DART Jury Trial System Signups: DART v. RationalMadman

Author: Logical-Master ,

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  • Logical-Master
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    Logical-Master
    One of the ideas people bring up from time to time is the ability for users violating the website's terms and conditions is to let them have a trial. To have their day in court so to speak. I've seen this idea talked about, but have never seen it implemented on a website (and perhaps with good reason). Thus, I'd like to conduct an experiment. I propose that we hold a "trial" for this case so to speak. If it's a hit, I would propose implementing this feature officially into website so that users could have their "day in court" when they wish to appeal official website action. Obviously, there would need to be some measures taken to keep this system from being abused, but we can always iron all of that out on a later date. For now, I'd like to give the very concept a test and see how it works. To do that, I am going to need several participants. 1) A Prosecutor (any user who wants to represent the good state of DART and prove that RationalMadman broke the rules and should have been banned), 2) a Defense Attorney (any user who wants to represent RationalMadman and prove he didn't break the rules and/or should not have been banned), 3) RationalMadman himself, 4) a Judge (I'll play the role just to make sure this test goes smoothly; both the prosecutor and defense attorney need merely follow my lead to see how this trial will be conducted) and 4) three fair and impartial members of the Jury (who both the Prosecutor and Defense attorney can agree on in order to insure fairness).

    How this case will work is that it is the Prosecutor's job to prove beyond reasonable doubt that RationalMadman is guilty of breaking the rules and prove by preponderance of the evidence (e.g. more likely than not) that he should have been banned. The defense has no burden whatsoever and need merely show that the prosecutor has failed to prove his/her case and/or that RationalMadMan is not guilty and/or should not have been banned. 

    The case will start with the prosecutor putting on a brief opening statement of what it intends to prove and the defense can then opt to respond with a brief opening statement of its own. Opening statements shall be limited to one post each.The prosecutor will then get to make their case first (by questioning any available witnesses and/or citing any available evidence). Once the prosecutor's done, the defense can opt to make an affirmative case or do nothing in light of having no BOP. The Prosecutor shall then have the opportunity to present a closing argument. The defense shall then present its closing argument. And the prosecutor shall then have a brief opportunity to present a rebuttal should it choose to. Closing argument's shall be limited to one post each. After closing arguments are finished, the jury can talk amongst themselves via private message before making a ruling (Guilty/Not Guilty). The jury need not provide any explanation for its verdict.

    So with all of that out of the way, I need individuals to sign up for the following roles:

    1) Prosecutor ( )

    2) Defense Attorney ( )

    3) Prospective Jury Members

    Only sign up for these roles if you are actually gonna participate. If you anticipate being unable to participate, let me know! This process is not rocket science and I guarantee everyone that even a trained monkey could do it based on what I see every day!



  • drafterman
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    3. Trials
    Trials of users are prohibited. Trials foster a culture of mob rule, and are thus counterproductive to the interests of fairness, order, and effective site administration.

  • Logical-Master
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    --> @drafterman
    Which is just a conclusory statement and nothing more as far as I am concerned. This is a harmless opportunity to put that philosophy to the test.  As I said in my OP, if this process proves worthwhile, we can always iron out the flaws in a later discussion.                 
  • Raltar
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    Trials foster a culture of mob rule, and are thus counterproductive to the interests of fairness, order, and effective site administration.
    I agree.

    However, I also believe the current moderators are counterproductive to the interests of fairness, order, and effective site administration.

    Compromise; Moderator decisions could be subject to an appeals system in which in which a group of non-moderators can overturn a moderator decision. It would be a sort of "peer review" system.

  • drafterman
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    --> @Raltar
    Moderator decisions are final and not subject to appeal.

  • Raltar
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    --> @drafterman
    Part of the problem.
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @Raltar
    I think the whole "mob rule" sentiment is just something somebody decided was true one morning and left it at that. I see no harm in actually conducting an experiment! :)
  • drafterman
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    Good luck getting it changed with the ridiculously high bar everyone voted on.
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @drafterman
    Good luck getting it changed with the ridiculously high bar everyone voted on.
    One step at a time. ;-)

  • drafterman
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    --> @Logical-Master
    Just be aware that your "experiment" is basically to violate the CoC to see what happens.
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @bsh1 @David @DebateArt.com @drafterman
    If anyone thinks a mere experiment is a violation of the CoC, I welcome them to speak now or forever hold their peace! DART prides itself on the thoughts of feelings of its community. And above all else, open-mindedness, freeform expression and the endless pursuit of the truth. That is what makes debate so great and that is a core value DART triumphs day in and day out!
  • bsh1
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    --> @Logical-Master
    Trials will be deleted and considered call-out threads, resulting in a mod response commensurate with any other call out thread.
  • David
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    --> @bsh1
    I am in agreement with this. 
  • David
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    David

    This debate was basically the epitome of mob rule. The majority of the 43 voters were simply vote bombs for the pro position. There were a few sympathetic people who voted con. Not a single vote had a sufficient RFD.

