Debate.org FAQs

Joining Debate.org

Most of the interactive features of Debate.org are for members only. In order to participate in the discussions and debates that occur on the site, you must become a member.
Becoming a member is as simple as completing the registration process. Click here to become a member.
Debate.org is a free service. We make our money from the ads you see on the website.
Signing up with your Facebook account is the simplest way to create an account on Debate.org. You will be seamleassly logged into Debate.org whenever you are logged into Facebook. You can share your activity on Debate.org with your friends on Facebook and invite them to join Debate.org.

Account Profile & Settings

Check to ensure the email address and password you are entering is correct. If you have forgotten your password, utilize the Forgot your password link. If you are still having issues logging in to your account, contact the site president, TUF, or fill out our contact form.
No. In order to protect the integrity of Debate.org, each member is only allowed one active and verified account at a time. If you wish to open a new account, contact the site president, TUF.
Click here to deactivate your account.
If you created a Debate.org account but have not received the verification e-mail, double check your inbox and any spam/trash folders for an e-mail from "verify@debate.org." If you still cannot find the e-mail, log in to your Debate.org account and navigate to debate.org/verify/resend to resend it.
If the code and/or link in the verification e-mail is not working, please contact us.
Cell phone confirmation is only necessary if you wish to vote on debates. The numbers are used to ensure that each debate vote belongs to a unique individual. This helps Debate.org maintain the quality of our debates. Your cell phone number will not be used for any other purposes.
Cell phone confirmation is only necessary if you wish to vote on debates. You can still access all of the other features of the site, including posting in the debates, forums, and opinions without confirming your cell phone number.
If your country and/or cell phone carrier is not listed, you can request to have your account manually confirmed for debate voting. Learn how to do so here.
If you do not want to give out your cell phone number, you can request to have your account manually confirmed for debate voting. Learn how to do so here.
It can take several hours for some carriers to send the confirmation code. If after several hours you do not receive the code, check to ensure that your cell phone number is correct. If you are still having issues, you can request to have your account manually confirmed for debate voting. Learn how to do so here.
Using accurate information on your profile allows your friends to find you on Debate.org. In addition, people with differing opinions can find you for the purpose of challenging you to a debate. Moreover, people with similar opinions can find you and request to be friends.
You should complete your profile so potential friends and debaters know where you stand on the issues. Filling out your profile also helps other members learn about you and your interests.
You can either upload a personal picture, or choose from our avatars. Click here to add your picture.
Click here to manage your email preferences.
Click here to change your privacy settings.
Click here to update your account settings.
Click here to update your public profile.
No. The username you create when you sign up will be the same for the life of your account.
In your account settings, there is a tab labeled "Notifications" that will allow you to control what notifications your receive.
By connecting your account to Facebook, you can bypass the email verification steps, automatically becoming a verified member. You will be seamleassly logged into Debate.org whenever you are logged into Facebook. In addition, your activity on Debate.org can be shared with your friends on Facebook by posting updates within your Facebook feed.
There are two ways to fill out your stance on the BIG Issues. On each of the issue pages, you have the ability to comment directly from that page as long as you are logged in. You can access all of the BIG Issue pages here. You also have tha ability to choose your stance by editing your profile. Within the "Edit Profile" section, select the Issues tab and select your stance and add commentary by clicking on the comment icon.

Community

Debate.org prides itself on intellectual and thought-provoking conversation. Please be courteous and mindful of other members. Do not post anything that is of an explicit, offensive, or harassing nature. When in doubt of whether or not something on the site violates our Code of Conduct, contact a moderator for clarification.
If you witness harassment, contact the Debate.org president, TUF, or a site moderator and let them know. You may also report the member by using the "Report This Profile” function on their profile and selecting the “harassment” choice in the options. In cases of harassment, however, it is usually best to directly contact a moderator to let them know the details of the situation.
Use the “Report This Profile” function on the member’s profile, or if serious enough, contact the Debate.org president, TUF, or a site moderator directly.
Depending on what you need help with, the community can and will often answer questions for you. It is best to review the information in our Help section as well as existing threads within the forums. If you still need help with a particular issue you can contact the site President, TUF. Alternatively, you can contact the Debate.org staff directly by using our contact form.
Fill out this easy-to-use form to contact the Debate.org staff.
The Debate.org President acts as a liaison between the members of the community and Juggle, the company that owns the site. They advocate for the interests of the membership and express what updates the community is generally most interested in. They will also help with anything a member is having problems with and try to resolve any issues that members may have. The President is currently TUF.
Every six months an election thread is posted in the Debate.org forums. Members who have done at least 3 debates, or have made 500 posts, may vote for the member they think would be the best President to represent the community.
To learn about the age, gender, political standing, and other traits of our community, visit the Demographics page.
Community members have created helpful site tutorial and orientation threads to assist new members.
Click here to invite your friends to join Debate.org. When your friends register, we will automatically send them a request to be your friend. If they're already a member of Debate.org, we will send them a friend request on your behalf.
Icon Percentile/Ranking
90th or Higher
80th to 89th
70th to 79th
60th to 69th
50th to 59th
40th to 49th
30th to 39th
20th to 29th
10th to 19th
Not Ranked or Lower than 10th Percentile

