The Instigator
KRFournier
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
PoeJoe
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

Voting on Debate.org Should Be One Point Per Vote

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
PoeJoe
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,343 times Debate No: 6104
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (8)

 

KRFournier

Pro

I'll start this debate by clarifying the resolution. Currently, Debate.org employs a Seven-Point voting system dispersed across six voting questions. The resolution is that this system should be replaced with a One-Point voting system with only one voting question. In other words, instead of voting in the areas of agreement, conduct, grammar, etc., voters would simply choose a winner. I am for this resolution.

The current voting system is admiral in its attempt to make the results of a debate more meaningful. Indeed, few people including myself would argue against the merits of judging a debater on his/her use of good conduct, superior writing abilities, logical argumentation, and use of resources. While good in theory, the practical use of this voting system has revealed several flaws.

Voters can be generally classified into three categories: the thoughtful voter, the casual voter, and the dishonest voter. Thoughtful voters independently assess the winner in each of the six voting categories. They often award only partial points to the victor given that many debates may result in a tie in the areas of grammar and conduct. Casual voters simply award all six voting categories to the person they deemed the winner. Casual voters still read the debate and determine the winner, but they award all seven points as though it were a football score. Dishonest voters are the ones that vote without reading and assessing the content. They vote according to their ideologies or friendships.

The current voting system is rendered meaningless given the differences in voting styles. In other words, no judgment can be made about the results of a debate since the voting cannot be consistently determined. If all voters were thoughtful voters, then the system would be perfect as it would adhere to the ideology. On the other hand, if all voters were casual voters, then the system would still be meaningful since all scores would simply be a factor of seven. But so long as there is an indeterminable mix of the two, voting becomes an arbitrary game. If the voting system is changed to a single vote of Pro/Tie/Con, then thoughtful, casual, and dishonest voters balance each other out. Thus, a casual vote is just as meaningful as a thoughtful vote. Better yet, the dishonest vote is of equal value as well. This leads me to the great evil of this site: vote bombing.

Given the current system, a vote bomber is more powerful than a thoughtful voter. Statistically, it is expected that a thoughtful voter will usually award less than seven points to one side. Let's assume on average that a thoughtful voter awards 5 points to the winner since most debaters tend to equal each other in conduct and grammar. In this scenario, a vote bomber is worth 1.4 thoughtful voters. Now, a vote bomber with five accounts can award 35 points to the loser of a debate, requiring 7 thoughtful voters to make up the spread. If, however, all voters could award only one point, then only 5 thoughtful voters are needed to counteract the vote bomber.

A voting system in which a voter simply chooses the winner will also make the debates much closer matches. There would be more debates in which the winner is decided by only a couple votes. It's also easier to determine the real outcome of the debate. A score of 13 to 14 shows that given many votes, the debate is dead heat, whereas in the current voting system, it simply means one voter was stingy with the grammar vote (possibly).

My proposed system still gives thoughtful voters freedom to explain their votes and consider grammar, conduct, etc. in their decision. In this way, grammar is assessed within the debate as a whole, as it is meant to be, instead of being an extra point to by arbitrarily given or withheld by casual or dishonest voters.

The current system is open to too much abuse, which can be resolved in my proposed system. Personally, I like the idea behind the current system and would have no need to offer this alternative if it could be executed in practice. Sadly, the idea does not align with reality, so it's time to count the losses and make a change. Vote in favor--be it thoughtfully or casually--of a one-point voting system by voting for Pro.
PoeJoe

Con

First and foremost, much thanks to my opponent for creating such a delightful debate topic. I look forward to this!

My opponent has only provided one argument to support his position. That argument is this: Because there exists three different voting styles (thoughtful voting, casual voting, and dishonest voting), the votes as a collectively whole become distorted; and therefore reverting to debate.org's previous voting system would be beneficial.

I offer the following counterarguments:

1) My opponent's entire premise is flawed. As I and many other v2ers can vouch, the old debate.org voting system was much, much worse. There was a reason we v2ers pleaded for this amended voting system.

2) Your argument rests on the assumption that users actually care about their win ratios. For example, the cleaners have denounced win-ratio-worrying (http://www.debate.org...); and instead, they debate for fun and learning. Others, such as askbob, have created their own systems for counting votes (http://www.debate.org...). Furthermore, for those who care about their win ratios, the debate.org sys admin is currently building a vote-bomb-removal program (http://www.debate.org...). So, really: Everyone should have no problem with the current voting system.

3) The flaw does not lie in the voting system, but in the users who do not follow debate.org's debate guideline and TOS. The voting guideline (http://www.debate.org...) specifically tells users how to vote. Hopefully, we will soon have user moderators (the Webmaster has hinted at this feature many times), and bad users will no longer be a problem. Again, it is not the voting system, but some of its users, whose votes (like I mentioned in point two) will soon be removed.

