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Voting Rights are Wrongly Handled

queencoop
Posts: 10
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4/1/2016 11:26:34 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
This is meant to be a discussion to address the unjust ways that debate.org handles voting rights. Feel free to disagree, agree, or add on to my points. I would also love to hear personal experience.

Furthermore.....

1) I believe most new voters aren't aware there are voting rules to follow.

2) To obtain voting rights we should be required to agree to the rules to make sure people are aware of them.

3) An administrator should not be able to target users, and should not go through and read every vote of a specific user for the purpose of finding multiple that "qualify to be removed."

4) A voting probation should be placed before rights are removed.

5) Before removing rights the user should be properly notified they are in danger of getting their rights revoked.

6) Those authorized to remove votes should have some badge or user identification because they can be easily impersonated.

7) At least 2 or more people should agree the vote is insufficient before the vote is removed.

***THERE IS A REASON MANY DEBATES ARE TIED BECAUSE NO ONE VOTED***

" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.
" So many rights are being removed that less people are left able to vote.
" Our vote counts because are opinion is valid and arguably necessary for the functioning of this sight.

WE CAN STOP THE RARE UNFAIR ACTIONS (THAT US REGULAR USERS) RECIEVE.

JOIN ME AND SHARE YOUR OPINION
BECAUSE OUR OPINION....
MATTERS
Message verified by QueenCoop, thank you for your time!
Geogeer
Posts: 4,227
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4/1/2016 11:48:49 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/1/2016 11:26:34 PM, queencoop wrote:
This is meant to be a discussion to address the unjust ways that debate.org handles voting rights. Feel free to disagree, agree, or add on to my points. I would also love to hear personal experience.

Furthermore.....

1) I believe most new voters aren't aware there are voting rules to follow.

2) To obtain voting rights we should be required to agree to the rules to make sure people are aware of them.

3) An administrator should not be able to target users, and should not go through and read every vote of a specific user for the purpose of finding multiple that "qualify to be removed."

4) A voting probation should be placed before rights are removed.

5) Before removing rights the user should be properly notified they are in danger of getting their rights revoked.

6) Those authorized to remove votes should have some badge or user identification because they can be easily impersonated.

7) At least 2 or more people should agree the vote is insufficient before the vote is removed.

***THERE IS A REASON MANY DEBATES ARE TIED BECAUSE NO ONE VOTED***

" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.
" So many rights are being removed that less people are left able to vote.
" Our vote counts because are opinion is valid and arguably necessary for the functioning of this sight.

WE CAN STOP THE RARE UNFAIR ACTIONS (THAT US REGULAR USERS) RECIEVE.

JOIN ME AND SHARE YOUR OPINION
BECAUSE OUR OPINION....
MATTERS

I don't bother voting anymore because I have better things to do than write out a ridiculously long RFD. And since I'm not voting, I don't really debate anymore because I'm then taking advantage of other people's time...
queencoop
Posts: 10
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4/1/2016 11:59:06 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
I understand, this site makes it ridiculously hard to vote your opinion!
Message verified by QueenCoop, thank you for your time!
queencoop
Posts: 10
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4/2/2016 12:00:29 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/1/2016 11:59:06 PM, queencoop wrote:
I understand, this site makes it ridiculously hard to vote your opinion!

@geogeer
Message verified by QueenCoop, thank you for your time!
bsh1
Posts: 27,503
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4/2/2016 3:31:46 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/1/2016 11:26:34 PM, queencoop wrote:
This is meant to be a discussion to address the unjust ways that debate.org handles voting rights. Feel free to disagree, agree, or add on to my points. I would also love to hear personal experience.

Just want to say that your ability to vote is a privilege, not a right. Voting is not for the voters, but for the debaters; if protecting the debaters from bad voters means inconveniencing the voters to a certain degree, that is fine.

1) I believe most new voters aren't aware there are voting rules to follow.

Mods should inform people of the rules and give them a warning before voting privileges are removed.

3) An administrator should not be able to target users, and should not go through and read every vote of a specific user for the purpose of finding multiple that "qualify to be removed."

I don't think that this is done...Sometimes, users just have all their votes removed because all their votes were reported, because they multi-accounted, etc.

5) Before removing rights the user should be properly notified they are in danger of getting their rights revoked.

Agreed.

6) Those authorized to remove votes should have some badge or user identification because they can be easily impersonated.

Not really. It's hard to impersonate someone whose power you cannot replicate. The people that can remove votes are Airmax, Whiteflame, and Blade-of-Truth.

7) At least 2 or more people should agree the vote is insufficient before the vote is removed.

All 3 moderators are consulted before a vote is removed, so this system is already in place.
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donald.keller
Posts: 3,709
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4/2/2016 3:51:56 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/1/2016 11:48:49 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 4/1/2016 11:26:34 PM, queencoop wrote:
This is meant to be a discussion to address the unjust ways that debate.org handles voting rights. Feel free to disagree, agree, or add on to my points. I would also love to hear personal experience.

Furthermore.....

1) I believe most new voters aren't aware there are voting rules to follow.

2) To obtain voting rights we should be required to agree to the rules to make sure people are aware of them.

3) An administrator should not be able to target users, and should not go through and read every vote of a specific user for the purpose of finding multiple that "qualify to be removed."

4) A voting probation should be placed before rights are removed.

5) Before removing rights the user should be properly notified they are in danger of getting their rights revoked.

6) Those authorized to remove votes should have some badge or user identification because they can be easily impersonated.

7) At least 2 or more people should agree the vote is insufficient before the vote is removed.

