be a HEAVY burden on the administrators here, thus slowing down the process of finding people who actually have multiple accounts, due to the so many reports being received. Not only will that occur, but users whom the other users merely SUSPECT to have multiple accounts will become ostracized. This will no doubt make debate.org experiences regrettable for many innocent users.

Re Loss Justification: See the point which the PRO conceded as he goes about suggesting that voting turnout justification can occur without the need for comments.

Re Offense Point 2: The PRO goes about assuming that criteria for voting are universal. In other words, he is suggesting that lack of refutation objectively means an automatic win for him. Lack of refutation can play a big role in voting, but the main focus is the content that was presented on the table of debate. Heck, even debate.org believes this.

Debate.org: "Even if you don't have time to leave a full response, DO NOT forfeit a round. Forfeiting a round destroys your credibility and makes it less likely that voters will vote for you." http://www.debate.org...

Now, although they aren't in favor of forfeiting, they merely suggest that it will make it less LIKELY that voters will vote in favor of the user who forfeits. However, if debate.org truly agreed with my opponent, debates such as the ones my opponent cited would automatically be won by my opponent. Thus, we can conclude that although forfeiting can play a big factor (hence the reason more than half of the people on that page voted for my opponent), it's not to be considered a reason for handing down an automatic win at least by the standards of debate.org.

Furthermore, my opponent does nothing to strengthen his case in the rounds after his first debates, thus one could conclude that he gave his opponent some leeway and treated the debate as if it were one round. As for that second debate, his first argument can be considered a red herring since it does not address whether or not the Government should be responsible for building a missile defense system. It's merely suggesting that building such a system is beyond possibility (which is not true, but that's another matter). His second argument could actually be seen as supporting his opponent's argument. Building a missile defense system is a means of preventing war. Simply having the most powerful military force will give other nations an idea such as "Oh, we don't wanna mess with the US since they have such a kickass missile defense system." With those facts being noted, a voter could be justified in voting against his case (especially due to his 2nd argument since that could be seen as conceding to his opponent's case).

And again, if a debater knows who is voting (and perceives the ones voting to be "bad" at voting), the debater can wreak havoc for the voters via flaming/trolling.

Re Offensive Point 3: This is basically a minor alteration to point 2. It fails for the reasons which I've pointed out in both 1 and 2. That said, a troll would only need to become slightly more crafty in order to maneuver around this system. Simply put, coming up with a BS explanation, using more than one computer (especially easy if you're at a school library or if you are at college), and/or simply getting friends to sign up and vote (again, an extremely simple task) are all sufficient means to avoid retribution.

Re Offense Point 4: It does nothing but prompt voters to provide a comment. As for status quo, this goes back to my point on how many innocent users will be bullied by others users for not living to their expectations of explanation. In fact, the comment section in this debate is a good example of this: http://www.debate.org... . Notice how the user who goes by the name of mrmazoo ends up attacking the users who disagree with him in their voting explanations.

This also goes to suggest another problem with the PRO's plan. The comment section is reserved for commenting on debates rather than continuing debates. Debates continuing in the comment not only unnecessarily tax this website's bandwidth, but it also defeats the very purpose of their being a comment section. Besides those two factors, it will encourage flame wars.

Your move! =D
Debate Round No. 2
Yraelz

Pro

My opponent once again begins his speech attempting to disprove the idea that comment are not helpful, unfortunately for my opponent, he has already conceded the fact that they are almost never helpful. Which means, at times, they are helpful. My opponent attempts to justify his argument by arguing that it would be a waste of bandwidth but this argument has no impact what-so-ever, as we have no idea how much bandwidth this site has or can use.

From here the Con goes on to offer me this argument,

"Also, notice how the PRO drops my argument which explains how becoming a better debater depends more on the debates themselves rather than the audience."

and yes, I whole heartedly agree, however this does not mean that the audience can still help to some extents.

Re Response 2: Apparently my opponent cannot see how good debaters that feel themselves prestigious would be coerced into leaving helpful comments. My response to my opponents argument is simply the fact that I would be coerced into leaving helpful comments. This is a benefit. I believe the rest of my argument speaks for itself, the voters can decide.

Onto my 4 points of offense.

Re: Point 1

1. My opponent suggests that letting people see who had voted for them or against them would somehow start flame wars. This however can be stopped in 1 easy way and adds benefit to my case.

a. Commenter's who actually leave meaningful and nice comments will be less likely to have people start flame wars against them. This is an incentive to leave something aside from, "I vote pro, 25 characters...." People who actually leave something that shows some amount of thought put into it will have a lesser chance of other users getting the idea that that user may be flaming their debates. (lol)

2. The con comes to the conclusion that having this system would increase reports going to the administrators but there is absolutely no proof to back up this claim. If anything I believe such a system would help to dispel hunches that people are voting against particular users in mass.

My opponent then goes on to stay that voters who were thought to have multiple accounts would be ostracized, this is simply not true, please check this debate:

http://www.debate.org...

those three people have clearly not been ostracized.