4) Your system is impractical. You've conceded this. A system to convert all current votes to a proverbial binary system would take way too long to make, especially considering that the current system works fine.

5) As for the thoughtful voters, they often leave comments explaining how and why they voted. They give suggestions to the debaters, and this helps them improve their debate skills. Without the many categories, it would be harder for these "cleaners" to give reasons for why they voted. This would lead to confusion and would destroy the very intent of their helping, thus destroying the fun atmosphere debate.org is supposed to be founded on (http://www.debate.org...).

6) I am uncomfortable accepting your "casual voter" premise. You bear the burden of proof in proving that a significant number of them exists (if at all). Honestly, I think that if people are going to spend the time to read a full debate, that they wouldn't be so lazy as to not spend the time to think for half a second, and judge the categories fairly.

7) The current system allows an easier identification of vote bombers. Vote bombers generally bomb all seven points, and so all of their information is shown in the "Votes" tab six times. This makes it easier to identify which users are bombers so we can report them. Imagine if you only had one vote statistic to judge off, which was mixed with tons of other votes. It would be virtually impossible to determine who the vote bombers are!

Those are my objections and arguments for why we should not revert back to the old voting system.

I leave the floor open to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
KRFournier

Pro

I thank my opponent for taking this debate, especially given his experience with previous versions of the Debate.org voting system. Having joined only a few months ago, I was unaware the current voting system was an added feature in version 3. However, I remain resolute in my position that a one-point voting system is better for this site.

1) My opponent begins his rebuttal with the accusation that my "entire premise is flawed," and backs this claim with ambiguous qualification, simply saying that the "old debate.org system was much, much worse." How much worse exactly? He says there was a reason they asked for change but does not list it. Perhaps he meant for the reason to be explained in his other counter arguments; nevertheless I can guess the reason.

As I stated in my previous round, the idea behind the current voting system is great. The IDEA is great. I am willing to bet that all serious debaters on this site appreciate the idea of having a more precise assessment of their performance. I myself admit the very IDEA brought me to this site. My premise, however, is that the idea only works if the majority of voters execute it in practice. As I showed in my first round, this is not the case.

2) My argument in no way rests on the assumption that users care about their win ratios. I am well aware of askbob's personal Terms of Service and Kleptin's intentional 0% win ratio. The motive behind their actions is evidence of the current voting system's flaws. The actions of these fine men are the result of inaccurate voting results, specifically in the form of prejudicial vote bombing. My argument rests, instead, on the assumption that users care about individual debate results, hoping to gain insight so they might improve in the future.

3) My opponent wants to shift the focus from the system to its users, but this does not comport with the philosophy of the site's creator, Phil. His position is that members who have legitimately confirmed their account have every right to vote whichever way they choose. If user voting is flawed, it is because the system allows for such flaws. So long as the administration does not intend to police votes (if that were even practically possible), total reliance falls upon the system itself.

4) I never conceded my system to be impractical and respectfully ask my opponent to quote me. If the webmaster was able to go from a single-point system to the current system, then he can do the opposite. To simply say it's too much work is a red herring.

5) As I stated in my previous round, thoughtful voters could still assess all areas of debate. My system in no way inhibits it. Thoughtful voters are capable of explaining their votes in any system and need not be given a formula. Indeed, if askbob can create his own TOS, then members can create a good voter feedback convention.

6) My casual voter category is based on simple observation. It is clear that many voters award all 7 points to their determined winner. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, assuming they do this because they simply view it as a 7 point score, like football. Call them vote bombers if you wish, but there is no shortage of evidence that people award all 7 points to one side. I daresay such voters far outnumber thoughtful ones.

7) Vote bomber identification is irrelevant unless a vote-bomb-removal system is implemented, though this does nothing to eliminate the problem with casual voters. The only way to ensure that the current system adheres accurately to its philosophy is to punish all voters that do not explain themselves, including non-malicious casual voters that like to award 7 points to the winner.

Consider this debate: (http://www.debate.org...). A score of 31 to 55 is meaningless. You cannot determine anything from that score other than some kind of preference towards Con. Is it because he argued better? Had better conduct? The only reason we know for sure is because 8 thoughtful voters explained their votes. Taking the thoughtful votes into account, this debate's score would have been around 4 to 11 in a one-point system. This score is MEANINGFUL, even with explanations. It tells us that 11 people preferred Con while 4 people preferred Pro. Even if some votes were arbitrary or malicious, it carries meaning, which is further enhanced by thoughtful voters explaining themselves. It's worth pointing out that, minus the 8 thoughtful votes, the score would likely have been 4 to 3 instead of 30 to 16, which is a much closer score.

Just because Debate.org tried the one-point voting system and moved on does not mean we cannot count our losses with the current system and revert back. Already users are denouncing win ratios and ignoring actual vote scores. Let's go back to a more meaningful voting system--the one-point system--before it gets any worse. Vote (or vote bomb) in favor of Pro.
PoeJoe

Con

1) My opponent concedes that the idea of the multi-category system is good. He just has practical issues with it. So let's address those...