***THERE IS A REASON MANY DEBATES ARE TIED BECAUSE NO ONE VOTED***

" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.
" So many rights are being removed that less people are left able to vote.
" Our vote counts because are opinion is valid and arguably necessary for the functioning of this sight.

WE CAN STOP THE RARE UNFAIR ACTIONS (THAT US REGULAR USERS) RECIEVE.

JOIN ME AND SHARE YOUR OPINION
BECAUSE OUR OPINION....
MATTERS

I don't bother voting anymore because I have better things to do than write out a ridiculously long RFD. And since I'm not voting, I don't really debate anymore because I'm then taking advantage of other people's time...

You don't need a long RFD. Look at all of Raisor and Ragnar's rfds, and they don't get removed. An rfd of 2,000 or less characters (even 1000 or less) are just fine. It's a myth thrown out to excuse bad votes being deleted.
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donald.keller
Posts: 3,709
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4/2/2016 3:52:31 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/1/2016 11:59:06 PM, queencoop wrote:
I understand, this site makes it ridiculously hard to vote your opinion!

Voting isn't about opinion... Vote moderation exists to keep opinions out of voting.
-- Don't forget to submit your unvoted debates to the Voter's Union --

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whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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4/2/2016 4:53:54 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I'd like to start by just explaining the situation. queencoop is a prolific voter, and posted a number of votes very rapidly. As a result of several reports, 4 were removed. When we as moderators see this situation, our response is usually to remove that person's voting privileges in order to prevent that number from ballooning. Partially, that has to do with the sheer number of reports, but more importantly, it means a lot more unreported (since not all votes will be reported), insufficient votes from that person. We'd rather go through the process of providing the individual the means to provide a sufficient vote and work with them on improving their votes than see this happen. Certainly, people may disagree with this method. There's room for reasonable disagreement.

At 4/1/2016 11:26:34 PM, queencoop wrote:
This is meant to be a discussion to address the unjust ways that debate.org handles voting rights. Feel free to disagree, agree, or add on to my points. I would also love to hear personal experience.

Furthermore.....

1) I believe most new voters aren't aware there are voting rules to follow.

True. Unfortunately, that's not something we can substantially improve without changing the coding of the site to inform potential voters. So the only means we have of informing new voters is through a sticky thread, which already exists, and through direct contact. The latter is great, but in many cases, the voter either ignores the problems or doesn't fully fix them. That results in a lot more votes that don't meet the standards. If someone's voting slowly, that's not a big issue. If someone's voting a lot, it's a bigger problem.

2) To obtain voting rights we should be required to agree to the rules to make sure people are aware of them.

Again, that's really a site coding issue.

3) An administrator should not be able to target users, and should not go through and read every vote of a specific user for the purpose of finding multiple that "qualify to be removed."

We don't do this. I haven't reported any votes in at least a month, and I've reported only a handful in the past year. Other people reported your votes.

4) A voting probation should be placed before rights are removed.

A probation would require monitoring your votes, which is basically what we do when rights are removed, except the latter ends when you produce a sufficient vote. I don't see much in the way of added benefit to such a system.

5) Before removing rights the user should be properly notified they are in danger of getting their rights revoked.

That happens most of the time, but not when the number of votes is quite this high.

6) Those authorized to remove votes should have some badge or user identification because they can be easily impersonated.

Again, a coding issue. We can't just add symbols to our profiles.

7) At least 2 or more people should agree the vote is insufficient before the vote is removed.

Actually, 3 people do: myself, Airmax and Blade-of-Truth.

***THERE IS A REASON MANY DEBATES ARE TIED BECAUSE NO ONE VOTED***

That's a concern many have had, and it's a contentious issue on the site. Suffice it to say that you've got plenty of company with that perspective, but that there are a lot of people who disagree.

" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.

And they usually get them back quite rapidly. Not to mention that this is exceedingly rare.

" So many rights are being removed that less people are left able to vote.

There's give and take on this. Having more people vote is generally perceived as good. Having a bunch of throwaway votes appear on everyone's debates is generally perceived as bad. Most people who go a long time without the ability to vote have no interest in improving their votes. Others usually receive their privileges back rather quickly.

" Our vote counts because are opinion is valid and arguably necessary for the functioning of this sight.

There's a difference between posting an opinion and posting a vote with points. Posting an opinion is for the good of the person doing the posting - they want to get their views out there. A null vote is a good opportunity for this, as is a comment. On the other hand, awarding points directly affects the debaters, and as such should be done for their sake. The idea that there's some necessity for you to be able to award points is contrary to this view. You may reasonably disagree, but the fact remains that a vote that awards points is fundamentally different from an opinion.

WE CAN STOP THE RARE UNFAIR ACTIONS (THAT US REGULAR USERS) RECIEVE.

JOIN ME AND SHARE YOUR OPINION
BECAUSE OUR OPINION....
MATTERS
Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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4/2/2016 2:50:30 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 4:53:54 AM, whiteflame wrote:
" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.

And they usually get them back quite rapidly. Not to mention that this is exceedingly rare.

Technically it's a privilege, not a right (had to put it out there, to discourage anyone here from mistaking this site for any governmental organization).

The idea that there's some necessity for you to be able to award points is contrary to this view.
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And please disable Smart-Quotes: https://goo.gl...
lannan13
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4/2/2016 3:04:44 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
I'm starting to find these amusing.
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EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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4/2/2016 3:18:38 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
The voting mods - Whiteflame especially - have a completely unreasonable understanding of what constitutes a valid vote on the (absurd?) 7-point scale. Particularly with regard to sources and S&G, though conduct also falls in there, albeit to a lesser extent.
whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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4/2/2016 3:56:36 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 2:50:30 PM, Ragnar wrote:
At 4/2/2016 4:53:54 AM, whiteflame wrote:
" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.

