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Combating voter bias

PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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7/19/2011 1:03:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Over the tenure of DDO's existence, we have had many suggestions to help curb voter bias. Many of the suggestions were quite good, however, I have one more suggestion.

To my knowledge, this issue has never been addressed before (but feel free to correct me if it has).

It's occurred to me that well-respected members of this site hold a lot of clout. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but I do see one area where it could present a problem.

Are some voters even reading the debates, or is their decision influenced by how other people vote? I say that is a possibility. If someone sees a debate where their friends favor a certain debator, is it possible that they're influenced to follow them?

Example: "Oh, so and so voted Pro (or) Con on this debate. Since I know this individual is highly intelligent, I'll TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT."

So, how to get around it? It seems easy enough to me. Juggle can hide the vote and comments from everyone. The only way to see how other people voted, and read their comments is by voting themselves. In other words, they can only see it AFTER they vote. This way they aren't influenced by how other people vote.

Could be one more strategy to keep voting honest.

Your thoughts?
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/19/2011 1:06:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
That would only work if you cannot change your vote after your initial vote.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/19/2011 1:07:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I do read people's RFDs along with the debates, just to see if perhaps someone saw something that I missed (I am imperfect every now and again, after all).
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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7/19/2011 1:12:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 1:07:53 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
I do read people's RFDs along with the debates, just to see if perhaps someone saw something that I missed (I am imperfect every now and again, after all).

I do the same because i find value in the reasons/critique. In some debates the RFD's are more helpful in my own understanding of good debating.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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7/19/2011 1:45:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I really don't think this problem can be addressed in any sufficient manner. We all have biases and unconscious influences that sway our decisions.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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7/19/2011 1:55:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have only had the ability to vote since this morning (thanks to the kind efforts of Innomen), but, to be honest, I don't really "know" anyone on this site and what they stand for, with the possible exceptions of CharlesLib and Datcmoto, so I would like to think I will give everyone a fair crack of the whip.
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PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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7/19/2011 3:11:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 1:45:38 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I really don't think this problem can be addressed in any sufficient manner. We all have biases and unconscious influences that sway our decisions.:

To a large degree, you are right. Nothing will completely stop voter bias, but I think the small implementations over time have helped to mitigate much of it. I think there could be positive results with my suggestion, and may even encourage more voters.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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7/19/2011 3:16:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 3:11:54 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
At 7/19/2011 1:45:38 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I really don't think this problem can be addressed in any sufficient manner. We all have biases and unconscious influences that sway our decisions.:

To a large degree, you are right. Nothing will completely stop voter bias, but I think the small implementations over time have helped to mitigate much of it. I think there could be positive results with my suggestion, and may even encourage more voters.

But then they could change their vote like oreEle said. If they could built a tell tell code that shows who changed their vote maybe. Like inmost threads that shows who edited and when.

But that still wouldn't stop it. It might keep the "honest" member from being a bit bias. But it would probably just discourage voting even more.

In your opinion what cause more votebombing?

Straight bias

Or revenge for something?
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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7/19/2011 4:57:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's a very interesting concept. If we don't allow anyone to see the voting results until they vote on a debate then that would probably encourage voting, much the same way online poll questions get answered because they don't allow you to see the results until you answer it.

I think I agree with Ore_Ele though. I like to look at other RFD's just to make sure I didn't miss something. Not that I base my vote off of it but the most important thing is getting it right. I think the best thing this site can do is raise more awareness of acceptable voting practices. This article (http://www.debate.org... ) is good but we need something more to make people acknowledge the concepts. People generally won't do something they know is considered unacceptable. Just bringing attention to some of these things should be enough to deter honest people from doing them. As for those who don't care, I don't think there's much that can be done without making this site far too complicated.
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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7/19/2011 5:15:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 3:16:17 PM, jharry wrote:
At 7/19/2011 3:11:54 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
At 7/19/2011 1:45:38 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I really don't think this problem can be addressed in any sufficient manner. We all have biases and unconscious influences that sway our decisions.:

To a large degree, you are right. Nothing will completely stop voter bias, but I think the small implementations over time have helped to mitigate much of it. I think there could be positive results with my suggestion, and may even encourage more voters.

But then they could change their vote like oreEle said. If they could built a tell tell code that shows who changed their vote maybe. Like inmost threads that shows who edited and when.

But that still wouldn't stop it. It might keep the "honest" member from being a bit bias. But it would probably just discourage voting even more.

In your opinion what cause more votebombing?

