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On the matter of Vote Moderation and Voting

Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.
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PetersSmith
Posts: 5,860
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4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,079
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4/16/2016 7:06:34 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?

http://www.debate.org...
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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PetersSmith
Posts: 5,860
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4/16/2016 7:08:53 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 7:06:34 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?

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

Figures
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
Rosalie
Posts: 4,628
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4/16/2016 7:11:21 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 7:08:53 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 7:06:34 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?

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

Figures

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" We need more videos of cat's playing the piano on the internet" - My art professor.

"Criticism is easier to take when you realize that the only people who aren't criticized are those who don't take risks." - Donald Trump
Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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4/16/2016 8:42:55 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?

No, it is not in response to anyone in specific. It's a general response to the 'lack of awareness' of the voting standards and why votes are generally removed.

A majority of the complaints on this matter stem from users who place votes that are removed for reasons they are unaware of or have yet to fully understand. The aim of this OP is to inform those who are unaware of the simple measures one can take to avoid having their votes removed.
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Blade-of-Truth
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4/16/2016 8:44:45 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 7:06:34 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?

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

This was certainly not in response to that. This is more tuned towards newer members who create threads railing against the vote moderation team after they've had a vote removed for a reason that, in my opinion, can be easily avoided after reading this OP.
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Blade-of-Truth
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4/16/2016 8:49:05 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 7:11:21 PM, Rosalie wrote:
At 4/16/2016 7:08:53 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 7:06:34 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:58:42 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/16/2016 6:52:43 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again:

1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.

2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.

******************

As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded, or not being *specific* enough. A mere statement that one side *had* better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement that one side *did* better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP.

A good rule of thumb is this: If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough.

The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough:

"By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if it is reported.

Ultimately, the key to success when placing an RFD is to provide specific references or examples of the key arguments/rebuttals that impacted your decision. That's the secret to avoiding your vote being removed for not being *specific* enough. If you say, "Con defeated Pro's arguments", the vote will be removed. However, a simple fix is merely to provide specific references that show both the audience and debaters that you recognize the key issues. A better vote would state, for example, "In R2 Con was able to successfully refute Pro's argument X by stating how Y directly negates any harm that would arise from X, Pro never responds to this for the remainder of the debate, thus Con defeats this point from Pro."

*****************

As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.

This moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. We're not policing RFDs to see if we agree with their reasoning; We're only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.

Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because Airmax, whiteflame, or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), we generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass.

***************

As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it.

That's all. As always, I welcome feedback.

Is this in response to something or someone specific?

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

Figures

^ my thoughts.

One specific issue is not what is being addressed by the OP here, although I can understand how that debate would be perceived as relevant to this discussion. It isn't though. If it was, I would have cited that debate and tailored the OP to reference it specifically. That debate specifically is an entirely different issue that I'd be more than happy to discuss at a later time, but for now, the focus is intended to be a general one addressing the continuous issue of newer members misunderstanding or unaware of the voting standards we practice here and how to avoid, what I see as, an easily correctable issue.
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Hayd
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4/16/2016 10:44:30 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I agree except when you say that how to improve is the entire point of having an RFD system. While advice and feedback is good to have, it is in no way essential to an RFD. An RFD must explain why you voted, giving advice is not a reason for why you voted. We have an RFD system so that people don't give crap votes that let down all the hard work the debaters put into a debate.
tejretics
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4/17/2016 4:56:35 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 10:44:30 PM, Hayd wrote:
I agree except when you say that how to improve is the entire point of having an RFD system. While advice and feedback is good to have, it is in no way essential to an RFD. An RFD must explain why you voted, giving advice is not a reason for why you voted. We have an RFD system so that people don't give crap votes that let down all the hard work the debaters put into a debate.

+1
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Blade-of-Truth
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4/17/2016 6:17:25 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/16/2016 10:44:30 PM, Hayd wrote:
I agree except when you say that how to improve is the entire point of having an RFD system. While advice and feedback is good to have, it is in no way essential to an RFD. An RFD must explain why you voted, giving advice is not a reason for why you voted. We have an RFD system so that people don't give crap votes that let down all the hard work the debaters put into a debate.

That's a perfectly valid point, and I do agree. At the end of the day, all that is necessary for an RFD is to explain your reasoning behind your decision.

The feedback part was a Freudian slip.
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