And they usually get them back quite rapidly. Not to mention that this is exceedingly rare.

Technically it's a privilege, not a right (had to put it out there, to discourage anyone here from mistaking this site for any governmental organization).

Absolutely. Good addition.


The idea that there's some necessity for you to be able to award points is contrary to this view.
whiteflame
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4/2/2016 3:59:36 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 3:18:38 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
The voting mods - Whiteflame especially - have a completely unreasonable understanding of what constitutes a valid vote on the (absurd?) 7-point scale. Particularly with regard to sources and S&G, though conduct also falls in there, albeit to a lesser extent.

...You realize that Airmax, Blade-of-Truth, and I all implement the exact same standards, right? What it sounds like you have an issue with is the standards themselves, not with my implementation of them. Everyone seems to have this very strong misconception that I'm being exceedingly harsh, but that's news to me considering that all 3 mods cover the same votes every night.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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4/2/2016 5:08:17 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 2:50:30 PM, Ragnar wrote:
At 4/2/2016 4:53:54 AM, whiteflame wrote:
" Experienced and valued users have been removed of rights.

And they usually get them back quite rapidly. Not to mention that this is exceedingly rare.

Technically it's a privilege, not a right (had to put it out there, to discourage anyone here from mistaking this site for any governmental organization).

The idea that there's some necessity for you to be able to award points is contrary to this view.


I'd call it a service more than a privilege.
MagicAintReal
Posts: 590
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4/2/2016 5:11:34 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Is it me or are all of the complaints about vote moderation from people who believe that by asserting something, one explains their assertion?
These voters who have their votes removed, just state things and don't explain why their statements are valid/relevant/evidence-based, and usually those voters do the same in debates as debaters.
Look, bad voters,
If you say something, anything, Back It Up!
Did the debater in the debate you're voting on use insufficient sources?
Ok, then explain the source's insufficiency with respect to the debate.
Whiteflame can correct me if I'm wrong, but no vote has ever been removed for it being over explained.
No one cares what you're opinions are as a voter or debater for that matter.
If you think it, tell us WHY what you think matters/is supported by evidence.

Saying something doesn't make it so; showing something does.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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4/2/2016 7:45:06 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 3:59:36 PM, whiteflame wrote:
At 4/2/2016 3:18:38 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
The voting mods - Whiteflame especially - have a completely unreasonable understanding of what constitutes a valid vote on the (absurd?) 7-point scale. Particularly with regard to sources and S&G, though conduct also falls in there, albeit to a lesser extent.

...You realize that Airmax, Blade-of-Truth, and I all implement the exact same standards, right? What it sounds like you have an issue with is the standards themselves, not with my implementation of them. Everyone seems to have this very strong misconception that I'm being exceedingly harsh, but that's news to me considering that all 3 mods cover the same votes every night.

I said all 3 of you have an unreasonable standard. Yours is simply the most prolific because it's always your comments I see removing what are valid votes. S&G isn't just about whether or not a case is unreadable; if one side makes no errors and the other makes a significant amount - say, 6 or 7, or their capitalization is wonky, or even if the formatting is awful - those are all sufficient explanations. And sources are even worse. Demanding voters go through and justify how every single source relates to the argument is absurd. Simply "pro used none, CON's were reputable and scholarly" is more than sufficient on the 7-point scale. Removing them for trivial nonsense like that is exactly why this site will never escape its voting deficit.
whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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4/2/2016 9:11:10 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 7:45:06 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 3:59:36 PM, whiteflame wrote:
At 4/2/2016 3:18:38 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
The voting mods - Whiteflame especially - have a completely unreasonable understanding of what constitutes a valid vote on the (absurd?) 7-point scale. Particularly with regard to sources and S&G, though conduct also falls in there, albeit to a lesser extent.

...You realize that Airmax, Blade-of-Truth, and I all implement the exact same standards, right? What it sounds like you have an issue with is the standards themselves, not with my implementation of them. Everyone seems to have this very strong misconception that I'm being exceedingly harsh, but that's news to me considering that all 3 mods cover the same votes every night.

I said all 3 of you have an unreasonable standard. Yours is simply the most prolific because it's always your comments I see removing what are valid votes.

When you say "Whiteflame especially" with regards to what our standards are, you make it sound like I'm enforcing a separate set of standards from the other moderators. Yes, I am the most visible of the three in this regard - that's part of the role of being head vote moderator. The fact that I'm more visible doesn't mean I have a different understanding of what constitutes a sufficient vote on any of these fronts. That's where I took umbrage with your original point, since what you seemed to be saying is that I'm enforcing standards based on personal preference.

S&G isn't just about whether or not a case is unreadable; if one side makes no errors and the other makes a significant amount - say, 6 or 7, or their capitalization is wonky, or even if the formatting is awful - those are all sufficient explanations.

There are two problems with this as I see it. The first is that you're setting a very arbitrary limit on the number of errors. Why not 5 errors? Or 10? What makes 6 or 7 the right number to use? No one's going to agree with a standard like that because there's no basis for enforcing at that level and not at a level slightly above or slightly below. The second problem regards how we view a given S&G error. If I forgot a comma somewhere in my sentence, should that count against me in the same way as someone spelling a given word wrong? How do we determine the importance of a given spelling or grammatical mistake? Again, that seems like an arbitrary delineation no matter where you place it.

I agree that awful formatting could be a basis for awarding S&G. I've allowed several votes that have explained why it was so bad that it made the argument difficult to read. I've also allowed certain explanations with regards to capital letters based on the difficulty involved in noting transitions from sentence to sentence. Those are potentially reasonable under the current system, so long as the voter can show how it made the reading experience significantly more difficult.

