Instigator / Pro
3
1472
rating
32
debates
48.44%
won
Topic
#4228

The rise of social media as a primary source of news distribution does more harm than good

Status
Finished

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

Winner & statistics
Winner
3
1

After 3 votes and with 2 points ahead, the winner is...

YouFound_Lxam
Judges
Tejretics's avatar
Tejretics
7 debates / 22 votes
Voted
Barney's avatar
Barney
52 debates / 1,287 votes
Voted
whiteflame's avatar
whiteflame
27 debates / 199 votes
Voted
AleutianTexan's avatar
AleutianTexan
4 debates / 27 votes
No vote
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
One week
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Judges
Contender / Con
1
1731
rating
167
debates
73.05%
won
Description

Pro will argue that the rise of social media as a primary source of news distribution does more harm than good.
Con argues that it does better, than harm.

We will use society as a reference, because just this topic alone could be based upon many other things, like emotional, or physical wellbeing.

Definitions:
Social Media: Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Good: Benefit or advantage to someone or something.
Harm: Causes/Causing an unfortunate or distressing result/result(s).
Primary Source: A main or essential lead of information that is relied on by default to stay informed.
News Distribution: An organization which collects, processes, and distributes information.

Rules:
BOP is shared (obviously).
One forfeit is allowed for each debater.
We will be judged by how well we presented our evidence, and how well we proved our claims.

Round 1
Pro
#1
Before I start my first argument, I want to thank Intelligence_06 for accepting this debate, and I hope this debate comes out very intriguing to our voters.

My goal in this debate is to prove to the judges to the best of my ability that the rise of social media as a primary source of news distribution does more harm than good. If I am able to either prove this statement true, or to the best of my ability prove it more likely, then I win the debate.

If Con proves to the judges that the rise of social media as a primary source of news distribution does better than harm, or to the best of their ability to prove it more likely, then Con wins the debate. 

First, I would like to provide the definitions: 
1.) Social Media: Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
2.) Good: Benefit or advantage to someone or something.
3.) Harm: Causes/Causing an unfortunate or distressing result/result(s).
4.) Primary Source: A main or essential lead of information that is relied on by default to stay informed.
5.) News Distribution: An organization which collects, processes, and distributes information.

Using the definitions at hand, all I have to do is prove this statement true:
When websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking are used for the purpose of an essential lead of information to inform others and are also used to collect process and distribute information, it causes more distressing results than beneficial or advantageous ones.  
This is my claim. 

I will prove my claim on 2 fronts:
1.) Social media is very opinionated, and could be used to add bias to information, leading to both misinformation and disinformation. 
2.) Social media already causes higher depression and anxiety rates, so using social media as a primary source of news distribution, could increase the amount of suffering from depression and anxiety. 


Social media is opinionated: 
It is common knowledge that a lot of social media platforms are biased towards a goal or belief that refuse to show information from the other side. This could lead to more harm, because biased information leads to both misinformation and disinformation, which make listeners lose trust in whatever source provided the misinformation and disinformation. This could lead in less people trusting our news distributors, and less involvement from the American people. 

When a big enough number of Americans stop getting involved in their own country's politics, then the government takes control of the people on an unconstitutional level, leading to a lot of corruption and control. News distributors job is to provide unbiased information, and the American people are supposed to take that information and make their own opinions off of it. As of right now, the opposite is happening. 


Depression and Anxiety rates:
Social media has been the leading cause of depression and anxiety in the USA, for years now. Adding it to primary sources of news distribution causes more people to trust into social media, rather than unbiased information. The reason that social media causes high rates of depression and anxiety is because, of the biased information telling you how life should look and be lived. Adding this type of thinking to news sources can lead to more people looking at their own country's policies and trying to line it up with social medias telling of it, through news sources. 

This type of information creates an opinion for listeners, instead of letting the listener make their own opinion. You have no control over what you want to think for yourself. You would be bound to believe one opinion, and any other thought you would have would be shut down by the narrative you were "forced" to believe and support. 


Sources:
Con
#2
The first round is intended for opening arguments. I will not provide rebuttals in this round.

Arg 1: Cost-Benefit
 1. It is true that humans can evaluate benefits and costs.
2. When something is done, the sum of benefits is larger than the sum of costs, vice versa(this is a basic economic principle).
3. Opportunity costs exist and is the benefit being given up if one chooses to instead do an alternative act than the act that gives said benefit.
4. Thus, taking account in all costs and benefits, because only the optimal choice of action results in that when accounting for the opportunity cost, the total net benefit is the most positive, humans will choose to act upon what they consider to be the optimal action every time they do ()anything.
Given the confinements of this debate, or rather the preset, it can be assumed:
  • Good = Benefit
  • Harm = Cost
The topic is:
The rise of social media as a primary source of news distribution does more harm than good
Is social media rising as a primary source of news distribution? Yes.
Social media has become the main source of news online with more than 2.4 billion internet users, nearly 64.5 percent receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram instead of traditional media.
Therefore, because social media is still rising as a news source online, it means that to individuals, to keep it rising is more beneficial than harmful on balance. Therefore, the topic is proven false, or rather that the CON burden of proof is being fulfilled. I rest my case, no conclusions needed.

Round 2
Pro
#3
I will be using this round to rebuttal, but it will be a short one, and I will explain why.

Con's first argument is concrete until you get to their last sentence, which I found many problems with. So, I will be breaking down Cons final sentence, and adding some more arguments to it, in order to rebuttal, and prove my case. 

