Instigator / Pro



The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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Better arguments
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Better legibility
Better conduct

After 2 votes and with 6 points ahead, the winner is...

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Contender / Con


DEFINITIONS: Per MisterChris' retirement announcement of last year, the current Mod team is composed as follows:

Head mod: whiteflame
Deputy mod: SupaDudz

MODERATION TEAM shall be defined as "whiteflame and SupaDudz."

NEGLECT shall be defined as a verb meaning "To fail to care for or attend to something. To fail to do or carry out something due to oversight or carelessness."

DUTY shall be defined as a noun meaning "The state of being at work and responsible for or doing a particular task."

FAIRLY shall be defined as an adverb meaning "Honestly; properly."

SUPERVISE shall be defined as a verb meaning "To oversee or direct a task or organization."

The FIRST DART PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION is that election authorized by MisterChris's September of 2021 MEEP "MEEP: Reformed ban policy & DebateArt President" approved by the majority of DebateArt voters on Sept 29th, 2021.

Burden of Proof is shared.

PRO must show that whiteflame and SupaDudz neglected their duties to oversee a free and fair election.
CON must show that whiteflame and SupaDudz carried out their election duties properly.

PRO is requesting sincere and friendly engagement on this subject.
No trolls or kritiks, please.

- RULES --
1. Forfeit=auto loss
2. Sources may be merely linked in debate as long as citations are listed in comments
3. For all relevant terms, PRO and CON should agree to commonplace understandings that fit within the rational context of this resolution and debate

Round 1
Thx, Whiteflame!


NOTE to VOTERS: please be advised that this debate is disinterested in the dramas and personalities of the FIRST DART PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.  It's author voted against the MEEP that authorized that election and has little enough investment in that election's outcome.  The question before us is:  Didn't Moderators fail to enforce the election rules as written in the SEPT '21 MEEP  and as Mods are bound to by DART's published Terms of Service?


P1: The moderation team committed in Sept. 2021 to "monitor and enforce the campaigning rules" as defined by the MEEP approving the First DART presidential election"
P2: The moderation team failed to abide by those rules set out in that democratically authorized MEEP
C1: Therefore, the moderation team neglected their duty to fairly supervise the election.
    • P1
      • Let's agree that DART's Moderation team is duty bound by their own published rules to enforce MEEPs as voted
        • DART's MODERATON OVERVIEW states:
          • "Mods have complete discretion in the enforcement and interpretation of the site rules, with all exceptions stated in these terms"
          • One of those exceptions listed is the MEEP- Mods' submission of policy proposals, including Mod policies, to site-wide referenda
            • "Moderation may submit questions and proposals regarding moderation policy, voting policy, and the code of conduct to Moderation Engagement and Enactment Processes (MEEPs). MEEPs are binding referenda"
              • Since ordinary DART members are already bound by Moderator discretion, this statement primarily indicates the obligation by the Moderation team to honor these referenda.
              • No Mod exemptions from these binding referenda are published in any rules on this site, although at least one Mod currently claims such an exemption.
      • Therefore, the democratically voted MEEP: Reformed ban policy & DebateArt President of Sept 21 bound Mods to the conduct defined therein including (but not limited to) these election rules:
        1. The President shall be elected for a yearly term each December
        2. to be formally instated January 1st of the following year.
        3. The first three weeks of December will be dedicated to optional campaigning,
        4. the rest of the month will be dedicated to the election process,
        5. all of which will be overseen and managed by moderation.
  • P2
    • But the Moderation team violated four out of five of these obligations.
      • The President was not elected in December but January
      • The President was not instated on January 1st but 20 days later on Jan 21st
      • The first 3 weeks of December were dedicated to optional campaigning with minimal participation from the Mod team, but
      • The rest of the month (Dec 22nd- Dec 31st) was not dedicated to the election process
        • Instead, on Dec 24th,  two days after the moderation team was required to begin that voting process, the Moderation team published this announcement
DART Presidential Election
Greetings DART!
The presidential process will begin starting Dec 27th.
From December 27th to January 16th, any user may nominate themselves. From that time, users may campaign for themselves following the regulation set.
On January 17th, the preliminary voting stage will begin, where the top three candidates move on to the general election
On January 20th, the final voting stage will begin, where a simple majority vote decides the president
On January 21st, the president is inaugurated
Hope everyone has a safe and happy holidays
Godspeed, SupaDudz
          • That is- the voting period was moved by Moderators AFTER THE VOTING STARTED and from Dec 22-Dec31st to Jan 17th-Jan 21st
          • That is- the voting period was reduced AFTER THE VOTING STARTED from nine days to 3+1 days
        • And the moderation team did not oversee and manage the election as  they were explicitly charged to do.
          • Neither Mod makes any post to this site between Dec 30- Dec 03.  It seems reasonable to conclude that both mods were generally absent at the time the MEEP required them to "oversee and manage" the  start of the election. 
          • Whiteflame makes no posts between Dec 7th and Dec 19th- a 12 day gap
          • SupaDudz confirms his awareness that the election is in progress and affirms his commitment to the Sept. '21  MEEP on Dec 6th with a statement "All rules relating to the president are in such document:" and then Supa links to the MEEP
            • Sup then states that he plans to be busy and posts only once over the next two weeks.
          • Supadudz confirms his negligence on Dec 24th
            • "I will take responsibility for this issue. I was overburdened with my exam finals that the process simply fled my mind as it did with the whole moderation teams. It was a hectic December and I simply did not have time to balance my schedule to run a full process"
  • C1
    • I ask VOTERs for their best judgement here.
      • Would you ever call an election free and fair if the governing body were to change the voting days and the amount of time allowed for voting after the campaigning was done and the voting was already required to have begun?
      • Objectively, can't we agree that any election official guilty of such conduct must be considered negligent?
      • Objectively, can't we agree  that changing the election rules mid-election is never proper election conduct and therefore inherently UNFAIR according to this debate's definition of  FAIRLY as  "honestly, properly"?
      • If we are in agreement here, then "NEGLECTED their DUTY to FAIRLY SUPERVISE" stands proven.