And sources are even worse. Demanding voters go through and justify how every single source relates to the argument is absurd. Simply "pro used none, CON's were reputable and scholarly" is more than sufficient on the 7-point scale.

Sources are worth 2 points. That's 2/3's the value of a given argument point allocation, and I think it demands that the voter give at least a reasonable level of analysis on the given sources.

That being said, I think you've got a very faulty view of how we moderate based on sources. I have never and will never say that the voter has to relay "how every single source relates to the argument". I've mentioned that it's important for a voter to state how at least one of the sources related to the direction of a given side's argument, but even that's not necessary. All the voter has to do is include a statement that says "Pro's sources also furthered the argument that..." It's not much to include, and it doesn't require incredibly specific analysis.

On the other hand, a statement that one side's sources are more "reputable and scholarly" requires some amount of justification. Providing reason to believe that these adjectives aren't being applied solely because the voter likes these sources is important - the voter should be required to explain why they find them this way. It doesn't take much to state the general areas they come from (say, newspapers, government agencies, etc.), and it definitely doesn't take much to mention that they support the overall point being made by the debater. My first thought when I see a vote like this is that it could be applied to a debate where one side only used sources that explained the definitions behind certain words, which probably had absolutely no effect on the strength of their overall argument. In my view, that's a problem.

Removing them for trivial nonsense like that is exactly why this site will never escape its voting deficit.

I really disagree that this is trivial or nonsense. I get that misconceptions like those you've presented have certainly contributed to the voting deficit we're experiencing, and I've gone to great lengths to explain several of the standards publicly and linked numerous times for numerous people the extensive voting guides drawn up by Bsh1 and Bluesteel. But those misconceptions remain, and they probably will always be there. I'm sure some people would still be dissuaded from voting by the standards if they fully understood them, and we could certainly discuss the give and take involved there. I get that there is a give and take. But I don't think that any of the standards are particularly problematic. That doesn't mean I'm right, and we can certainly discuss their substance in more detail.
whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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4/2/2016 9:14:22 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 5:11:34 PM, MagicAintReal wrote:
Is it me or are all of the complaints about vote moderation from people who believe that by asserting something, one explains their assertion?
These voters who have their votes removed, just state things and don't explain why their statements are valid/relevant/evidence-based, and usually those voters do the same in debates as debaters.
Look, bad voters,
If you say something, anything, Back It Up!
Did the debater in the debate you're voting on use insufficient sources?
Ok, then explain the source's insufficiency with respect to the debate.
Whiteflame can correct me if I'm wrong, but no vote has ever been removed for it being over explained.
No one cares what you're opinions are as a voter or debater for that matter.
If you think it, tell us WHY what you think matters/is supported by evidence.

Saying something doesn't make it so; showing something does.

Pretty much agree with this. I think a lot of people are under the perception that we're just removing votes on the basis that we don't agree with the opinion of the voter, but believe me when I say that I have enough of these to go through in a given night that I hardly ever even register what that opinion is. All I'm looking for is whether the voter has supported their point allocations enough to meet the standards. Of course, my saying that won't end the perception that I'm a tyrannical moderator who is only out to silence the opinions of voters I disagree with on principle, but I don't think anything I could say would alter that view in the slightest.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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4/2/2016 9:58:04 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 9:11:10 PM, whiteflame wrote:
At 4/2/2016 7:45:06 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 3:59:36 PM, whiteflame wrote:
At 4/2/2016 3:18:38 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
The voting mods - Whiteflame especially - have a completely unreasonable understanding of what constitutes a valid vote on the (absurd?) 7-point scale. Particularly with regard to sources and S&G, though conduct also falls in there, albeit to a lesser extent.

...You realize that Airmax, Blade-of-Truth, and I all implement the exact same standards, right? What it sounds like you have an issue with is the standards themselves, not with my implementation of them. Everyone seems to have this very strong misconception that I'm being exceedingly harsh, but that's news to me considering that all 3 mods cover the same votes every night.

I said all 3 of you have an unreasonable standard. Yours is simply the most prolific because it's always your comments I see removing what are valid votes.

When you say "Whiteflame especially" with regards to what our standards are, you make it sound like I'm enforcing a separate set of standards from the other moderators. Yes, I am the most visible of the three in this regard - that's part of the role of being head vote moderator. The fact that I'm more visible doesn't mean I have a different understanding of what constitutes a sufficient vote on any of these fronts. That's where I took umbrage with your original point, since what you seemed to be saying is that I'm enforcing standards based on personal preference.

S&G isn't just about whether or not a case is unreadable; if one side makes no errors and the other makes a significant amount - say, 6 or 7, or their capitalization is wonky, or even if the formatting is awful - those are all sufficient explanations.

There are two problems with this as I see it. The first is that you're setting a very arbitrary limit on the number of errors. Why not 5 errors? Or 10? What makes 6 or 7 the right number to use? No one's going to agree with a standard like that because there's no basis for enforcing at that level and not at a level slightly above or slightly below. The second problem regards how we view a given S&G error. If I forgot a comma somewhere in my sentence, should that count against me in the same way as someone spelling a given word wrong? How do we determine the importance of a given spelling or grammatical mistake? Again, that seems like an arbitrary delineation no matter where you place it.

5 is an excellent number to place it at. I wasn't suggesting a standard, rather, I was randomly coming up with figures. I'd agree that it's a bit absurd to award S&G over a single error. Whether it makes a case completely unreadable is an impossibly high standard. It might as well not exist at all in that case. Which would be nice, but since the 7-point system is here, it's here.

