Youtube feedback is "toxic"
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I'd like to take this time to briefly outline the crux of my argument. But before I do, I would like to take this time to define our terms.
First, toxic, from Merriam-Webster :
1. containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation
2. exhibiting symptoms of infection or toxicosis
3. extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
4. relating to or being an asset that has lost so much value that it cannot be sold on the market
As we can see, the only definition of "toxic" that would be applicable here is the third, and even that can be seen as a bit of a stretch, and the resolution hyperbolic. Thus, I submit that since Pro is arguing in favor of a firm statement of this nature, the burden of proof lies with him. My intention, therefore, will be to neutralize his points.
My main objection is to the notion that feedback of this nature IS -- not "can be," but "is" -- "extremely" harmful or malicious. Have you ever heard the phrase "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me?" I have no doubt that there are immature people who flock to YouTube as an outlet for their anger, aided by the anonymity. But there are several problems with this notion.
One, how is YouTube any different from any social networking medium where, mind you, it is possible to either conceal your identity by way of a fake profile, multi-account, partially hidden profiles, etc.? I assure you that political pages on Facebook can become quite heated. I've seen people argue that 2/3 of Congress should be arrested, that certain politicians should be tried for treason, that Edward Snowden should be shot, that Obama is [insert horrible slur word here], etc. This problem is not solely YouTube's, yet you have not called these other social networks medians "toxic" or differentiated YouTube from the rest, which I believe you must do in order to prove your case.
Second, let's consider the definition of "is," because I believe that it is an important term. In mathematics, "is" is synonymous with equals, and that is how we consider it, actually, in everyday speech: a linking verb that connects one idea to another, and provides a characteristic of the other such that the two terms are inseparable. This comment -- "YouTube feedback is absolute" -- is absolute. Pro is not saying that YouTube feedback "can be" toxic; he is saying that it IS toxic. In fact, Pro has already walked away from his resolution by admitting that some people -- in fact, "many" -- are nice. If many are nice, and thus we conclude that trolls are the exception and not the rule, then YouTube feedback cannot be, by definition, "toxic."
Third, if we accept that many people are nice, why would you want to prevent them from commenting? Why punish the many for the actions of the few? Do you not believe that they would feel vilified by being unable to comment on a YouTube channel they enjoy when they have done nothing wrong? How about the impact this action will have on YouTube artists and performers, who use the comment section to gauge either which content they should use or to receive constructive criticism? I understand that you have not directly advocated that every YouTuber take this action, but you must understand that your resolution -- "YouTube feedback IS toxic" -- can be translated almost directly to some type of punitive action. You cannot call something toxic, and then suggest that we do nothing whatsoever to attempt to rectify it.
Finally, I would like to consider Pro's final comment: "We must see it from those who make the videos." I completely agree with him on this. Therefore, I'd like to look to someone whom I look up to, who happens to co-host a network I look to for political news, the Young Turks. Co-host Ana Kasparian (video attached)  commented about her experience with YouTube comments. Many used horrible slurs and personal attacks, but ultimately she saw this as a stepping stone to where she now is. As a result, she developed a thicker skin and appreciates the constructive criticism that some of the loyal followers of the show provide.
If YouTube comments were ipso facto toxic, I submit that it would be virtually impossible to overcome them and to, as a result, grow as a person, a performer, and an artist. Moreover, my opponent claims that many YouTube artists are blocking their comments for this reason. I question his use of the word "many," because many popular YouTube networks -- including news shows with a clear bias such as the Majority Report, the Young Turks, David Pakman, etc. -- allow comments. Some, like Pakman, will even air voicemails from viewers and respond to them on air, even if they are so wildly offensive that they can hardly be taken seriously. In essence, many people make a game out of them.
In conclusion, some -- not all -- comments are annoying, childish, and wrong. But disabling comments punishes loyal followers who do not participate in these types of personal attacks. A better method is to report people who say hurtful and threatening things and allow YouTube -- and in some cases, local police -- to promptly deal with them. Ultimately, there is even a First Amendment issue to some extent, whereby people have a right to voice their opinions, but I'm not going to make that the basis for my argument. Even I accept that there is a fine line to free speech -- the point at which your speech threatens someone else, e.g., fire in a crowded theater. This, however, does not undermine my premise because even Pro admits that "many" comments are nice -- that these hurtful ("toxic" is a strong word that he has the burden of proof to establish) comments are the exception, not the rule.
2. Video Used for Second Footnote
Diec forfeited this round.
Diec forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
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