Straight bias

Or revenge for something?

Revenge. I can list at least ten debates where revenge voting was involved. We can probably guess who was involved with a lot of them.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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7/19/2011 5:21:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Reading the RFD of others can be helpful. It can point out something that you may have missed. I have re-read several debates after reading others' RFD, and I think my vote was more fair because of it.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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7/19/2011 5:23:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 5:15:06 PM, BlackVoid wrote:

Revenge. I can list at least ten debates where revenge voting was involved. We can probably guess who was involved with a lot of them.

Would you be referring to Izbo and his voting war on Christians?

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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7/19/2011 5:29:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 5:23:14 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 7/19/2011 5:15:06 PM, BlackVoid wrote:

Revenge. I can list at least ten debates where revenge voting was involved. We can probably guess who was involved with a lot of them.

Would you be referring to Izbo and his voting war on Christians?

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

Yeah he's one of them. I was thinking of Sieben. Him, Izbo, and ExNihilo are the biggest revenge-bombers I've seen.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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7/19/2011 7:26:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 5:23:14 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 7/19/2011 5:15:06 PM, BlackVoid wrote:

Revenge. I can list at least ten debates where revenge voting was involved. We can probably guess who was involved with a lot of them.

Would you be referring to Izbo and his voting war on Christians?

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

Izbo fails to give adequate voting reasons and clearly shows prejudice in his votes.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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7/19/2011 11:04:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think that public voting encourages revenge voting, but it also discourages voting against friends and encourages voting for friends. It's the same reasons why elections for public office are by secret ballot.

I agree that looking at other RFDs can influence votes. However, the people who write convincing RFDs are likely to post them in the comments anyway. I think good RFDs reduce voter bias by educating people on the judging process. People get to read comments and figure out who they think makes sense.

The worst effect of public voting, I think, is to discourage voting altogether. Why create trouble by going on record with a vote? You'll be subject to retaliation and whoever is on the other side will accuse you of everything short of child molesting for not seeing it their way. Some members will have clear ideas of who won, but not want to face down the rants of opposing partisans.

I don't see a great solution to secret vote bombing, but when vote tallies start jumping in 7 point increments, there are likely to be offsetting bombs on both sides.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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7/19/2011 11:16:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think the RFD system has had a significant decrease in the amount of bias in voting on this site.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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7/19/2011 11:54:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:16:22 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I think the RFD system has had a significant decrease in the amount of bias in voting on this site.

Agreed, that and the three debate requirement.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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7/20/2011 12:48:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:54:37 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:16:22 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I think the RFD system has had a significant decrease in the amount of bias in voting on this site.

Agreed, that and the three debate requirement.

Agreed, it definitely makes a difference but the system is still flawed(I guess that will never change). I've heard a 2 victory requirement proposed, which seems much more reasonable and might help cut down spam debates. I've also thought of a voter tutorial where a member would have to read a debate and take a test about certain elements of the debate and how it should have been voted. Trolls would have no patience to finish it which might cut down tremendously on votebombs.
BennyW
Posts: 698
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7/20/2011 1:12:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't vote based on how others vote or based on how respected one debater is. However, I may weigh forfeits too heavily because If one person forfeits then I will usually vote against them, but if both people forfeit at some point it cancels it out.
You didn't build that-Obama
It's pretty lazy to quote things you disagree with, call it stupid and move on, rather than arguing with the person. -000ike
Thrasymachus
Posts: 29
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7/20/2011 12:10:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm not sure blind voting is a good idea - it least cuts down on the risk of 'retaliation', even if the 'cliqueyness' distortion will remain.

That said, under blind voting, people might feel they can 'get away' with a votebomb. At least at the moment we can see vote-bombers, even if nothing can be done about them. Under blind voting, I can votebomb without being seen to be a votebomber.

The bias problems are likely insurmountable - the massive correlation between "Agree before" "agree after" "best arguments" and "best sources" shows nearly everyone is much more likely to give points to the guy on 'their side'.

A better idea might be some sort of honor code. (Provide vaguely sane RFDs, be cautious of voting on a debate of someone you yourself debated previously, do not vote on debates that people you are associated - online or off - are participants, etc.) If users are willing to call the most egregious offenders, and also exclude their votes when considering 'who really won', this should disincentivize vote bombing (as I can't imagine there is much value to winning lots of debates according to juggle overandabove reputation in the community).

That has problems too - further restrictions on voting is bad idea when there tend to be very few votes. But hey, everythings problematic.