P1: Failure to challenge blatant election tampering is neglect of duty in any election supervisor
P2: Mods failed to challenge blatant election tampering
C2: Therefore, the moderation team neglected their duty to fairly supervise the election
    • P1
    • P2
      • "recruiting people outside the site to vote for a certain candidate" is the most charitable possible interpretation of the blatant  appearance of  two users during the voting period:
        • Airmaxfan2000
          • who was quickly banned as a multi-account.  Who's multi-account is not stated although the account name does indicate one possible clue.
        • Airmaxgoon1994
          • is created immediately after Airmaxfan2000
            • is permitted to vote in the election with first post
            • only posts 3 times, all endorsing the same candidate indicated by the username
              • user never returns to this site for any other purpose
              • no log of this ban appears in the Public Moderation Log.
            • This username's vote is included, even in the final tally, in spite of blatant tampering and likely multi-accounting (DART's CODE of CONDUCT  prohibits "Multi-accounting and any action indistinguishable from it." 
              • Since Airmaxfan2000's appearance was ruled as prohibited multi-accounting we should all agree that the immediate and subsequent appearance of Airmaxgoon1994 must at least qualify as prohibited by the standard of "indistinguishable from multi-accounting."
    • C2
      • Again, I appeal to the VOTER's good judgement,
        • Objectively, can't we agree that Airmaxgoon1994 is a pretty blatant proof of election tampering as the moderation team itself defined ELECTION TAMPERING  for the purposes of this election and that the Mod team failed to address this blatant election tampering?
        • If we can agree that the Mod team failed to spot blatant election tampering, then "NEGLECTED their DUTY to FAIRLY SUPERVISE" stands proven.

P1:  Introducing uncertainty into the election process is always improper behavior in the role of election supervisor 
P2: By overriding existing election law the Mod team has introduced uncertainty regarding  the laws governing Presidential election
C3:  Therefore, the moderation team neglected their duty to fairly supervise the election
  • P1
    • Let's agree that the purpose of election supervision is to improve confidence in the election and that any uncertainty works to undermine  that purpose.
  • P2
    • By changing election law at will, the moderation team has left the rules governing future DART elections entirely uncertain.
      • For example, will the 2022 election be held beginning Dec 1st, or will the election start time again depend on the personal satisfaction of the moderation team? 
        • If the latter, then hasn't the precedent been set that the moderation team possesses the power to call an election any time they please?
          • Say that moderators are frustrated with the incumbent president- precedent suggests that mods now possess the authority  move up the date of the election in order to shorten that president's term.
        • Shall the current President's tenure be truncated to Dec 1st? 
          • Or is the MEEP now permanently incorrect? 
          • And if the moderation team's actions have made part of any MEEP permanently incorrect, doesn't the mod team have some urgent obligation to explain and correct the contradictory instructions?
            • Will there be a new MEEP?
      • Also for example, will voting be nine days as democratically defined in the MEEP on presidential voting or will voting be 3+1 days just because SupaDudz says so?
  • C3
    • Again, I ask VOTERs-
      • Objectively,  can't we agree that by unauthorized intervention, the moderation team introduced uncertainties into the established election process that remain unaddressed, uncorrected, and unexplained?
      • If we agree that the DART community can't tell right now how next year's election will work  because of Mod's irregular and unauthorized intervention mid-election, then "NEGLECTED their DUTY to FAIRLY SUPERVISE" stands proven once again.

  • The moderation team can't accurately deny that they failed to "monitor and enforce the campaigning rules"  as established by MisterChris in the Sept '21 MEEP and authorized by the majority of DART voters on Sept 29th.
I look forward to CON's round ONE reply.

Saying this up front: this is my long round. I will endeavor to keep future rounds short, but as I'm splitting this round between my case and rebuttal, there was a good deal to cover. Also, I don’t feel the need to introduce additional sources this round, as my opponent has been gracious enough to furnish the relevant ones. Also also, I'm going to avoid personalizing this, hence I'll stick to the third person when referencing moderation despite personally heading up moderation.