Percentiles & Rankings

Each member has a star next to their username which indicates their debating skills as designated by their percentile. Member percentiles are calculated using the number of debates and the win ratio for each member. The higher the percentile, the higher the ranking. For example, a member in the 75th percentile means that 75% of the other members have a lower rank. Members who have not yet debated, are considered 'Not Ranked'. Learn more about percentiles.

Genders and Online Status

Each member also has a gender icon which also indicates their online status. If the icon is gray, then the member is not online. If the icon is in color, then the member is online. There are also several different colored icons, each of which displays a different online status.

Gender Away Busy Offline Online
Female
Male

Examples

Here are several examples of members with different genders, rankings, and online status':

 

 

Debate.org uses a combination of automated, user reported and internal moderation to curate the content on the site. Members have the ability to report content for review by a selected group of community members or, if necessary, a staff member of Juggle.
Airmax1227 and Ore_ele are the site moderators.
One may become a moderator if recommended for this responsibility by an existing moderator.
Yes, you can block members on varying levels. In your account settings, there is a tab labeled "Blocked Members". Within that tab, you provide the username of the member you would like to block. The levels for blocking members are as follows:
  1. • Block a member from accepting one of your open debates.
  2. • Block a member from challenging you to a debate.
  3. • Block a member from requesting to be your friend.
  4. • Block a member from sending you messages.
  5. • Block a member from posting comments and tags on your profile and photos.

Debates

In an online debate on Debate.org, one member challenges another to discuss a topic, pointing out facts and arguing points to support their side of the argument. Each debate is made up of 1-5 rounds in which each member can post their arguments and rebut the arguments made by their opponent. Once both sides have posted their arguments, the members of the community vote for the winner.
Every debate has four cycles:
  1. 1. The Challenge Period - During this period the Instigator begins the debate and either directly challenges another member or leaves it open for the first Contender to accept the challenge.
  2. 2. The Debating Period - During this period each of the two debaters take turns posting their arguments until all of the rounds have been completed.
  3. 3. The Voting Period - It's time for the community to place their vote and pick a winner.
  4. 4. The Post Voting Period - Now that the voting period has ended, a winner has been decided and each of the debater's stats have been updated accordingly.
The "Instigator" is the person who initially starts the debate, and the "Contender" is the person whom accepts the challenge to debate.
You can add debates to your Favorites in order to receive updates about their progress. Simply click the "Add to My Favorites" link at the top of the debate page.
To have a debate deleted, please contact the site president, TUF.
Our members have created several tutorials specifically for this purpose. Consult the DDO tutorial and Debate.org Orientation threads for help. Also be sure to read our article Tips for a Better Debate.
It's easy to start a new debate. Click on "Start a New Debate" under the Debates menu, or click here to start a new debate.
Yes, the Instigator is notified if the Contender refuses the challenge.
If no action is taken by the Contender, then the challenge is automatically cancelled 7 days after being issued, and the Instigator is notified. The Instigator may also change their opponent at anytime during the challenge period by clicking the Edit link on the debate's main page.
Even if you don't have time to leave a full response, DO NOT forfeit a round. Forfeiting a round destroys your credibility and makes it less likely that voters will vote for you. If you can't post a full response, write as much as you can, and leave a simple sentence stating that you are unable to post a full argument and will return for the next round. This lets your opponent know that you still wish to participate in the debate and allows them to elaborate their argument. If you or your opponent have forfeited a round and you would like to draw that to the attention of voters, post a link in this forum thread.
Click here to learn how to add photos to your debates.
Click here to learn how to add a YouTube video to your debate.
When inputting a debate argument, click on the "Rich Text" link to the left of the Argument box to display text editing options.
To check your spelling when inputting a debate argument, click on the "Check Your Spelling" link below the Argument box.
In order to vote, we require all members to complete at least 3 debates and verify their account via their mobile phone. This is done to protect the integrity of the debates by ensuring that each vote belongs to a single unique individual. Once you successfully complete 3 debates and confirm your cell phone number, you will have complete access to the voting features. Additionally, members are not allowed to vote on their own debates.
If you do not have a cell phone, you can request to have your account manually confirmed for debate voting. You will be required to complete 3 debates before voting privileges can be granted. Learn how to do so here.
We require members to complete 3 debates prior to being granted voting access because it ensures that all voters have some relevant debate experience. In addition, it helps protect the integrity of debate voting by ensuring only legitimate accounts have voting privileges.
The Instigator (the person who starts the debate) chooses the voting period. Voting periods range from 3 days to 6 months.
If your debate is in the Voting Period and no one has voted on it yet, you can post it here to garner more attention from voters.
Every vote needs to have every point awarded explained in the RFD (Reason for Decision). The more points being awarded, the more thorough the RFD needs to be. Be as thoughtful and as objective as possible while voting. Members that regularly display poor voting conduct by not offering a proper RFD (detailed explanation of their vote) may lose their voting privileges. For further explanation you can read our help article How to Vote.
"Vote bombing" is when a vote is cast in one or more categories without sufficient supporting reasons in the mandatory Reasons for Decisions (RFD) box. In essence, vote bombing is unfair or unfounded voting.
If you witness your or another member's debate being vote bombed, please post a link to it here. Doing so assists in obtaining counter-votes for obvious vote bombs, and makes the Debate.org President aware of unfair voting conduct so he can take appropriate action if necessary.
Sources and references are measured by how well they speak directly to the claims of the debater, whether the sources are factual, whether the source is genuine expert opinion or just opinion, and whether the source linked has its own reliable references.
In a debate, you will be judged on proper spelling and grammar, along with spacing, font size, and colors. Most voters ignore these types of errors unless they are bad enough to interfere with reading and understanding the debate.
Reasons for Decision (RFD) are not always required to submit a vote. However, voting without an adequate RFD can be viewed as "vote bombing" or voting unfairly. If you are suspected of unfair voting behavior, you could lose your voting privileges. To be safe, always supply Reasons for Your Voting Decision.
On a debate page, there are three tabs at the top of the debate round arguments. The second tab is labeled "Comments". Click on that tab to post a comment on the debate.