I agree that awful formatting could be a basis for awarding S&G. I've allowed several votes that have explained why it was so bad that it made the argument difficult to read. I've also allowed certain explanations with regards to capital letters based on the difficulty involved in noting transitions from sentence to sentence. Those are potentially reasonable under the current system, so long as the voter can show how it made the reading experience significantly more difficult.

And sources are even worse. Demanding voters go through and justify how every single source relates to the argument is absurd. Simply "pro used none, CON's were reputable and scholarly" is more than sufficient on the 7-point scale.

Sources are worth 2 points. That's 2/3's the value of a given argument point allocation, and I think it demands that the voter give at least a reasonable level of analysis on the given sources.

That's a flaw inherent to the 7 point system. But when using that system, you have to abide by its rules.

That being said, I think you've got a very faulty view of how we moderate based on sources. I have never and will never say that the voter has to relay "how every single source relates to the argument". I've mentioned that it's important for a voter to state how at least one of the sources related to the direction of a given side's argument, but even that's not necessary. All the voter has to do is include a statement that says "Pro's sources also furthered the argument that..." It's not much to include, and it doesn't require incredibly specific analysis.

No, you say, voter X didn't demonstrate how the sources furthered the argument, which is effectively the same exact thing. If one side cited a dotgov resource and the other cited Wikipedia, and the voter awards the point based on dotgov having more credibility, I strongly believe that should be more than sufficient. Not to mention that your final sentence there is still wildly insufficient under your standard. Since it's just an arbitrary value statement. The debaters use sources to further their arguments by definition; voters do not need to point that out.

On the other hand, a statement that one side's sources are more "reputable and scholarly" requires some amount of justification. Providing reason to believe that these adjectives aren't being applied solely because the voter likes these sources is important - the voter should be required to explain why they find them this way. It doesn't take much to state the general areas they come from (say, newspapers, government agencies, etc.), and it definitely doesn't take much to mention that they support the overall point being made by the debater. My first thought when I see a vote like this is that it could be applied to a debate where one side only used sources that explained the definitions behind certain words, which probably had absolutely no effect on the strength of their overall argument. In my view, that's a problem.

In most cases, it's pretty objective which sources are more reputable and scholarly. Dotgov > dotorg > dotcom for example. There are definitely nuances in there, but I strongly disagree that the voter needs to establish the sources as functioning uniquely in the given debate for them to count.

Removing them for trivial nonsense like that is exactly why this site will never escape its voting deficit.

I really disagree that this is trivial or nonsense. I get that misconceptions like those you've presented have certainly contributed to the voting deficit we're experiencing, and I've gone to great lengths to explain several of the standards publicly and linked numerous times for numerous people the extensive voting guides drawn up by Bsh1 and Bluesteel. But those misconceptions remain, and they probably will always be there. I'm sure some people would still be dissuaded from voting by the standards if they fully understood them, and we could certainly discuss the give and take involved there. I get that there is a give and take. But I don't think that any of the standards are particularly problematic. That doesn't mean I'm right, and we can certainly discuss their substance in more detail.
RainbowDash52
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4/2/2016 10:58:00 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 9:58:04 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 9:11:10 PM, whiteflame wrote:

That being said, I think you've got a very faulty view of how we moderate based on sources. I have never and will never say that the voter has to relay "how every single source relates to the argument". I've mentioned that it's important for a voter to state how at least one of the sources related to the direction of a given side's argument, but even that's not necessary. All the voter has to do is include a statement that says "Pro's sources also furthered the argument that..." It's not much to include, and it doesn't require incredibly specific analysis.

No, you say, voter X didn't demonstrate how the sources furthered the argument, which is effectively the same exact thing. If one side cited a dotgov resource and the other cited Wikipedia, and the voter awards the point based on dotgov having more credibility, I strongly believe that should be more than sufficient. Not to mention that your final sentence there is still wildly insufficient under your standard. Since it's just an arbitrary value statement. The debaters use sources to further their arguments by definition; voters do not need to point that out.

On the other hand, a statement that one side's sources are more "reputable and scholarly" requires some amount of justification. Providing reason to believe that these adjectives aren't being applied solely because the voter likes these sources is important - the voter should be required to explain why they find them this way. It doesn't take much to state the general areas they come from (say, newspapers, government agencies, etc.), and it definitely doesn't take much to mention that they support the overall point being made by the debater. My first thought when I see a vote like this is that it could be applied to a debate where one side only used sources that explained the definitions behind certain words, which probably had absolutely no effect on the strength of their overall argument. In my view, that's a problem.

In most cases, it's pretty objective which sources are more reputable and scholarly. Dotgov > dotorg > dotcom for example. There are definitely nuances in there, but I strongly disagree that the voter needs to establish the sources as functioning uniquely in the given debate for them to count.

The reason why it is important to judge how the sources impacted the arguments is for scenarios like where one side used dotgov sources for all his weak arguments, but not have used sources for his strongest arguments, while the other side used wikipedia for all of his strongest arguments. In this scenario, in my opinion, if anything the side who used wikipedia should get sources. And if a judge gives sources vote for the sole reason that dotgov is more reliable than wikipedia and nothing more, then that vote rightfully deserves to be removed. If source votes were allowed to not take how it affected arguments into consideration, people would just start focusing on making arguments for the sole purpose of attaching a dotgov source to it in attempt to win sources without it having to be a strong argument.
whiteflame
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4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
S&G isn't just about whether or not a case is unreadable; if one side makes no errors and the other makes a significant amount - say, 6 or 7, or their capitalization is wonky, or even if the formatting is awful - those are all sufficient explanations.

