What would your ideal voting policy look like?

Author: Ragnar ,

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  • Ragnar
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    The current voting policy (sans update to S&G) can be viewed at: https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy

    I'm hoping people have ideas for improvements. So if so, please share them.

    One example might be other voting paradigms which lead to valid votes. Another might be changing the point allotements within the categories. Etc.
  • RationalMadman
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    As someone who has the polar opposite issue with voting restrictions (I find them too lax), I am not going to be making suggestions that help you please the userbase and want you to know that I do know how to improve it but not how to do it in a way others will like.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Ragnar
    I like the voting policy as is with the exception of Spelling and Grammar. The occasional typo is going to happen; none of us are perfect typists. I certainly am not.  And grammar violation is only rarely serious sufficient to raise the point at all. I would like this category of voting to be changed to general presentation of arguments. If by S&G errors, the general point being made is still comprehended by the average reader, I'd say it's not worth making a deduction of points. This is the process I try to maintain anyway. Yes, there have been exceptions when although I thought I understood the point, the language was either grossly negligent, or profane [I have no patience with added colorful references of the seven deadlies of broadcasting, which have less purpose in writing]. As I've previous said, remarking your suggestion of awarding"Kudos," I think that would be a proper addition to Presentation.
  • Ragnar
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    One example of a refinement I would like to make, is codifying that certain things are implicit.

    Right now by the letter of the law, awarding conduct for one side missing a round is supposed to be compared and contrasted to the other side not missing a round. Similarly if one side chants none-stop profanity at the other, that someone didn't sink to that level seems redundant to list.

    Where this gets slightly tricky, is vote fluffers. And yes, I do remember some old votes which did things like penalizing con for the misconduct of quoting pro's vile words. It would be about like someone penalizing conduct for a missed round, when the person they're awarding it to missed two.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Ragnar
    Okay but honestly unless you're referring to Ramshutu or MagicAintReal and his alts, very few people ever 'truly abused' voting loopholes. The problem is that others unknowingly vote for faulty reasons and indeed forget to contrast it with what the other side did enough. Conduct 'fluffing' is a rare thing in what I've seen, the biggest thing to fix is the opposite of what people have suggested. You need to make them stricter and more OCD-precision in how streamlined they are to follow and enforce.
  • Ragnar
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    --> @RationalMadman
    I'd be game for stricter if easier for people to understand. 
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    What would your ideal voting policy look like?

    There would be a line in there about voting against Discipulus_Didicit being prohibited.
  • PressF4Respect
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    --> @Ragnar
    It's not so much the voting policy itself that is the problem (lowering the voting standards could increase voting, but that is an extremely slippery slope).

    The problem is the sense of a general lack of willingness to vote on all but the simplest of debates. I'll admit, I am guilty of this just as much as the next person.

    I don't blame the voters themselves. Analyzing a debate where both debaters are competent and all of the arguments are well-thought-out is tedious and time-consuming, without much in return. Very few people have the time and mental energy to do this and write-up a sufficiently detailed RFD on an informal debate website. Furthermore, as people generally take the path of action with the least resistance, they will inevitably vote for the least mentally taxing debates, as they only have to put in a fraction of the work to get the same results.

    The solution to this would be to provide some sort of reward (something like Green Coins) for voters.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Analyzing a debate where both debaters are competent and all of the arguments are well-thought-out is tedious and time-consuming, without much in return. Very few people have the time and mental energy to do this and write-up a sufficiently detailed RFD on an informal debate website. Furthermore, as people generally take the path of action with the least resistance, they will inevitably vote for the least mentally taxing debates, as they only have to put in a fraction of the work to get the same results.
    Nail on the head.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Until you are as good as I am and at times able to defeat 7 paragraphs with 4-5 sentences, you won't understand how to be vs competence and still attract votes.
  • RationalMadman
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  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @RationalMadman
    Until you are as good as I am and at times able to defeat 7 paragraphs with 4-5 sentences
    Eh, voters still gotta read the seven paragraphs though.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit @fauxlaw @PressF4Respect @Ragnar
    Analyzing a debate where both debaters are competent and all of the arguments are well-thought-out is tedious and time-consuming, without much in return. Very few people have the time and mental energy to do this and write-up a sufficiently detailed RFD on an informal debate website. Furthermore, as people generally take the path of action with the least resistance, they will inevitably vote for the least mentally taxing debates, as they only have to put in a fraction of the work to get the same results.
    I was originally very excited to participate in ranked debates, but I quickly learned that no matter how "logical" and "objective" the voting guidelines were believed to be, the actual judges themselves are incapable of acknowledging their own bias blind spot.

    I have proposed an option for debates be "self-moderated", that is to say that only the two participants in each debate are allowed to vote.
    This way, the goal of the debate is to ACTUALLY CONVINCE YOUR DEBATE PARTNER and not simply make them look silly in order to sway an audience.

    It seems like such an insanely simple solution to what many consider "a virtually intractable problem".

    That way both participants could score points accumulated per round, awarded at the discretion of their co-debater.  When someone makes "a good point", their co-debater would have the option to award them "1 point".

    The end result would be a RANKING SCORE (perhaps in parallel to the current ELO, or perhaps added like a sort-able attribute like "win ratio") that would reflect how many "good points" that have been acknowledged by that individual's co-debaters (with perhaps some max points cap per round (like 3 per round perhaps).

    Then even a tie could boost the rankings of both participants.