Opinions

Anyone can post in the Opinions section, including all Debate.org members and anonymous users who do not have a Debate.org account.
Questions, arguments, and comments posted in the Opinions section of Debate.org first pass through a system of automated filters. Rejected and approved content is then manually reviewed by an internal team of moderators.
Questions, arguments, and comments posted in the Opinions section of Debate.org first pass through a system of automated filters. If your content is 'flagged' by these filters or by another member, whether for inappropriate language or excessive grammar and spelling mistakes, it is then reviewed by an internal team of moderators.
To report an Opinion question, click the "Report Topic" link in the upper left corner of the page. To report an Opinion argument, click the "Report Post" link in the bottom right corner of the argument.
An "Opinion" topic on Debate.org is a form of discussion that poses questions to the community in the form of a yes/no question. These questions allow members to pick a side and provide their opinion. Members can chime in and reply to each other's arguments and attempt to sway those on the opposing side.
Liking an argument within the Opinions section shows your support for that particular argument. It will also notify the author of the argument that you gave them a thumbs up.
There are two ways to find existing Opinion topics. First, you can use the search bar at the top and search for the main keywords in your question. That will return any matching Opinions or related content to the topic. Second, you can begin typing your question in the "Ask Your Question" module at the top of the Opinions page. An autocomplete window will display and let you know if your question, or one similar, already exists.

Forums

You may report your forum post by clicking "Report Post" in the upper right hand corner of your post. Please provide a brief explanation in the report comments. Alternatively, you may contact a moderator directly to request that your post be deleted.
Members can’t edit their own posts. They may, however, ask a moderator to edit it for them if there is a valid reason to do so. In general, members should be sure to review and proofread their posts, as moderators will not likely edit for spelling and grammar.
"Nac" means “Not All Caps.” Posts in the forums can’t contain all capital letters. Therefore, whenever a post would otherwise contain all capital letters, members will include “nac,” so that they can submit the post.
Mafia is a forum game played in the "Games" forum. It pits two teams, an informed minority and an uninformed majority, against one other in order to determine a winner. Games of Mafia are usually always taking place, and sign-ups for new games happen almost every week.
To receive updates every time someone posts in a particular forum thread, simply add that thread to your Favorites by clicking on the "Favorite" link in the upper right corner of the thread.
To reply to an individual post in a thread, simply click the "Reply & Quote" link in the upper rand hand corner of that post.
To edit text in the forums, simply use the Bold, Italics, and Underline buttons located below the bottom right corner of the text box. Highlight the text you wish to edit, and then click the appropriate icon.
When creating a new forum post, there is an "Edit my Signature" link. Click that link to fill out/edit your signature for that post and all future posts.