There are two problems with this as I see it. The first is that you're setting a very arbitrary limit on the number of errors. Why not 5 errors? Or 10? What makes 6 or 7 the right number to use? No one's going to agree with a standard like that because there's no basis for enforcing at that level and not at a level slightly above or slightly below. The second problem regards how we view a given S&G error. If I forgot a comma somewhere in my sentence, should that count against me in the same way as someone spelling a given word wrong? How do we determine the importance of a given spelling or grammatical mistake? Again, that seems like an arbitrary delineation no matter where you place it.

5 is an excellent number to place it at. I wasn't suggesting a standard, rather, I was randomly coming up with figures. I'd agree that it's a bit absurd to award S&G over a single error. Whether it makes a case completely unreadable is an impossibly high standard. It might as well not exist at all in that case. Which would be nice, but since the 7-point system is here, it's here.

Again, I think you have a misconception of what the standard actually is. The case doesn't have to be completely unreadable. It just has to be more difficult to read as a result of the way it's written. I've actually seen S&G awarded quite reasonably several times, so I'd say it's not impossibly high. I'm not sure why 5 is the right point to draw the line, or what the errors that contribute to those 5 should look like. Both seem like arbitrary lines to draw.

I agree that awful formatting could be a basis for awarding S&G. I've allowed several votes that have explained why it was so bad that it made the argument difficult to read. I've also allowed certain explanations with regards to capital letters based on the difficulty involved in noting transitions from sentence to sentence. Those are potentially reasonable under the current system, so long as the voter can show how it made the reading experience significantly more difficult.

And sources are even worse. Demanding voters go through and justify how every single source relates to the argument is absurd. Simply "pro used none, CON's were reputable and scholarly" is more than sufficient on the 7-point scale.

Sources are worth 2 points. That's 2/3's the value of a given argument point allocation, and I think it demands that the voter give at least a reasonable level of analysis on the given sources.

That's a flaw inherent to the 7 point system. But when using that system, you have to abide by its rules.

The only rules that exist are the ones that have been drafted for the sake of moderation, so those rules are the ones we've been enforcing.

That being said, I think you've got a very faulty view of how we moderate based on sources. I have never and will never say that the voter has to relay "how every single source relates to the argument". I've mentioned that it's important for a voter to state how at least one of the sources related to the direction of a given side's argument, but even that's not necessary. All the voter has to do is include a statement that says "Pro's sources also furthered the argument that..." It's not much to include, and it doesn't require incredibly specific analysis.

No, you say, voter X didn't demonstrate how the sources furthered the argument, which is effectively the same exact thing. If one side cited a dotgov resource and the other cited Wikipedia, and the voter awards the point based on dotgov having more credibility, I strongly believe that should be more than sufficient. Not to mention that your final sentence there is still wildly insufficient under your standard. Since it's just an arbitrary value statement. The debaters use sources to further their arguments by definition; voters do not need to point that out.

Well, I disagree. I don't think that stating that .gov is better than a Wikipedia article is necessarily true, especially without the context of the arguments each is supporting (if they're supporting anything at all). The sentence I posted would be sufficient if the voter explains why a given source furthered a point. It doesn't require much explanation, and it's not just an arbitrary values statement. Debaters do sometimes present sources that add nothing to the debate, and if the voter wants to award source points, they should be clear on the difference between sources that add to the debate and those that don't.

On the other hand, a statement that one side's sources are more "reputable and scholarly" requires some amount of justification. Providing reason to believe that these adjectives aren't being applied solely because the voter likes these sources is important - the voter should be required to explain why they find them this way. It doesn't take much to state the general areas they come from (say, newspapers, government agencies, etc.), and it definitely doesn't take much to mention that they support the overall point being made by the debater. My first thought when I see a vote like this is that it could be applied to a debate where one side only used sources that explained the definitions behind certain words, which probably had absolutely no effect on the strength of their overall argument. In my view, that's a problem.

In most cases, it's pretty objective which sources are more reputable and scholarly. Dotgov > dotorg > dotcom for example. There are definitely nuances in there, but I strongly disagree that the voter needs to establish the sources as functioning uniquely in the given debate for them to count.

Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point. It's an assertion of relevance, one that should be explained to a greater degree. And I didn't say that the voter needs to establish a unique functionality. They only have to establish that they are functioning, especially when the other side presents none. If the other side did present sources, then the voter has to do more than just compare them based on whether they have a .org or a .com. I need to see why that matters. If the voter can explain it in a generalizable way, then it's sufficient even if I disagree with the logic. They need to go to that extra step, though, and not just assume that the logic is automatically there.

Removing them for trivial nonsense like that is exactly why this site will never escape its voting deficit.

I really disagree that this is trivial or nonsense. I get that misconceptions like those you've presented have certainly contributed to the voting deficit we're experiencing, and I've gone to great lengths to explain several of the standards publicly and linked numerous times for numerous people the extensive voting guides drawn up by Bsh1 and Bluesteel. But those misconceptions remain, and they probably will always be there. I'm sure some people would still be dissuaded from voting by the standards if they fully understood them, and we could certainly discuss the give and take involved there. I get that there is a give and take. But I don't think that any of the standards are particularly problematic. That doesn't mean I'm right, and we can certainly discuss their substance in more detail.
EndarkenedRationalist
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4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
5 is an excellent number to place it at. I wasn't suggesting a standard, rather, I was randomly coming up with figures. I'd agree that it's a bit absurd to award S&G over a single error. Whether it makes a case completely unreadable is an impossibly high standard. It might as well not exist at all in that case. Which would be nice, but since the 7-point system is here, it's here.

Again, I think you have a misconception of what the standard actually is.

Seeing as I'm going by your exact quotes on numerous debates, I doubt it.

