Idea: Flexible Voting Periods

Author: Ragnar ,

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  • Ragnar
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    Ragnar
    This idea is to address the problems associated with last minute votes.

    How it would work is quite simply if a vote is cast within the final hours of a debate, the voting period is extended back to that cutoff, this is repeated as needed until no new votes are cast within that time. 

    Of course certain users will childishly try to keep certain debates artificially in the voting period, but this is only a minor nuisance.

    From a coding standpoint it would be easy to implement, probably adding a mere single line of code along the lines of:
    IF((countdown<36hrs)=TRUE) THEN SET(countdown)=36hrs ELSE nothing;
    Thoughts?
  • RationalMadman
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    As you say 'minor nuisance' to cover a flaw with it, I'll say 'minor nuisance' as the problem I have been having are voters being intellectually incapable or masquerading as such.

    They will genuinely appear to put full effort into the vote and seem to genuinely have 'read' the debate but beyond referring to X or Y within the debate and calling my stuff 'terrible' and exploring what they insist I should have done instead... There's not much I can do about it.

    The inverse is saying 'brilliant' to how an opponent tackled my point, even when I directly defended against it before or after that said attack. The omission of my reply is the most common tactic of Ramshutu but he switches it up at times, referring to what I said in a very vague way and saying 'incoherent' or 'bad faith' or something along those lines. Ramshutu is not the only person who used this strategy to vote against me but he's the only one to do it so regularly and fervently.

    The most recent 'very blatant' example being this vote: https://www.debateart.com/debates/1051?open_tab=votes&votes_page=1&vote_number=1

    Read the debate and then read his depiction of it, it must blare bright red to you how much of an agenda he has.
  • RationalMadman
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    I like the idea, it's true that Ramshutu intentionally votes in the last 2 hours of most of my voting periods intentionally to mitigate my ability to get an ally to even look at the debate (I can't just ask all my friends list to look at every single debate and I also don't want to as it risks them voting against me when they otherwise would ignore it).

    I am not saying I campaign to get votes for me, but that motive is undeniably there and is actually filthy to NOT do as you're throwing the game in a toxic way as it inflates the rating of your opponent. 

    Anyway, I don't care all that much anymore. I have come to peace with the idea that I must play it slower and safer and go for debates that I know I can get casuals to vote on as either the topic is high-profile or my opponent is someone I predict will give up as the debate goes along or be so much weaker than me that I'll win regardless. 

    I learned this from Ramshutu and it was a secondary reason why I never could get any kind of revenge on him even if I wanted to, meaning it's severely powerful at defending against the exact strategy Ramshutu is (or was until my brand new approach) using to keep my Rating artificially low and my work ethic unfairly punished, as opposed to rewarded.

    I now will focus much more on making sure that I not only debate better than (or as good as) I used to by having enough time to put full effort into my debates but also that I'll pick topics which are attractive in some predictable way. The Santa one is just a 'wow wth' one that I knew would get people peeking in and the abortion one I'm doing right now is just one of those topics you know will get people coming, especially as there's a few conservatives who want to see me fall. 

    I hope they vote honest and that my new strategy pays off.
  • Ramshutu
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    It looks like someone said my name into a mirror three times again, and summoned me to this thread.

    Anyways, I think having an automatic extension to the voting period would be good - not necessarily 36 hours, but at least 12.
    Most debates would be largely unchanged, and even if votes were extended, it wouldn’t delay thins too long.

    Now a bigger issue is that of being unable to change the winner of a debate after the fact.
    Owing to this, it’s possible for last minute votes to be cast that change the winner unfairly.
    MagicAintReals debates are a perfect case in point.

  • Ragnar
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    --> @Ramshutu
    36 hours is my gut feel on it. I assume the precise number would be decided on by a MEEP.

    My thinking goes to the steps of removing bad votes, and the fact that moderators sleep and otherwise go through periods of lower activity (as do the users who report bad votes). Assuming a normal distribution, if a bad vote usually takes 8 hours for removal give or take 3 hour, 68% of votes are handled within 12 hours, 95% within 15, and 99% within 18.

    However this is not accounting for sleep time, nor cries about fairness in outlier cases.

    I figure assume anything can be fixed within a day, but add a 12 hour buffer for sleep and whatnot. Ideally this would lead to the least drama, while not leaving debates in the voting period quite forever (again, there's certain users who will troll it, but enough infractions and their voting privileges can be revoked... probably a bonus to the system now that I put it like that).

  • oromagi
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    --> @Ragnar
    how much of a problem has this last minute voting become?
  • Dr.Franklin
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    I agree
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @oromagi
    I don’t think it’s that much of an issue, I don’t think I’ve seen any last minute votes that changed the outcome, that we’re not sufficient or obviously invalid votes in the last few hours of a debate since magic got banned. I’ve posted a few votes in the last few hours a couple of times due to time constraints, but I don’t see it happening often or being abused.
  • Ragnar
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    --> @oromagi
    I'd call it only a small issue. While it risks disenfranchising members should major abuse happen again, it occurs with very low frequency.

    It is mainly about closing a loophole before it becomes a source of annoyance again...

    An extra bonus is that no one would need feel bad about casting a last minute vote (I can't speak for everyone else, but I've been writing votes and decided to withhold when I noticed the clock...), therefore the system would encourage a few more votes.
  • oromagi
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    --> @Ragnar
    An extra bonus is that no one would need feel bad about casting a last minute vote (I can't speak for everyone else, but I've been writing votes and decided to withhold when I noticed the clock.

    good point.  I know I've abstained from late voting for fear of projecting favoritism.

    Isn't this loophole a result of no post-voting moderation?  Wouldn't it be preferable to just allow mods to remove objectionable votes even if it changes the outcome of the debate?


  • Ragnar
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    --> @oromagi
    I think the two can be implemented side-by-side. In fact this thread was started due to while suggesting them both, the admin requested I start this thread for feedback on the countdown piece (pretty sure vote deletions are coming...).

    Granted on vote deletion, I would want the votes held to a much lower standard after voting ends (people already do try to change the outcome by delaying reports until the last day). So probably delete intentionally malicious votes, but leave almost all others.
  • oromagi
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    --> @Ragnar

    I start this thread for feedback on the countdown piece (pretty sure vote deletions are coming...).

    ok.  no objections here.
  • bsh1
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    --> @Ragnar
    An easier fix might be allowing mods to remove votes post-voting period.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @bsh1
    From what Mike says, that actually is the harder one to do because the Rating system is hard-coded in a way he can't undo without destroying and restarting everyone at equal Rating.
  • Ragnar
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    --> @bsh1
    I also believe in that fix. They are not mutually exclusive.

    Regarding if votes are deleted post voting period: It would be a worthwhile change, even if ratings are not recalculated.
  • Ragnar
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    Small refinement:
    Vote removal should also trigger the time reset; assuring that last minute deleted votes have opportunity to be refined and recast.