Burdens Analysis

The burdens in the description are agreed but lacking. To demonstrate that moderation "neglected their duties to oversee a free and fair election", Pro must show both of the following:

1) There was a clear course of action that both could have been followed and, if it had, would have upheld the duties of moderation (i.e. there must be a bar that moderation could feasibly have reached that would have ensured the mods were dutiful)
2) That moderation, in taking a distinct course of action, neglected their duties (i.e. the actions the mods took fell some distance below that bar)

By contrast, to show that moderation "carried out their election duties properly", my burden is to show that the actions moderation took upheld their duties. If voters should conclude that it is unclear what the best course of action was during the election, or that there was no obviously better choice, then moderation necessarily carried out their election duties properly.

Just one contention from me:

C1: Paramount Duties

As Pro correctly stated, this was the first DART presidential election and, thus, a proof of concept. The very fact of the MEEP shows that the rules and standards for said election were in flux, with the MEEP providing a baseline. The essential goals of any set of rules chosen were to ensure that the election was both representative of those who were actively interested in participating (both as voters and as candidates) and that the results of said election could be trusted.

In both respects, moderation upheld their duties. Candidates were given ample time (more time than initially promised) to build and defend their platforms in open discussions. Candidates actively used this extra time to engage in more extensive discussion with voters, compare themselves with other candidates, and, in some cases, end their campaigns. Voters were given ample time to see those platforms and ask questions of the candidates. The resulting election showcased extensive participation DA members, with 43 voters and a gap of 8 between the leading candidates, more than sufficient for all parties involved to accept the outcome.

Ensuring this would have been uncertain had the election run on time. The head mod in charge at the time of the MEEP, MisterChris, stepped down before the election, which was run by other moderators. The schedule set by the former head moderator in advance of the election, which necessarily was set without the ability to fully anticipate scheduling conflicts, would not have allowed for active moderator supervision during said election. Life doesn’t always conform to expectations. In a perfect world, there would be no conflict between time spent on the site and time spent off of it, but this is not a perfect world. If this is what resulted, that failure would have stood as the single greatest dereliction of duty for moderation, yielding an outcome that may have called the whole election into question for a substantial portion of active membership and shaking confidence both in the president and in moderation, thus neutering the capacity of the president to function as an intermediary between membership and moderation.

Onto rebuttals. I’ll start with an overview:


Pro does not set any standards for the key terms in the resolution, including what constitutes neglect of duty and what establishes a lack of fair supervision. The terms are defined, yet Pro does not define a brink to establish when moderators are no longer behaving responsibly (as his definition for “duty” requires), nor when proper/honest etiquette has not been met (as his definition for “fairly” requires). He also provides no mechanism for weighing duties against one another, and as such, provides no means by which to evaluate neglect across all the duties of moderation. Without this, at best, he can establish neglect of duty for individual duties, which would not satisfy the resolution, as the resolution requires a holistic evaluation of moderation's duties before, during and after this election and not simply cherry-picking individual onuses and evaluating them in a vacuum.


Pro’s arguments rely on the assumption that, if moderation changes acts in a way that bucks previous trends or self-imposed limitations/standards, then moderation has failed in their duty and have not acted fairly in those instances. Pro even cites established standards for moderator discretion, but then treats general exceptions to that discretion as absolute in all details. To him, any statements made by moderation and any elements of a MEEP are functionally immutable and must be implemented to the letter. Con disagrees. As with any referendum, circumstances change, whether they regard personal conflicts or recognition of deficits within the MEEP itself. Moderation necessarily must be able to implement changes to fulfill their duty to the site. Moderation aims to address deficits in their language and actions where they see them. Discretion exists largely for that purpose: to address unanticipated issues or those too complex to reasonably establish in writing. Any instance in which moderation recognizes those deficits and accounts for them is, in fact, upholding their duty and acting fairly, and failing to do so is neglectful.



Pro doesn’t establish that there was a duty to follow the cited MEEP to the letter – the quote that “MEEPs are binding referenda” is distinct from "every aspect of a MEEP must be followed regardless of changing circumstances." He doesn’t establish that doing so would have even been preferable, as this argument has no impact. This argument hardly even relates to the definitions of the central terms; Pro even cites the post where the changes were publicly stated, confirming that SupaDudz took responsibility for the delay in the process, both honestly and properly addressing it. Being two days later than the initially proposed start of the election doesn’t change that.

And yet, Pro asks voters to fill in the blanks, requiring them to determine whether a MEEP is an absolute referendum that binds moderators to every word when it passes, and to determine whether moderation best meets its duties and is at its most fair when it always treats referenda as absolute. Pro has failed to argue that either is true, so even if you buy his arguments, he fails to affirm the resolution.


On the point of preventing election tampering, turn this against Pro. He argues that moderation should have stuck to the specific timeframe of the MEEP, but this would have resigned moderation to limited capacities for supervise said election. As such, any mod intervention would have been delayed or absent if the timeframe was enforced.

On the vote in question, Pro establishes no impact to keeping this particular vote, and given the difference in vote totals (1 vote removal does not erase an 8 vote difference), there is none.