2) My opponent concedes that those users who have given up on their win ratios are doing noble things. He has a problem, though, with individual debate results. I've already responded to this: Phil is currently working on his vote-bomb-removal program. I stated this TWICE, and yet my opponent said nothing in response. The way to fix the voting system is not to completely redo it, but to amend it. My opponent agrees that the main problem is vote bombing, and that is in the process of being taken care of.

3) My opponent concedes that the problem originates from bad users. He writes that Phil's "position is that members who have legitimately confirmed their account have every right to vote whichever way they choose," and I agree. My opponent forgets, though, that his problem is with vote bombers who abuse the system, people who do not legitimately confirm their accounts. And vote bombing is in the process of being taken care of. Again, completely changing the voting system is not necessary.

4) Of course completely changing the current system is impractical! It works okay now, and is in the process of being fixed. And yes, it is harder to go from the current system to the outdated system than from the outdated system to the current system. When v2 became v3, all v2's one-point votes were converted to argumentation votes; the point ratios remained exactly the same. To go back to the outdated system now would require completely distorting the votes. And furthermore, my opponent of all people, as an experienced programmer, should know the months it would take to write a program that would redo all the votes on this site. Again, my opponent's plan is impractical.

5) Has my opponent ever considered that maybe the new system actually helps debaters improve? Since v3, debaters are now more eager to do research so that they can win the sources vote. Since v3, debaters check their spelling and grammar more adamantly. Since v3, the amount of abusive ad hominems have lessened. Of course the new system helps comment communication; people now know what to look out for.

6) My opponent writes, "It is clear that many voters award all 7 points to their determined winner." No it isn't. I don't think so. I believe that if a reader is going to take the time to read a full debate, that they would also take the half a second to think about their votes. And if indeed there exists this minority, I doubt they will have much effect. But I too am merely speculating. My opponent bears the burden of proof in proving that these "casual voters" exist. He has failed to do so. This destroys his entire case.

7) My opponent writes, "Vote bomber identification is irrelevant unless a vote-bomb-removal system is implemented." Ummm... my opponent seems oblivious to the fact that a vote-bomb-removal system is in the works. Knowing so destroys his counterargument. The current system allows an easier identification of vote bombers.

In closing, my opponent has failed to prove his case. He (1) failed to prove casual voters exist beyond an extremely small minority, (2) failed to recall that a vote-bomb-removal program is in the works, (3) conceded that the idea of our current system is good, (4) conceded that the problem is the users and not the voting system, (5) failed to provide beyond a single argument, (6) failed to prove his singular argument, and (7) ultimately failed to prove the resolution.

I'd like to thank my opponent for this wonderful debate, and I would like to thank the audience for taking the time to read this. Thanks!
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
Conduct - Pro - Con, on multiple occasions, claimed that Pro conceded certain arguments without citation.

Spelling and Grammar - Tie - Both sides were easy to read and follow.

Convincing Argument - Pro - Con tried to win this argument by claiming that Pro made several concessions he did not make. Pro argued that the current voting system suffers from vote bombing and casual voting. Con rebutted the vote bombing argument to a degree, pointing out the vote-bomb-removal system in the works, but he failed to address the argument that the only way to accurately police all voting is to punish anyone that doesn't explain votes. Con did not refute the argument regarding casual voters except to dismiss it entirely.

Reliable Sources - Con - Con did a much better job citing multiple references to explain his position.
Posted by PoeJoe 5 years ago
PoeJoe
Conduct - TIE - No attacks on either side. Both debaters thanked each other. No forfeited rounds.

English - PRO - CON's writing style is rather choppy.

Argument - CON - PRO failed to prove his case. He (1) failed to prove casual voters exist beyond an extremely small minority, (2) failed to recall that a vote-bomb-removal program is in the works, (3) conceded that the idea of our current system is good, (4) conceded that the problem is the users and not the voting system, (5) failed to provide beyond a single argument, (6) failed to prove his singular argument, and (7) ultimately failed to prove the resolution.

Sources - CON - CON provided many insightful sources in his R1. PRO only provided one.
Posted by PoeJoe 5 years ago
PoeJoe
I suspect something like my debate with LM (http://www.debate.org...) -- a tie.
Posted by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
Indeed, Logical-Master, I am prepared for the irony that will inevitably follow.
Posted by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
Hmm, both contestants are prone to getting vote bombed. I wonder who will win in terms of the actual voting ballot.
Posted by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
I really believe in my position.
Posted by PoeJoe 5 years ago
PoeJoe
Quick question. Are you playing devil's advocate, or do you really believe in your position?
Posted by ournamestoolong 5 years ago
ournamestoolong
I was going to accept this but you convinced me of your points
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