Re: Point 2

My opponent argues that I deserved all the votes brought against me in both the cases that I presented however my opponent nor I at this time has absolutely no way of knowing this. This is one of the main points of my case, if we can see who voted, then we will be able to tell for sure who those voters were. To be able to tell that some percentage of those 7 voters had randomly voted against me in every debate would be enormously helpful in me justifying my loses to myself. My opponent then advocates that trolls should not be flamed against and yes to some extent I agree with him but have already covered this in 1.2.

Re: Point 3

Once again my opponent has conceded me an advantage to my system. He argues that it would only give trolls a slightly harder time as they would need multiple computers, or B.S comments, or friends. This means that my system in some small way does prevent trolls who do not have multiple computers, or are lazy, or are not friendly people.

Re: Point 4

My point was simply that this system will prompt myself to write good comments on every debate that are hopefully helpful. My opponent countered by saying that innocent users will be bullied but this is of no consequence. No user has to go back and respond or even read someone bullying them about how they voted. In fact this site makes it very easy to ignore when someone is mad at you, check Solarman1969 for a great example of this phenomenon.

Finally my opponent argues that this will force debates to continue in the comments section thus sucking up bandwidth. This point has absolutely no standing as those users could just as easily make a whole new debate which would doubtlessly suck up more bandwidth. It is actually an advantage for them to be getting it out of their system in the comments section.

As a brief summary I would like to point out that my opponent dropped the largest argument on my case. That being me being able to justify all my losses. My opponent brings up many points on flame wars but considering the amount of flame wars already in the status quo this actually isn't a disadvantage, and will be capable of dispelling misconceptions about innocent users. I would also like to point out that my opponent has conceded a great deal of small advantages to me, ranging from some comments will be helpful to preventing troll voters in some small way. To finalize my point I would like to point readers to this debate:

http://www.debate.org...

In which I have no idea how I lost as my opponent didn't actually uphold his side of the resolution.

Thank you for the great debate!
Logical-Master

Con

YL made an interesting claim during the previous round. He claimed that the largest argument in his case was that losses would be justified with the new system in tact. Quite frankly, I can't help sense something fishy about this. Recall what he said at the beginning of round 1:

YL: "In debates where I feel I have clearly won its not so bad because to some extent I can justify my loss in my head with the thought, "Wow... those people are idiots!"

Here, he clearly points out that he can already justify losses with the current system. Also, if you read further in his argument, you'll see that he insinuates that loss justification only becomes an issue against opponent's whom he felt he equally performed against.

YL: "To lose a debate that I am unsure of how I did on and personally feel was close is o.k. in itself. But when I do not know why I have lost that debate I can't actually modify my strategy or improve my debating skills."

That being said, this should help you see how relevant my first counter in round 1 was. Also, this alone was the reason I didn't bother commenting on the debates he cited in his first offensive argument. Why? Look at how he describes them:

YL: "Here are instances where this would help me justify my loss as I feel I have easily won these rounds."

I think this about covers the idea that I've supposedly "dropped" the largest argument. Now, lets refute round 3 from top to bottom.

YL once again resorts to the straw man fallacy by telling you that I am attempting to prove that comments are not helpful. However, if you take the time to read what I've been saying in both of the previous rounds, you'll note that I've been suggesting that comments are generally not helpful (in fact, one of my arguments even hinges on the RATE of helpful comments). As for bandwidth, my opponent resorts to the red herring fallacy. "HOW MUCH" bandwidth being used is COMPLETELY irrelevant. The fact of the matter (as I've suggested in round 2) is that they would be wasting bandwidth. Although to pacify this objection, it would notably be a large amount considering that this program applies to every single vote that is made on this website.

Next, my opponent admits to having agreed with my argument of how one is to become a better debater. With that merely being noted, this effectively dismisses his argument that concerns justifying a loss. As I've explained above, this was in response to his problem concerning loss justification as YL only implies that to be a considerable issue when up against an equally talented debater. My response was in response to the "problems" which come about through not having the ability to justify losses. In other words, even my opponent agrees that I've effectively refuted his lost justification argument during round 1.

Re Response 2: Once again, YL does nothing to prove that users would be FORCED to leave HELPFUL comments. He does nothing refute my round 2 argument on this matter, so you're free to dismiss his rebuttal here for the same reasons.

Re Point 1a: This assumes that flame wars are always caused due to some user being provocative towards the debaters. This is not the case. Rather, it is the extremely argumentative debaters who I am concerned about. A user can leave a comment that refers to the debaters as gods, but all it takes is a mere difference in belief/opinion to get an argumentative (and I mean that in a negative tone) debater started.

Re Point 1-2: I believe YL is neglecting what he said in the previous round. He said that this system would make it easier to spot people with multiple accounts. How so is the question one might ask? Well currently, a so-called "means" of spotting someone with multiple accounts is to check what debates he/she comments on. In fact, this line of reasoning has encouraged users (other than my paranoid stalker) to believe my alter egos are none other than YL and Kleptin. Admins have made it clear that they want users to report users whom they suspect of having numerous accounts (as they can't just go around looking for users themselves). Clearly, by being able to see the users who vote, users will speculate far more than they do now (as it has only been anonymous voting which has limited users so far) and do just what the admins have asked.