Pro calls the vote “election tampering,” but does not support that assessment. The Airmaxgoon1994 account and the Airmaxfan2000account share an IP address and a device, hence one was banned, and its vote not counted. Neither shares an IP address or device with another member. So, let’s read that rule again, in full:

"Election tampering (which is defined as recruiting people outside the site to vote for a certain candidate) is illegal and WILL result in the votes used by manipulation to be disqualified"

The vote cast to manipulate the outcome via multi-accounting (e.g. the banned account) were disqualified. Pro acknowledges and cites this. The other account was afforded a vote just like anyone else. Anyone was welcome to vote – as such, issues regarding the activity of said account before, during and after the election are irrelevant.


Pro excoriates moderation for not having addressed a future concern. Clarification of these timeframes would be helpful, but as Airmax1227 is set to remain in office for many more months, Pro does not explain why moderation must already have clarified them. Further, Pro provides a solution to this problem that could occur any time before Airmax1227’s term ends: a future MEEP. Pro never establishes why that MEEP must already have been run for moderation to fulfill their duties. Pro also never impacts this point.

Finally, cross-apply my arguments about discretion, as they apply particularly well on points about what moderation should do in the future.

Back over to Pro.
Round 2
Thx, Whiteflame!


  • PROVED.  The MEEP presented that clear course of action.  Mods were bound to uphold those rules, and failing that, mods could have foreseen their scheduling conflicts and democratically requested a move, and failing that, Mods could have started the election on Dec 1st  and warned that they would have to catch up on campaign infractions after Christmas and failing that, Mods could have just declared voting open on Dec 24th and allowed the vote to proceed according to the established rules. 
  • "fell some distance" is CON's equivocation.
    • The MEEP is the bar or at least best effort to abide by that MEEP.
      • Mods own claim that they are not bound by the MEEP disproves best effort easily enough and
      • just the fact  that no President was declared on Jan 1st as required by the MEEP demonstrates "below the bar." 
  • The MEEP was that clear course of action authorized by DART voters, whether there an "obviously better" choice in Mods' opinion should have been irrelevant to Mod's obligations.  Mods ought not to feel at liberty to prefer their own choices to the expressed choices of the majority of DART voters

  • Please document all instances where Mods claimed PROOF of CONCEPT prior to the election.  
    • Necessarily, we will disregard any such claims during or after Dec 1st.
    • PROOF itself means "test" or "trial" run, and therefore unofficial.
    • PROOF OF CONCEPT is by definition incomplete, a pilot process and there unofficial.
  • Yet nothing before this suggests that Mods considers the results unofficial in spite of the irregularities.
    • In fact, the election was written to "mimic the  Hall of Fame process."
      • And so PROOF of CONCEPT  would seem  both unwarranted and disproved
  • Obviously, re-writing the election rules five sixths of the way through renders any election so untrustworthy as to override any considerations regarding participation.
    • Let's agree Mods had a duty to consider participation before Dec 1st
    • but by Dec 24th, it was too late for Mods to legitimately take action.
  • There was no good reason why Mods could not have run the same campaign beginning Dec 1st. in keeping with the MEEP defined timeline. 
The schedule set by the former head moderator would not have allowed for active moderator supervision during said election.
  • Entirely foreseeable by Mods in Sept and yet unaddressed for 8 weeks.
  • MisterChris stepped down on the same day as the MEEP was published.  That was the time for responsible moderators to act.
    • CON concedes that moderators were inactive in December due to scheduling conflicts, and therefore NEGLECT stands proven.

  • False, the DART TERMS of SERVICE and the MEEPs as written and enforced by the Mod team set the standards against which Mods failed.


  •  False. MEEPs are not trends or self-imposed standard they are binding referenda according to DART's TERM of SERVICE
    • CON can't claim that finals in December were unanticipated.
    • The chief complexity was Mods' own lack of participation. 
    • It can't be fair for Mods to claim discretionary powers to solve a problem Mods themselves created