The case doesn't have to be completely unreadable. It just has to be more difficult to read as a result of the way it's written. I've actually seen S&G awarded quite reasonably several times, so I'd say it's not impossibly high. I'm not sure why 5 is the right point to draw the line, or what the errors that contribute to those 5 should look like. Both seem like arbitrary lines to draw.

No less arbitrary than your standard. It's clear you three lack a gold standard for S&G. One error does significantly impair my ability to read a debate, for example. It takes me out of the whole thing. When one side makes no mistakes and the other makes only a handful, it's wrong to punish the former in order to spare the feelings of the latter.

And sources are even worse. Demanding voters go through and justify how every single source relates to the argument is absurd. Simply "pro used none, CON's were reputable and scholarly" is more than sufficient on the 7-point scale.

Sources are worth 2 points. That's 2/3's the value of a given argument point allocation, and I think it demands that the voter give at least a reasonable level of analysis on the given sources.

That's a flaw inherent to the 7 point system. But when using that system, you have to abide by its rules.

The only rules that exist are the ones that have been drafted for the sake of moderation, so those rules are the ones we've been enforcing.

The same rules which are killing voting. Yeah, nice. I don't understand why it's so hard for you people to admit that you're wrong. It doesn't matter what the majority says; everyone can see the decline of voting, and your continual repetitions that "no, people are wrong, you don't have to write long RFDs, the standards aren't too high" are doing NOTHING. It DOES NOT WORK. Stop enforcing A+ voting standards.

No, you say, voter X didn't demonstrate how the sources furthered the argument, which is effectively the same exact thing. If one side cited a dotgov resource and the other cited Wikipedia, and the voter awards the point based on dotgov having more credibility, I strongly believe that should be more than sufficient. Not to mention that your final sentence there is still wildly insufficient under your standard. Since it's just an arbitrary value statement. The debaters use sources to further their arguments by definition; voters do not need to point that out.

Well, I disagree. I don't think that stating that .gov is better than a Wikipedia article is necessarily true, especially without the context of the arguments each is supporting (if they're supporting anything at all).

I assume you meant not necessarily true, in which case, you're objectively wrong, and I can't do anything to help you.

The sentence I posted would be sufficient if the voter explains why a given source furthered a point. It doesn't require much explanation, and it's not just an arbitrary values statement.

PRO gets sources because source Y supported his argument Z. This is one of the stupidest justifications I've ever seen. It says nothing about the source or, for your sake, the argument. If this passes in your world, these standards are even worse than I thought.

Debaters do sometimes present sources that add nothing to the debate, and if the voter wants to award source points, they should be clear on the difference between sources that add to the debate and those that don't.

It's not the voter's responsibility to read through every source.

On the other hand, a statement that one side's sources are more "reputable and scholarly" requires some amount of justification. Providing reason to believe that these adjectives aren't being applied solely because the voter likes these sources is important - the voter should be required to explain why they find them this way. It doesn't take much to state the general areas they come from (say, newspapers, government agencies, etc.), and it definitely doesn't take much to mention that they support the overall point being made by the debater. My first thought when I see a vote like this is that it could be applied to a debate where one side only used sources that explained the definitions behind certain words, which probably had absolutely no effect on the strength of their overall argument. In my view, that's a problem.

In most cases, it's pretty objective which sources are more reputable and scholarly. Dotgov > dotorg > dotcom for example. There are definitely nuances in there, but I strongly disagree that the voter needs to establish the sources as functioning uniquely in the given debate for them to count.

Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

It's an assertion of relevance, one that should be explained to a greater degree. And I didn't say that the voter needs to establish a unique functionality. They only have to establish that they are functioning, especially when the other side presents none.

If the other side presents none, that should be an auto-win for the side which did present sources.

If the other side did present sources, then the voter has to do more than just compare them based on whether they have a .org or a .com. I need to see why that matters.

No. You don't. If the source is reliable, that automatically means the argument is, at the very least, logical.

If the voter can explain it in a generalizable way, then it's sufficient even if I disagree with the logic. They need to go to that extra step, though, and not just assume that the logic is automatically there.

Removing them for trivial nonsense like that is exactly why this site will never escape its voting deficit.

I really disagree that this is trivial or nonsense. I get that misconceptions like those you've presented have certainly contributed to the voting deficit we're experiencing, and I've gone to great lengths to explain several of the standards publicly and linked numerous times for numerous people the extensive voting guides drawn up by Bsh1 and Bluesteel. But those misconceptions remain, and they probably will always be there. I'm sure some people would still be dissuaded from voting by the standards if they fully understood them, and we could certainly discuss the give and take involved there. I get that there is a give and take. But I don't think that any of the standards are particularly problematic. That doesn't mean I'm right, and we can certainly discuss their substance in more detail.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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4/3/2016 12:05:31 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/2/2016 10:58:00 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 4/2/2016 9:58:04 PM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 9:11:10 PM, whiteflame wrote:

That being said, I think you've got a very faulty view of how we moderate based on sources. I have never and will never say that the voter has to relay "how every single source relates to the argument". I've mentioned that it's important for a voter to state how at least one of the sources related to the direction of a given side's argument, but even that's not necessary. All the voter has to do is include a statement that says "Pro's sources also furthered the argument that..." It's not much to include, and it doesn't require incredibly specific analysis.

No, you say, voter X didn't demonstrate how the sources furthered the argument, which is effectively the same exact thing. If one side cited a dotgov resource and the other cited Wikipedia, and the voter awards the point based on dotgov having more credibility, I strongly believe that should be more than sufficient. Not to mention that your final sentence there is still wildly insufficient under your standard. Since it's just an arbitrary value statement. The debaters use sources to further their arguments by definition; voters do not need to point that out.