    I like to call this system CIVIL DEBATE and it has just three simple "rules" (guidelines).

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @3RU7AL
    So if I understand you right you are saying that the problem is that the voters are all biased in favor of one debater or the other and your solution is to make the debaters themselves be the voters...
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    He's saying that debating as a sport should be abolished, it should solely be about seeking truth and never about playing devil's advocate or pride in one's Rating.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @RationalMadman
    debating as a sport should be abolished, it should solely be about seeking truth


    Okay that sounds fine, I have said something similar many times in the past. I don't think the above suggestion is the best way to go about that though. What happens when I have the clearly more logical position and arguments and my opponent simply doesn't acknowledge this, such as the time that I argued that there are women on the planet that live in poverty or the time I argued that praying in public in the U.S. is not a crime?
  • Ragnar
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    What happens when I have the clearly more logical position and arguments and my opponent simply doesn't acknowledge this, 
    Intuitively, you would probably give yourself 3 points for your quality arguments, and they would give themselves 7 points for having called you a Nazi.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Ragnar
    What happens when I have the clearly more logical position and arguments and my opponent simply doesn't acknowledge this, 
    Intuitively, you would probably give yourself 3 points for your quality arguments, and they would give themselves 7 points for having called you a Nazi.
    You can only award points to your opponent, not to yourself.

    So, if you believe your opponent made any points that caused you to reconsider (sharpen or reevaluate) your own position, you have the option (not the obligation) to award them points for those specific statements.

    Yes, you might find yourself in a situation where your opponent refuses to award you any points, and you would have the option to do the same.

    This outcome would be equivalent to a tie in the current system (and not simply a popularity contest).

    I generally award at least 1 point for participation, and in my proposed CIVIL DEBATE ranking system, that would not count against my "ranking" (it would not reduce my running total points tally).
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    So if I understand you right you are saying that the problem is that the voters are all biased in favor of one debater or the other and your solution is to make the debaters themselves be the voters...
    Yes, and your CIVIL DEBATE ranking would be simply a running total of points you've be awarded by your opponents.

    That way, even ties could boost both participant's ranking and there would be no problems with debates with zero votes (and no "win loss" ratio).

    Your CIVIL DEBATE ranking would be a direct reflection of your ability to present cogent arguments that are appropriately phrased (custom tailored) for your specific opponents.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    I don't think the above suggestion is the best way to go about that though.
    Please explain if you believe the proposed CIVIL DEBATE framework is "less wrong" than the current system.

    There is no reason they couldn't be run in parallel.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @RationalMadman
    He's saying that debating as a sport should be abolished, it should solely be about seeking truth and never about playing devil's advocate or pride in one's Rating.
    Kinda-sorta-correct.

    Playing "devil's advocate" would not be ruled-out.

    The key take-away is that your CIVIL DEBATE ranking would be a direct reflection of your ability to present cogent arguments that are appropriately phrased (custom tailored) for your specific opponents.

    For example, you might be awarded a point for STEEL-MANNING your opponent's case (even if you disagree with it).

    This would dis-incentivize STRAW-MANNING your opponent's case because you're very unlikely to earn a "good point" for your effort.
  • PressF4Respect
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    --> @3RU7AL
    While what you're describing (having an option where only the participants would be allowed to vote) is a good idea, in theory, it would never truly work in practice. 

    This is because that system would incentivize debaters giving nothing over to the other side since doing so would give them points, which would make the person who gives the points lose.

    Say in a debate, there is an honest debater and one who is in it to win. The honest debater would give feedback and points for things that the other debater did well, fully expecting the other side to do the same. However, the other debater would give nothing, as giving points to the other side would be against their goal (to win). Thus, the dishonest person, which will further incentivize that behaviour.

    As a result of this, more and more people will adopt the "give nothing" stance, eventually resulting in an equilibrium state where no one gives any points to the other side and all debates using that voting method will result in a tie.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @PressF4Respect
    You've made excellent points.

    Imagine if the CIVIL DEBATE ranking was a combination of two scores, OUTbound points and INbound points.

    A CIVIL DEBATE ranking of 11/22 would indicate that individual has given out 11 points to others and has received 22 points for themselves.

    When looking for a debate partner, if you noticed their CIVIL DEBATE ranking was 6/232, you would imagine they're probably an unfair (closed minded) opponent.

    You'd naturally look for someone with ranking more like 44/64 which would indicate a much more charitable individual.

    Each individual CIVIL DEBATE "win" would not boost your ranking in-and-of-itself.  A "high win-ratio" would mean nothing.

    I'd even propose giving people the option to preemptively disqualify opponents with less than 10% (or 20%, or 30%) outbound points relative to their inbound points.

    In the same way that DebateArt currently lets people preemptively disqualify opponents with a low (or high) ELO score or with fewer than X number of debates total.

    This ranking system would promote cooperation and real intellectual exploration.  And the split scoring would make it easy to choose the type of opponent you'd like to challenge.

    No noob sniping.  No dirty tricks.  No semantic shenanigans.  Just reasonable people presenting their best arguments for honest scrutiny.
  • PressF4Respect
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Ok, so you're saying that this civil debate rating is separate from the ELO, right?

    In that case, it might work. But then there's the issue of overgiving points, if it will lead to a better reception for them.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Please explain if you believe the proposed CIVIL DEBATE framework is "less wrong" than the current system.
    I don't.