  • Pro doesn’t establish that there was a duty to follow the cited MEEP to the letter....
  • False
    • BINDING means " Imposing stipulations or requirements that must be honoured."  
      • BINDING is not distinct from "MEEPs must be followed."  The law is BINDING regardless of changing circumstances.
        • Mod's duty was well-established
      • CON's claim here stands disproved.
He doesn’t establish that doing so would have even been preferable....
  • Preferable in who's judgement?  Mod's judgement, of course. 
    • The question is NOT whether members are happier with Airmax1227 over RationalMadman for president.
    • The question is whether or not Mods disrespected the established, published judgement of DART membership and then decided that some other rules were "preferable." 
  • Mods personal preferences should never have entered into it.
  • Post-facto confession is not a responsible substitute for an honest and proper execution of the MEEPs.  
    • SupaDudz honestly admits to screwing up but that should not be mistaken for an honest or proper execution of the MEEP, which duty he was bound to perform and he admits he failed negligently. 
      • SupaDudz's admission proves PRO's thesis- at least one Moderator admits they were paying no attention to the election in progress.
        • I was overburdened with my exam finals that the process simply fled my mind as it did with the whole moderation teams. It was a hectic December and I simply did not have time to balance my schedule to run a full process
        • We can empathize with Mods' hectic  schedule all day without contradicting standard NEGLIGENCE.
        • Let's agree that busy decembers are entirely predictable in academia, certainly by the end of September, schedules and syllabi are sufficiently established that any hectic December should have been easily predicted and corrected in October or November.  
        • Let's agree that waiting until AFTER the predictable rush of Finals was over, indeed on Dec 24th, well that was long past the correct and proper time to re-write the rules so DART might accommodate Mod's busy schedules. 
          • "The election fled Mod's minds" is negligence in a commonplace and familiar form.
            • We can understand why a busy shopper might forget her dog in the summer-hot car but that doesn't make her any less negligent.  She has neglected her bound duty as a pet owner.  Yes or No?
            • We can understand why a busy student might forget about writing a final paper but that doesn't make the student any less negligent.  The student has  failed his duty to complete the curriculum.  Yes or No?
        • SupaDudz admits NEGLECT and implicates the entire Mod team.
          • If we believe SupaDudz here, neglect stand PROVEN.
Being two days later than the initially proposed start of the election doesn’t change that.
  • But me and the most regular DART members had been campaigning for weeks! 
  • The more honest and fair interpretation of events is that Moderators didn't show up until the 24th day of what was promised to be a 31 day event.
Pro asks voters to fill in the blanks, requiring them to determine whether a MEEP is an absolute referendum that binds moderators to every word when it passes,
and to determine whether mods best meets its duties and is at its most fair when it always treats referenda as absolute.
  • Again, that's "best" as in Moderator's best judgement which Moderator's claim is superior to DART's best judgement and which Moderators claim may override established, voted MEEPs without any consultation or even notice.
    • DART's best judgement had been expressed in September.
Pro has failed to argue that either is true,
  • Quite false.  ARG1:P1 clearly argues the former, that MEEPs are binding based on DART's published TERMS of SERVICE

  • CON admits that Mods were so absent during the pre-established time of the election that their capacities to moderate were limited.
    • If we believe CON here, NEGLIGENCE stands proven.
  • The impact is voting fraud.  Voting fraud does not need to overturn an election to be violative and anti-democratic.
  • VOTERS aren't being asked to evaluate the outcome of the election, only whether or not Mods NEGLECTED their duties to keep voters honest.
  • The standard set by Mods for FRAUD was " recruiting people outside the site to vote for a certain candidate."   
    • CON's own testimony confirms that at least one person came from outside the site, loudly declaring their intention to vote for a certain person, voted and left without further participation and CON did not find that his own standard for FRAUD had been satisfied.  
      • GOON means "a usually muscular henchman" hence recruited. 
      • In hockey, a GOON is a player recruited for fighting.
        • Airmaxgoon1994 advertised his recruitment by Airmax in his username and Mods failed to challenge this obvious flaunting of their own rule they had written just days before.
        • The fact that airmaxgoon1994 never returned after voting strongly supports the sole intention to vote for the candidate they were recruited by without any sincere intention to join our community or (importantly)  share our interests.
        • airmax1994 was obviously recruited outside the site to vote for a certain candidate.  
  • Mods clearly neglected to prevent VOTER FRAUD as defined by Mods just days before. 

Pro excoriates mods for not having addressed a future concern.
  • False. 
    • PRO excoriates mods for rewriting the rules of an election just days before that election was officially complete,
      • thereby introducing uncertainty regarding whether MEEPs are binding or Mod's best judgement is the ultimate rule.
        • If the latter, then Mods are not bound by the MEEPs governing their behavior in banning users or disqualify debate votes, either
        • If Mods' best judgement can override MEEPs and Mods best judgement led them to suppose that rewriting the rules on the 24th day of a 31 day election might be objectively perceived as free and fair then Mods best judgement has been shown to be unsound and not to be trusted to moderate debate votes or elections or forum squabbles.
          • Both of these are matters of immediate concern
 Airmax1227 is set to remain in office for many more months
  • Well, only a moderator would know as things stand now.
 Pro also never impacts this point.
  • The impact is the whiff of corruption. 
    • By changing the rules at the last second, Moderators stand undeniably open to the accusation that they didn't like the apparent candidate for the position and decided to change that result.
      • Whether the accusation is true or false is irrelevant to the question of   introducing  that obvious uncertainty.
        • Let's agree that any time an election official introduces uncertainty into an election over which they are empowered, that election official is NEGLIGENT in duty.  

I look forward to CON's round TWO reply

Thanks, Pro.

