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Debate Score:39
Arguments:19
Total Votes:51
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What to do with Time Wasting Debates?

A valid debate

We have all come across debates that we consider a waste of our time for various reasons. There has been some discussion as to what should be done about this situation. Some people have mentioned age restrictions, others have advocated creating rules that are more articulate in defining what constitutes a valid debate and still other support placing the burden on the members themselves.

In this debate, I will try to analyze these three options. If you have other options, please weigh in with your point of view below. If you favor a particular solution, but don't want to debate it, just vote for your favorite. If you find this debate to be a futile exercise, there are more debates on this site to chose from; I'm confident that you'll find one that interests you.

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[Place Burden on Members]:

If the community polices itself it can enforce the rules in various way. One way is to complain to the system administrator who would then review each individual case and either delete the offending debate or "veto" the complaint. Another way is to be able to up/down vote the debate itself (not just the arguments themselves). The path of least resistance, however, is just to ignore the debate.

Side: police thyself
3 points

I like this idea better than the others that have been proposed. It gives people the freedom to choose the debates they want to respond to (and pay attention to), but at the same time, it doesn't restrict people from participating in debates that other people might consider a waste of time.

Side: police thyself

That is exactly my point also. Thanks ;) One up vote.

Side: police thyself

Another way to enforce the rules is to find out where the violator lives and beat him with a wet noodle! ;)

Side: police thyself

[Defining "Valid Debate"]:

We would first need to come up with a definition for what constitutes a valid debate. One way to do this is to have the system administrators define what constitutes a valid debate. Another way is to have the community decide. Regardless of the method used, there will be people who will not agree with the definition.

Once the definition is in place, it will need to be enforced. One way is to have a system administrator review each and every debate before allowing it to be posted. Another way to enforce the rules is to write software that would do the reviewing (this is difficult at best). Yet another way is to have the community police itself. I doubt options one and two are viable so I'll discuss the third option, the community polices itself. This falls under the category of placing the burden on the members.

Side: Define Valid
1 point

Moderation

I'd like to add a fourth option, which is to appoint moderators who's sole purpose are to ensure that debates are acceptable. The moderators cannot stop debates purely because they don't support the views, but only intervene when debates go past the levels of acceptability.

I'm not a fan of moderation in general, but when it is required (as I believe it's coming to be here) it can be a very good way to instantly and efficiently deal with any problems. And of course, moderators are directly answerable to the community.

Side: Moderation

I think this falls under [Defining "Valid Debate"]:

Since a moderator needs a criteria for labeling a debate as unacceptable, we would first need to come up with a definition for what constitutes a valid (acceptable) debate.

Side: Moderation
1 point

I would tend to agree, but part of me also thinks that moderators should be allowed to make judgement calls rather than follow the letter of the law. There should be general rules for what strictly isn't cricket, but in general moderators should be able to make the judgement calls to allow the site to be able to respond quickly to new and different types of use.

I also find it ironic that the guy responsible for the majority of the time wasting debates is that one who is currently complaining about it.

Side: Moderation
1 point

Time wasting debates does not make sense.If it is time wasting why debate it .People dont have time to waste.LOL

Side: Moderation
1 point

How about, if u don't even bother to check them out? Some people might think they aren't time wasting but if it's time wasting for u, don't even bother about it :)

Side: Moderation
-1 points

[Age Restrictions]:

This site doesn't have a mechanism to determine someone's true age. To put such a mechanism in place would discourage people to join. One way to verify age is to have them enter a valid credit card number (or something) for age verification. Would you join under these terms? Even so, this mechanism can be easily defeated by using someone else's ID. Also, this mechanism can't be used to verify mental age (maturity).

Even if the site could verify age, you will still come across debates that are a waste of your time. In this scenario, most people would just move on because responding means wasting even more of your time. Complaining to the system administrator about something he has little control over is also not very productive.

Side: Mental capacity
4 points

I say boo to age restrictions...young people have opinions to offer as well and a different perspective

Side: Statutory debate

I agree 100%.

I'm not complaining about the debates. I'm explaining that "The path of least resistance, however, is just to ignore the debate" and move on. Trying to force one's point of view is time consuming and futile. Futile because trying to define what constitutes a valid debate is hard at best because everyone has their opinions about that. For someone to think that only their view of what constitutes a valid debate is right, is presumptuous.

The best one could hope for "is to be able to up/down vote the debate itself (not just the arguments themselves)."

Side: Statutory debate
qrtrhrskid(40) Disputed
2 points

At what age would you allow someone to join? Considering a lot of people seem to consider some (many? a few?) of your debates to be a waste of time, that would likely preclude my joining, since I'm younger than you say you are. I'd like to think I'd be allowed to express my opinion on this site in spite of that fact.

I do not think that I would have joined CD if I'd had to give out my credit card number or other personal information. I didn't even like getting my credit thing online, much less giving it out for a "fun" site like this.

As a result, I'd say allowing or not allowing a person to participate on this site because of their age is not the optimal way to proceed.

Side: Statutory debate

I think you should be allowed to express your opinion on this site in spite of your age. Here's what I wrote to Xaeon.

I'm not complaining about the debates. I'm explaining that "The path of least resistance, however, is just to ignore the debate" and move on. Trying to force one's point of view is time consuming and futile. Futile because trying to define what constitutes a valid debate is hard at best because everyone has their opinions about that. For someone to think that only their view of what constitutes a valid debate is right, is presumptuous.

The best one could hope for "is to be able to up/down vote the debate itself (not just the arguments themselves)."

Side: Statutory debate
repubgal(336) Disputed
2 points

Sorry, I am NOT entering my credit card number on this site...Where there is a will there is a way... :[

Side: Statutory debate

Huh? I thought that where there's a will there are relatives? ;)

Side: Statutory debate