Con states:
Therefore, because social media is still rising as a news source online, it means that to individuals, to keep it rising is more beneficial than harmful on balance. Therefore, the topic is proven false, or rather that the CON burden of proof is being fulfilled. I rest my case, no conclusions needed.

Ok so some problems with this first sentence.
1.) The title of the debate does not say beneficial to individuals. To be beneficial means to benefit, and since we are debating social media (which involves a lot of people), and news sources (which also involves a lot of people), then it is safe to assume that Con would have to prove that social media rising as a news source online would be beneficial not just to individuals, but to groups of people. 

2.) Just because something is rising as a news source, doesn't make it beneficial. If a corrupt government were to rise as a news source, that wouldn't be beneficial, so in order to claim that social media rising as a news source online, you would need to prove why social media itself is beneficial, and then argue that social media would be beneficial to news sources, which in turn would be beneficial to people. 


Social media itself is less beneficial than beneficial, because it causes way more problems than solutions. It has dropped the IQ of teens. It has been one of the biggest causes of suicide. It has caused more self-hate, than self-love, etc. 
If we were to use social media as a primary source of news distribution, then these problems would only continue to expand to a bigger audience. 

Also let's not forget that social media is a place where anyone can say almost anything, which is a strait path to disinformation and misinformation, which if used in the news distribution would cause a plethora of problems for the American people, and their trust in the government. 


I am excited to see Cons next argument, and I wish them the best.
Con
#4
RB1: "than"

All Pro has attempted to prove was that yes, some harms to social media rising this way exists. No objection on behalf of my standpoint here is attempted. The problem is that:
BOP is shared (obviously).
Obviously, obviously.

This means, that Pro would not only need to prove why there exist categories of harms, it is also needed to prove that the aggregate amount of harms exceeds that of benefits. Pro never did that explicitly, nor did Pro claim with any solid proof that the species of disadvantages brought up encompasses all net harm so that there couldn't be any tangible benefit that outweighs the aggregate harm brought by these points. Even if we truly consider "bias" and "anxiety & depression" as true negative effects, Pro failed to bring up the side of benefits to show that the harms are really more than the benefits.

  Let me give some examples of Pro not doing what he required for himself.
Social media itself is less beneficial than beneficial, because it causes way more problems than solutions.
No statistic or even anecdotal descriptions on the degree of solutions of social media has been made. 

It has caused more self-hate, than self-love, etc. 
This is the only comparison, or "net-analysis" in the two rounds established, in which Pro claims n(self-hate)-n(self-harm)>0. The problem? "Self-hate" and "Self-love" only show up one time up to Pro R2, which is... Pro making the claim and having nothing backing it up.

If we were to use social media as a primary source of news distribution, then these problems would only continue to expand to a bigger audience. 
Mind you voters, no sources were used in the second round for Pro.

Further Defense of Own Case

1.) The title of the debate does not say beneficial to individuals. To be beneficial means to benefit, and since we are debating social media (which involves a lot of people), and news sources (which also involves a lot of people), then it is safe to assume that Con would have to prove that social media rising as a news source online would be beneficial not just to individuals, but to groups of people.
The only concern here is that "beneficial" is "not towards individuals", somehow. There is nothing in the description saying that benefits should not be towards individuals. To make matters worse for Pro, the title of the debate does not say "beneficial to groups of people", and Pro did not justify net harm, instead of just harm, in either of two rounds, not even attempts, to groups or to individuals.

I would rethink my addition of "individuals" to that sentence, because the point functions without the phrase. However, groups of people are composed of individuals. Individuals are in-dividual, they cannot be divided, and they make up all the social structures in which social media is applicable. Pro did not object to that this argument does prove that to individuals, which composes groups of people, social media as a news distribution device is more beneficial because it kept on existing, as of yet.

If a corrupt government were to rise as a news source, that wouldn't be beneficial
Why? What if a corrupt government saves everyone in hospital beds? What if a corrupt government tripled the real GDP per capita for the citizens? You can't just judge an action based on just who performed it, can you?

2.) Just because something is rising as a news source, doesn't make it beneficial.
Individuals would only choose things that are beneficial to them one way or another, as long as net benefit is positive, which is a fundamental rule in economics and decision making, etc. We both agree on that social media is rising as a news distributor. Since people would only choose what is net beneficial, therefore, due to that social media is not only persisting on being a news source yet the derivative of the usage of social media as news is increasing(therefore "rise"), means that people, who make up society in and out, indeed believe on balance, social media as a primary news source is more beneficial than harmful, and the result is that social media use rises.

Problem?

so in order to claim that social media rising as a news source online, you would need to prove why social media itself is beneficial, and then argue that social media would be beneficial to news sources,
I did. Because social media as news distribution not only persists but is increasing, it means that the benefits of keep using social media as news sources outweighs the harms due to basic economic assumptions. 

Conclusions
  • Pro actually did not sufficiently prove "net harm" due to Pro making barely any comparison between harm and benefit at all.
  • The model based on a basic economic proposition has not been disproven yet.
  • Individuals is the composition of society, so by proving net benefit for individuals, net benefit to groups is proven.
  • Overall, Con's argument still stands. Vote CON.
Final words: I got a bit lazy with the recent few debates. Please don't yell at me if I lose, because probably I would be yelling at myself, or not.

Round 3
Pro
#5
Forfeited
Con
#6
Conclusions
  • Pro actually did not sufficiently prove "net harm" due to Pro making barely any comparison between harm and benefit at all.
  • The model based on a basic economic proposition has not been disproven yet.
  • Individuals is the composition of society, so by proving net benefit for individuals, net benefit to groups is proven.
  • Overall, Con's argument still stands. Vote CON.