Re Point 1-3: Specious example as only a user with an agenda has spread such propaganda. Besides, users have plenty of reason to doubt this as the Webmaster himself has PERSONALLY clarified on this issue here: http://www.debate.org...

Re: Point 2: My opponent uses the straw man fallacy here by claiming that I've been arguing in favor of him deserving all of the votes being made against him. This is not the case as my argument clearly boiled down to the fact that users could very well have been justified to vote against his arguments. I even proved this to be so. Oh, and these are classified as being debates where my opponent believed he easily won, hence more reason to dismiss these citations. Again, as my opponent points out, loss justifications are only needed in debates where he has doubt in whether or not he won.

Re: Point 3: Not really. The multiple computers and friends points were merely shown as being possible ways for a troll to undermine YL's system, but creating B.S. comments is infinitely simpler than the other two. With that alone being noted, the slight improvement would be as much as an increase as adding .000000001 to 1. In other words, trolls would have to spend 4 seconds (spamming the votes) rather than 1 second. Again, is this really worth using more bandwidth?

Re: Point 4: The system will prompt users to make comments PERIOD. As for innocent users being bullied, this is a pretty large consequence. What do users do when they get bullied enough? They either leave the website (which decrease the number of hits this website gets, hence less advertisement revenue for debate.org, hence less opportunities for upgrades) or fight back (which is where flame wars can come in). I agree that users don't have to comment, but that doesn't mean they aren't encouraged to. Lets not forget that many of the users here are still in grade school, so the kind of maturity which YL brings up is not likely. As for Solarman, this is a guy who often generates dozens of comments on his comment sections (and not friendly spirited ones, mind you). If anything, YL provided me with evidence for my claim.

As for the final point, how often do users make a whole new debate rather than start debates in the comment section? I agree that users COULD make rule-bound debates, but the fact of the matter is that slug fests are often carried out in the comment section. Getting it out of their system: The comment section is made so that users may COMMENT on the debate rather than CONTINUE the debate (this is against the rules).

Closing: Contrary to what YL states, I did not drop any of his arguments. The loss justification issue was dealt with as far back as round one (to an argument which my opponent coincidentally agreed with). As for Flame Wars, they are influenced (and often started) by the very factors which he advocates in this debate; YL's system would likely augment the number of flame wars debate.org has to deal with. As for advantages, these are all instances where my opponent has conceded that debate.org would merely be infinitesimally benefited by his system. Given all the massive CONS that come with the system, one can certainly say that it's more trouble than it's worth.

As for the debate which my opponent cites, both sides made errors ( I even point out errors from both sides in my comment). And as you'll note, users have commented on that page without really even explaining why they voted. What would prevent them from doing this under the new system? Absolutely Nothing. Therefore, I urge you to vote CON.

Thanks for the debate!
Debate Round No. 3
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SweetBags 9 years ago
SweetBags
no, ill look into it
character limit
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Hey sweetbags have you voted on my Britney Spears debate?
Posted by SweetBags 9 years ago
SweetBags
while con did a good job rebutting pro and providing downsides to a required RFD, it did not (to me) outweigh the benefits of one. (although i am admittedly bias)
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Thats not a bad idea HandsOff, thank you for posting such a helpful comment.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
To all of the very good debaters on this site: Here is my observation as to why the seemingly more experience, more intelligent, and more thorough debaters have lost many debates:

I see a pattern I see with a lot of meticulous debaters. They are a sticklers for details, no matter how minute. They tend to want to argue against every little point their opponent puts forth, regardless of whether or to what degree it impacted the debate.

Not every single one of the opponent's points deserve the same amount of time and attention. The more time and page space one uses refuting irrelevant points, the less time and page space he has left to combat his opponent's most impactful points. He also run the risk of having his more important arguments buried among the minutia. I think one should identify and discriminate between major points and minor detail in his opponents arguments, and defend accordingly.
Posted by Kusfraba 9 years ago
Kusfraba
Hmm.. I, as a frequent voter, would like it as an OPTIONAL thing, but to be forced would not float my boat. Sometimes I wanna put up a reason (which I usually do here), and sometimes I just wanna vote.

Besides, I don't think that it will stop flame wars, because people can just post stupid reasons, or even barely valid ones. Heck, they could even cut and paste reasons from the debate itself!
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Wow, 12,000 ****ing characters. This character limit is the devil incarnate. :(

I have to butcher my argument BIG TIME.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
You're not the only one who is guilty (of course, I didn't originally take part in them on this website). One thing I ended up learning is that they are more trouble than they are worth.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Whoops. I also meant to provide this link as an illustration for my final point: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
I'm not worthy!!! Bwah hahaha:)

Also, I think the flame war argument is quite valid. I was guilty of it myself once, when I first joined the site, but have since then seen the error of my ways. Unfortunately, many others might not.

Great arguments so far.
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Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
YraelzLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 7 years ago
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YraelzLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by Yraelz 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
YraelzLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by jiffy 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by SweetBags 9 years ago
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