    That being said a person like izzy would very probably be perma'd long before it gets to the point where there is a so called trial. 
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @bsh1 @David
    Trials will be deleted and considered call-out threads . . .
    Question: What is a callout thread . . . exactly?


    This debate was basically the epitome of mob rule. The majority of the 43 voters were simply vote bombs for the pro position. There were a few sympathetic people who voted con. Not a single vote had a sufficient RFD.

    That being said a person like izzy would very probably be perma'd long before it gets to the point where there is a so called trial. 
    I wasn't aware this had been attempted before, but I can tell from bluesteel's first comment alone that it is in no way comparable to what I have in mind. 43 random people is a terrible way to conduct a trial and the whole thing is gonna automatically fall apart if there is no Judge in place to keep things in order. From the look of things, some random person decided X user needed to be banned and thus randomly decided a "trial" needed to be held. What we instead got was some debate rounds and votes filled to the brim with bashing and nothing but pure nonsense. In a nutshell, it wasn't done correctly.
  • David
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    --> @Logical-Master
    I wasn't aware this had been attempted before, but I can tell from bluesteel's first comment alone that it is in no way comparable to what I have in mind. 43 random people is a terrible way to conduct a trial and the whole thing is gonna automatically fall apart if there is no Judge in place to keep things in order. From the look of things, some random person decided X user needed to be banned and thus randomly decided a "trial" needed to be held. What we instead got was some debate rounds and votes filled to the brim with bashing and nothing but pure nonsense. In a nutshell, it wasn't done correctly.
    The izbo trial is the perfect example of mob rule.

    The way we have it set up right now one is told before hand that they will be banned and they have enough time to defend themselves and appeal their ban before the mod team. 
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @David
    The izbo trial is the perfect example of mob rule.

    The way we have it set up right now one is told before hand that they will be banned and they have enough time to defend themselves and appeal their ban before the mod team. 


    I can agree that the Izbo trial is a pefect example of mob rule, but simply not a trial for the reasons stated. It was more akin to an anarchistic bash fest. As to your justifications, my position at this time is to simply permit an experiment of a proper trial before reaching any conclusions. If things get out of hand or the rules violated, mods can freely close the thread, delete posts or whatever. But at this time, I see no harm in giving this system a non-binding test.
  • KingLaddy01
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    --> @Raltar
    group of non-moderators can overturn a moderator decision

    I think this a decent idea in principle. But the system would only work if the group was full of neutral-air non-moderators, rather than say, some of RM's biggest friends. Nothing personal against whoever those may be, but I don't trust users like that to use their power respectfully. I would trust a person like Tejretics who has never been a sucker for drama. How big (ideally) would this group be?
  • bsh1
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    --> @Logical-Master
    See the COC.

    Ultimately, this is a non-starter and not up for negotiation.

  • Vaarka
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    If I were to be a jury member, would I have to pay attention?
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @bsh1
    Whether it's up for negotiation or not, I want to make sure I understand you correctly. Because if a call-out thread is in fact "a thread specifically calling out a member by name, and speaking negatively about them", that surely would not be the case here or else we wold have a series a threads here on the first page alone that would constitute call-out threads and would thus also be subject to removal. Threads which appear to have not been deleted out of moderator discretion, right?

  • Polytheist-Witch
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    --> @Logical-Master
    Moderation of post usually depends on the mood of the mods
  • bsh1
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    --> @Logical-Master
    Mods have discretion to enforce the rules based on their perceptions of the seriousness of the violations. People simply saying, "I'm glad X was banned" is not sufficient to warrant action. A trial would be.

  • Wylted
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    --> @bsh1
    Retarded. A trial system would not foster mob rule. I hope to God you never enter politics. You seem like a fascist who would eradicate juries, and trials would all be for show if ypu allowed trials at all.
  • Logical-Master
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    --> @bsh1
    Well it's not just people saying "I'm glad X was banned." We also got people saying "X group is a bunch of faggots", "I Lost all of my respect for X" and *insert random rap battle OP", but those threads are still here and kicking. On the other hand, we have a potential thread that is premised and proposed based on a legitimate real-world process (with which bashing/mob rules concerns are either misplaced or easy to address on the front end) that you have promised to remove/wipe-clean on-site and without negotiation. I and many others would certainly rather avoid getting banned for making any other threads premised on legitimate real-world processes, so if you could help me out here in fleshing out the difference and seriousness, that would be great.