Pro has made two major errors and used semantics to avoid engaging in the central debate.
1. Burdens
Pro concedes my burdens analysis and much of my overviews. By setting the MEEP as his sole metric for affirming the resolution, he neglects the reality of competing duties, offering no mechanism by which to weigh them. Summarizing what I said in R1, Pro cannot affirm the resolution by cherry-picking individual onuses and evaluating them in a vacuum. Yes, that includes the MEEP. Pro has set an untenable bar, asserting that it is the sole set of duties that matter in this debate. Even if Pro proves that moderation failed to uphold the MEEP, he has not met his burden.
Pro also presents a set of “what if” scenarios that each come with false assumptions. Pro claims that the mods could have known every future conflict in advance, though he only addresses Supa’s finals. Pro believes that this is the sole source of moderations’ conflicts. Pro doesn’t support this, and it is false. Pro even quotes Supa saying that the whole moderation team had hectic schedules. He asserts that he knows every mod’s personal reasons why they did not initiate the election sooner, relying solely on Supa’s statements. Yet two of his scenarios rely on that personal knowledge: starting on the 24th and holding a MEEP beforehand (requiring careful writing, moderation of the voting process, and its own set of implementations). Pro also argues that mods could have held the election and moderated the votes later, though having an ongoing election where people see active instances of fraud and don’t see them addressed would likely have inflamed tensions, especially given the lack of a timeframe for correction, I don’t see how this would have been better.
2. Weighing Duties
Twice in the previous round, Pro questions why we would consider preference. I am referring to what voters should prefer. We’re arguing whether voters, not mods, should prefer (based on duty and fairness) a world in which mods had run the election on time. Yet, Pro’s impact analysis showcases only the duties Pro prefers. Aside from voter fraud, Pro’s Arg 1 impact is that mods weren’t fair and honest, and Pro’s Arg 3 impact is “the whiff of corruption,” both of which read as personal grievances. The former isn’t an impact, since Pro doesn’t examine how it meaningfully affects site activity while simultaneously dismissing SupaDudz’s apology as evidence of fairness and honesty on the basis that it was sub-optimal. The latter is based entirely on potential abuses by moderation that could, maybe, possibly happen at some point in the future. His only present “impact” is uncertainty, which is neither an impact nor does it establish negligence. Mods also have the duty to fully analyze this election and to carefully write up and present MEEPs for future elections based on that analysis, yet Pro’s argument would implicate them as negligent for not immediately clarifying every element of the next election after this one ended.
All of Pro’s impacts are speculative and based entirely on potential abuses. Arg 2 relies on proving voter fraud occurred, but I never “confirm[ed] that at least one person came from outside the site”. I confirmed that the two voters in question were on the same IP address, and one of those voters was banned. Pro is speculating that the remaining voter was recruited off-site. He additionally speculates that the username of said voter gives him/her away, yet neither his definition of “goon” nor the voter’s activity demonstrate that. Pro also concedes that voting was open to anyone, regardless of their number of posts.
3. Semantics vs. The Actual Argument
Much of the rest of Pro’s argument is semantic in nature, and not the good kind.
The election was a proof of concept because it was the first on the site. It is, necessarily, a test/trial run. The fact that mods took some cues from the HoF process doesn’t make it any less so. Pro’s second link doesn’t work, but none of the definitions I can find set “proof of concept” as mutually exclusive from “official.” The election was official. As for binding, the question is whether binding mods to every word of the MEEP isn’t necessarily the most dutiful choice. Pro doesn’t support that.
This was the first time going through an election on this site. Changes would necessarily have to be made to the process to address deficits. Pro thinks it would have been more dutiful for the mods to do nothing in the moment and address any problems they saw with the MEEP’s implementation in future elections. Acting in the present to ensure active mod supervision was necessary to yield greater confidence in site leadership. The introduction of additional time for interactions between candidates and voters improved the process. Pro never challenges that these impacts affect the paramount duties of moderation, nor does he challenge discretion as a tool necessary to ensure those duties are met. He says that it’s unfair for mods to use discretion to address problems they created, which a) assumes that the mods have absolute control over their schedules, b) holds mods to a standard of perfection that is impossible to meet, and c) doesn’t weigh that loss of fairness against the benefits of said discretion. And for all he says that starting the election late “renders any election… untrustworthy”, Pro provides no indicators to assess that this was a concern or that it had any impact on voters/members going forward. His argument ranges from speculative to personal grievances, neither of which have any substantial impact on this debate.
Back to Pro for the final round.

Round 3
Thx,  Whiteflame!


Pro concedes my burdens analysis and much of my overviews.
No, that's quite wrong. 