On the other hand, a statement that one side's sources are more "reputable and scholarly" requires some amount of justification. Providing reason to believe that these adjectives aren't being applied solely because the voter likes these sources is important - the voter should be required to explain why they find them this way. It doesn't take much to state the general areas they come from (say, newspapers, government agencies, etc.), and it definitely doesn't take much to mention that they support the overall point being made by the debater. My first thought when I see a vote like this is that it could be applied to a debate where one side only used sources that explained the definitions behind certain words, which probably had absolutely no effect on the strength of their overall argument. In my view, that's a problem.

In most cases, it's pretty objective which sources are more reputable and scholarly. Dotgov > dotorg > dotcom for example. There are definitely nuances in there, but I strongly disagree that the voter needs to establish the sources as functioning uniquely in the given debate for them to count.

The reason why it is important to judge how the sources impacted the arguments is for scenarios like where one side used dotgov sources for all his weak arguments, but not have used sources for his strongest arguments, while the other side used wikipedia for all of his strongest arguments. In this scenario, in my opinion, if anything the side who used wikipedia should get sources.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Omg, please don't vote.

And if a judge gives sources vote for the sole reason that dotgov is more reliable than wikipedia and nothing more, then that vote rightfully deserves to be removed.

Wrong. That's more than sufficient justification for a source point.

If source votes were allowed to not take how it affected arguments into consideration, people would just start focusing on making arguments for the sole purpose of attaching a dotgov source to it in attempt to win sources without it having to be a strong argument.

Source votes affect arguments by default. It's beyond stupid - downright pointless - to force voters to drag out that unnecessary hash.
bsh1
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4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.
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EndarkenedRationalist
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4/3/2016 12:10:01 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.

A dotgov is inherently more reliable than a dotcom. Which already means that the argument is, at the very least, logical, since it has sound backing.
bsh1
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4/3/2016 12:15:16 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:10:01 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.

A dotgov is inherently more reliable than a dotcom. Which already means that the argument is, at the very least, logical, since it has sound backing.

No, it's not. This assumes that the USFG does not have an agenda or a bias in the data it presents. This is simply false.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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EndarkenedRationalist
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4/3/2016 12:17:45 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:15:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:10:01 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.

A dotgov is inherently more reliable than a dotcom. Which already means that the argument is, at the very least, logical, since it has sound backing.

No, it's not. This assumes that the USFG does not have an agenda or a bias in the data it presents. This is simply false.

Unbiased sources don't exist. So a dotcom is still always less reliable than a dotgov. A debate about pink vs blue butterflies gets the source point if someone cites a dotgov over a dotcom. Know why? Because, on the broken 7-point system, SOURCES ARE SPEARATE FROM ARGUMENTS.
bsh1
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4/3/2016 12:21:34 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:17:45 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:15:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:10:01 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.

A dotgov is inherently more reliable than a dotcom. Which already means that the argument is, at the very least, logical, since it has sound backing.

No, it's not. This assumes that the USFG does not have an agenda or a bias in the data it presents. This is simply false.

Unbiased sources don't exist. So a dotcom is still always less reliable than a dotgov.

Absolutely not. You might be able to generalize and say ".gov" is usually more reliable than a ".com," but you cannot make an "always" or "inherently" claim. For instance, if I pulled from a Whitehouse.gov page bragging about Obama's achievements, that data is more likely to be cherry-picked and skewed than data from a source like the BBC, Freedom House, or some other reputable, third-party source.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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EndarkenedRationalist
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4/3/2016 12:23:01 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:21:34 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:17:45 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:15:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:10:01 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.

A dotgov is inherently more reliable than a dotcom. Which already means that the argument is, at the very least, logical, since it has sound backing.

No, it's not. This assumes that the USFG does not have an agenda or a bias in the data it presents. This is simply false.

Unbiased sources don't exist. So a dotcom is still always less reliable than a dotgov.

Absolutely not. You might be able to generalize and say ".gov" is usually more reliable than a ".com," but you cannot make an "always" or "inherently" claim. For instance, if I pulled from a Whitehouse.gov page bragging about Obama's achievements, that data is more likely to be cherry-picked and skewed than data from a source like the BBC, Freedom House, or some other reputable, third-party source.

Oh yeah, cause Freedom House and BBC have no biases at all........
bsh1
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4/3/2016 12:42:09 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 12:23:01 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:21:34 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:17:45 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:15:16 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:10:01 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:07:07 AM, bsh1 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 12:03:06 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 4/2/2016 11:04:35 PM, whiteflame wrote:
Again, I disagree. Merely because a sources has a .gov does not make a source objectively better than a .com, but I think that's besides the point.

Yes, it does.

No, it doesn't. Awarding those points just based on whether it's .gov or .com is a terrible reason to award those points.

A dotgov is inherently more reliable than a dotcom. Which already means that the argument is, at the very least, logical, since it has sound backing.

No, it's not. This assumes that the USFG does not have an agenda or a bias in the data it presents. This is simply false.

Unbiased sources don't exist. So a dotcom is still always less reliable than a dotgov.

Absolutely not. You might be able to generalize and say ".gov" is usually more reliable than a ".com," but you cannot make an "always" or "inherently" claim. For instance, if I pulled from a Whitehouse.gov page bragging about Obama's achievements, that data is more likely to be cherry-picked and skewed than data from a source like the BBC, Freedom House, or some other reputable, third-party source.

Oh yeah, cause Freedom House and BBC have no biases at all........

*sigh* My point, Endark, is that no sources are inherently better than others. It is always a comparison of biases. I would prefer a BBC analysis of Obama's Presidency to the Whitehouse's analysis of his Presidency.
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