  • CON has argued that the Mods (in the Mods own judgement) were conflicted by "competing duties" and that PRO somehow has a responsibility to  offer CON a mechanism by which VOTERS may evaluate Mods conflict.  No.
    • PRO has clearly denied any such responsibility to CON. 
      • Look VOTERS, we aren't obligated to give a damn about what personal conflicts prevented Mods from fulfilling their binding obligations as we, the debaters of DebateArt  empowered the Mods in the Sept. '21 MEEP
        • The only question before us is whether the Mods failed to follow the binding rules as they set out and we authorized.
          • Mods asked us in September to authorize an election that started on Dec 1st.  
            • If VOTERS agree that Mods made no effort to publicize or commence that election on Dec 1t, then neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
          • Mods asked us in September to authorize an election that ran for three weeks.
            • If VOTERS agree that Mods were inactive (the reasons are irrelevant) for the first three weeks of December, then neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
              • CON has argued that it is not neglect so long as Mods tried to make up for their long absence with extended election times and delayed voting but that's false and those last minute remedial actions prove and concede the prior neglect. 
                • VOTERS, please note that we are not here to evaluate the quality or results of the Mod team's hastily contrived corrections but only establish the shortcomings that made those corrections necessary.
                  • Both Moderators have conceded that neglect:
                    • SupaDudz:   "the process simply fled my mind as it did with the whole moderation teams. It was hectic December and I simply did not have time to balance my schedule to run a full process"
                        • VOTERS need only believe SupaDudz here and my thesis is 100% proved.
                    • Whiteflame: "The schedule set would not have allowed for active moderator supervision during said election."
                      • Whiteflame concedes that his schedule did not permit supervision. 
                        • Again, the reasons are not important, we need only establish that Mods did not supervise the election during the first three weeks of December to prove neglect.
                        • The fact that neither Moderator attempted to communicate to the DART community that they were not moderating or that they intended some correction until Dec 24th compounds neglect.
                        • The fact that any remedy for Mods' absence  was deemed necessary further proves neglect.
            • If VOTERS agree that inactive Mods cannot have fulfilled their responsibilities to oversee and manage the election during those three weeks, then neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
            • If VOTERS agree that Mods added an extra three weeks without any MEEP authorization
              • and indeed without any prior consultation with the DebateArt community,
              • and worse, without any prior notification
                • then neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
            • If VOTERS agree that  on Dec 24th Mods changed the voting period from "the last week of December" to "January 17th, 12PM EST to January 19th, 12PM EST" then neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
          • Mods created a new rule on the first day of VOTING stating that that ""recruiting people outside the site to vote for a certain candidate"
            • If VOTERS agree that the sudden appearance of Airmaxfan2000 and Airmaxgoon1994 are strong evidence of that suddenly banned recruitment, then neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
          • Mods changed the rules on the 24th day of the election and created more new rules on the first day of voting.
              • CON has argued that there will be time in future  to correct all question of authority and uncertainty with future MEEPS but this concedes that voters' authority was undermined and uncertainty was introduced.  
                • To the extent that undermining voter'authority and introducing election uncertainty proves neglect in any election oversight, CON concedes neglect.
            • If VOTERS agree that creating new rules after an election has begun casts doubt on the legitimacy and authority of the agreed voting rules and creates uncertainty about the voting process going forward, neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
Even if Pro proves that moderation failed to uphold the MEEP, he has not met his burden.
  •  Totally false.  The Mods have stated that MEEPS are "binding referenda."  Binding means "requirements that must be honored."  If the Mods failed to uphold the MEEP in any respect, then neglect is established.  
    • Let's recall that the thesis is NOT "did Mods fail to supervise the recent election", the thesis is that Mods failed to supervise the election  as defined by the Sept 21 MEEP.
      • The FIRST DART PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION is defined as the election authorized by the MEEP.
2. Weighing Duties
We’re arguing whether voters, not mods, should prefer (based on duty and fairness) a world in which mods had run the election on time.
  • False.  Whatever PRO or CON or Mods or VOTERS preference might be is irrelevant to the YES or NO question of whether Mods did the election as they were required to do  by the MEEP or whether they did something different.  Since PRO and CON and Mods and VOTERS all agree that Mods did something different than the MEEP, neglect is established and VOTERS must find for PRO.
both of which read as personal grievances.
  •  OBJECTION: PRO explained first and foremost that he has little investment in the election's outcome and PRO expects to be taken at his word regarding his own personal outlook. 
3. Semantics vs. The Actual Argument
The election was a proof of concept because it was the first on the site. It is, necessarily, a test/trial run
  • Moderators need to make up their mind.  Either MEEPS are binding referenda as  stated  in the MODERATION OVERVIEW or some MEEPs are merely rough drafts that Mods are at liberty to formalize as they run into problems.
    • Whatever Mods decide in the future, VOTERS should note that only the "MEEPS are binding referenda" was in place at the time of the election and only that standard may fairly apply to Mods conduct.
    • If Moderators decide that some concept are not proved and wish to make changes, then Mods are obligated to present those changes back to DebateArt and NOT create a last minute set of ad-hoc rules, particularly as a correction to Moderators' neglect in the application of those rules rather than any shortcoming found in the rules themselves.

The terms of this debate do not require any condemnation or remedial action.  VOTERS evaluation of our Moderation as moderators has nothing to do with our question here.   The  ONLY question before us is:  Didn't Moderators fail to enforce the election rules as written in the SEPT '21 MEEP  and as Mods are bound to by DART's published Terms of Service?

Since everybody agrees the answer is yes, VOTERS must VOTE PRO.

Thanks to Whiteflame for agreeing to this debate and thanks to VOTERS for their kind consideration!

One last thank you to Oro. This isn't the debate I wanted us to have, but I've enjoyed it nonetheless. Also, thank you to any voters who put in the time and energy to read this far and consider both sides.

I’ve made a habit of asking questions in the final round as a means of organizing my thoughts. I’ll be consistent here, but my questions are simpler than usual.

What is the topic?
What are the burdens?

Yes. Seriously.

1. The Topic

The topic is: THBT the MODERATION TEAM NEGLECTED their DUTY to FAIRLY SUPERVISE the FIRST DART PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. While we are on the same page about most of these terms (more on that in the conclusion), Pro limits the debate to the MEEP on two bases: it is codified that MEEPs are binding referenda, and that his definition of “the FIRST DART PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION” states that the MEEP authorized the election. The former is not a reason to prefer his argument nor does it preclude arguments about other aspects of the election; being codified does not inherently make a duty more important.

As for the latter, first, this is a brand-new argument. I argued that Pro was cherry-picking onuses in R1, and this is his first response to that point. Second, Pro’s own definition designates the election itself and provides the MEEP as a distinguishing characteristic, not as a limiting principle for evaluation. Pointing out that it's part of the definition doesn't establish that this debate involves no other aspects of the election. Third, an election is more than just the processes that authorized it. I know this may come as a shock, but an election involves what occurred during the election. As such, the thesis of this debate cannot be solely defined by the MEEP. It was the thesis of Pro’s arguments, which he is trying to justify post hoc, but it is not and has never been the thesis of this debate, which encompasses the entire election.

2. Burdens

Pro’s only response to my burdens analysis has been dismissal based on restricting the debate to the MEEP, which I’ve already refuted. My burdens analysis stands unrefuted. Just to refresh your memory:

Pro must have shown that another possible course of action would have been preferable for upholding mod duties and that mods, in taking a distinct course of action, neglected their duties.
Con must have shown that the actions mods took upheld their duties. If voters should conclude that it is unclear what the best course of action was during the election, or that there was no clearly better choice, then mods necessarily carried out their election duties properly.

So, how well do we meet these?

Despite already having argued about the impetus behind mod choices in both prior rounds, Pro suddenly deems that point irrelevant. The reasons for action/inaction on the part of the mods are relevant. Pro’s case relies almost entirely on neglect as an impact, which implies that mods made the choice not to act. Pro had to show that mods both could and should have acted/reacted differently. Yet, Pro concedes that external factors played a role in mod availability and that some of those factors were unpredictable. Thus, he concedes that the alternative options he presented were not viable (external, unpredictable factors precluded mod choice), and thus fails to meet his burden.

Pro also concedes my weighing analysis. Pro’s framing of the debate as a “YES or NO question” is a black-or-white fallacy because the set of duties is wider than the MEEP. A “yes/no” answer to whether mods successfully upheld single duty cannot affirm or negate the resolution, so as long as neither side upholds every single mod duty, comparing the importance of mod duties is required. Yet, none of Pro’s advantages have substantial impact. He uses fluff terms like “whiff of corruption” and “uncertainty” that barely imply an impact, both relying on the strength of potential impacts that by definition have not happened yet, and puts it to the voters to accept completely unjustified impacts like voter fraud, which remains entirely speculative. That is why his impacts read as personal grievances: he never justifies why voters should care about them. Contrast that with my conceded impacts. Discretion as a tool for addressing problems before and during the election ensures greater confidence in both mod and presidential leadership. Extending the duration of the campaign process is entirely positive. These actual, tangible impacts outweigh Pro's potential and speculative impacts, or at the very least confound them enough to muddle a case that he needed to win outright.


I’ve emphasized Pro’s definitions of “duty” and “fairly” throughout this debate. It is responsible to recognize and address impediments to effective moderation. Addressing those limitations and their effects in a public statement is both honest and proper. Circumstances being sub-optimal does not make these responses less honest and proper. Pro’s interpretation of what would have been an optimal response would, if implemented, have yielded the very irresponsibility that he decries.

As for Pro’s definition of the election, I’ve already shown that it’s overly restrictive, but even if you buy that it restricts this debate to the MEEP and how well mods upheld it, the discretion mods use to implement the MEEP still matters. Pro believes codified rules that apply to mods are the only basis for establishing mod duties, and though he is wrong, I will humor him for a moment. He cited the Moderation Overview early in this debate, which has a section on MEEPs that ends with a statement about the tenability of MEEPs affecting their implementation. This codifies two truths about MEEPs: their implementation must be affected by external factors, and discretion must be used to evaluate tenability. Best laid plans can and will go wrong in unpredictable ways for unpredictable reasons. That is the reason why this election was a proof of concept: find kinks in the process and fix them for this and future elections. Whether or not it is codified, it is an inherent and paramount duty for mods to ensure confidence in the results of an election, without which the position of the president, and thus the MEEP itself, is meaningless.

Voters, this is a straightforward decision. If you conclude that a more dutiful mod is one who is absolutely tied to every detail of a MEEP because it exists in written form and results from a referendum, vote Pro. If you conclude that it is more dutiful to use mod discretion, a tool used by mods in every other facet of moderation, to address election issues that neither mods nor the MEEP can predict, or if you find it difficult to conclude definitively one way or the other, vote Con.