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Debate.org - Debate if debate.org users should switch to DebateIsland

Opening Argument

agsragsr 601 PtsPremium MemberTechnology Community Moderator

Debate.org


With so many users getting banned from Debate.org, abandoning their debate.org accounts, and switching to DebateIsland, how long until debate.org loses it critical mass and follows the fate of iDebate.org by shutting down its Debating functionality?
Although it already mostly feels like that on debate.org, I argue that not before long debate.org will just be left with spammers and audience looking to troll.

Debate.org - features


debate org polls and opinion features seem to be broken for awhile. 
debate.org discussions are sporadic and often result in personal attacks.
debate.org debates are just dysfunctional, get very little traction, and a third simply get abandoned.   
http://debate.org/

debate.org description - how true is it?

debate.org describes themselves in debate.org home page as 
Debate.org is a free online community where intelligent minds from around the world come to debate online and read the opinions of others. Research today’s most controversial debate topics and cast your vote on our opinion polls.

Lets dissect that description.
"Intelligent minds" - I have respect for many debate.org users, but for each "intelligent mind"', how many trolls, hater mongers, and etc are there?  Maybe if they add an "intelligent mind" badge then we would know who they are.
 There were multiple totally disgusting debates that people were replying to. I was almost sick looking at these debate.org debates and seeing people were engaging in debating these stomach-turning topics.
"Debate online" - sure you can debate online, but most debates either go unanswered, or get abandoned after 1st round.  If you get lucky to actually complete your debate, than barely anyone will vote on it and it will result in a tie. Oh, and if someone does vote then there is a good chance that either vote will be biased, or moderators will later remove that vote due to insufficient evidence.
"Cast your vote" - actually you can't cast your vote on debate.org.  Opinions polls have been broken for a while.  To vote in debates you need to complete the medieval torture of actually completing 3 debates, but since most people abandon debates or don't vote on debates that will become a major project to get voting rights.  In an off chance, after weeks and months If you happen to actually get there then debate.org will want your mobile number to verify your identity.  That sounds like a great idea with all the controversial posts, cyber hacks, and hate speech, to give your mobile number to debate.org. The last thing we want is to get hate calls in the middle of the night from someone who steals that information from debate.org and ties it to opinion posts.  No thank you, debate.org.  I don't think we are comfortable giving you our mobile number.


debate.org stats

Amazingly debate.org is still by far the number 1 Debate site in terms of users and traffic.  
It is on top in Google for word "debate".  The website is the original debate site established over 10 years ago.
It has over 400 thousand registered users

debate.org experiment

A few weeks ago Inc4t conducted an experiment to evaluate 3 top debate sites - debate.org, CreateDebate, and DebateIsland. Essentially, Inc4t posted the same debate on all 3 sites with a detailed review of all 3, asking for user opinions.  Looks like inc4t have done significant amount of hands on research that went in to that debate.org experiment.

There is a posted a debate on DebateIsland that has background information.
"Is DebateIsland better than Debate.org or CreateDebate for online debates?"

Bottom line from inc4t regarding Debate.org
I will argue that when Debate.org was originally established, it made a lot of sense.  It still may make sense for a small sub set of serious professional debaters.  Those days many folks logged in to their computers and wrote long essays to debate their opinions on important social issues.
However, this type of formal debating is outdated.  More people are interested in more casual debating while they are on the go.  We want to debate realtime when We commute on our iPhone or iPad. We will not have patience for waiting days for that one person to reply.  Also the issue with abandoned debates after initial round is widespread and is highly frustrating.  After you invest all that time and energy writing that long essay, you find out days later that the other person just ignored you and your debate is cancelled. Wow! Talking about feeling of frustration and rejection!
The user interface really needs some serious updating to make it more mobile friendly.  It has a lot of helpful content, but on a mobile phone it is barely usable.   There are so many things, debates, polls, forums.  However, they are all separate.  Debate.org should look to unify the experience.  The forums section is pretty much comparable to comments in newspaper articles, and you don't want to go there.
The content is highly offensive or inappropriate in many cases.  Please install  a bot for moderating foul language and ensure that the moderator cleans up offensive material.
Finally, the 3 completed debate rule for voting rights is frustrating.  Since most of the debates don't get any traction or get abandoned, the new users just end up being highly frustrated. The privileged class of users with voting rights can opine and vote on many thoughtful debates with little consideration - that make debaters feel like second class citizens. If you would like to debate half-baked comments from your voters then you are out of luck.


The conclusion was that debate.org debate got much less response, and users on all 3 sites overwhelmingly voted against debate.org and for DebateIsland.com

On Debate.org - (debate.org actually removes someone's vote voting for DebateIsland)

On CreateDebate winning 38-6 (and that is after CreateDebate removed and banned many accounts and votes voting for DebateIsland)



Many users who spoke up subsequently on debate.org and CreateDebate got banned and all their comments were deleted on those sites.

Debate.org Bottom line

I don't expect debate.org survive much longer.  It looks like it is collapsing and just milking whatever they have left.  I expect more of the top and other users continue to switch to DebateIsland, and it is just a matter of time.
DebateIslandSilverishGoldNova
  1. Debate.org - Debate if debate.org users should switch to DebateIsland

    5 votes
    1. Yes - Debate.org - debate.org users should switch to DebateIsland
      100.00%
    2. No - Debate.org will be just fine
        0.00%
Live Long and Prosper

Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • humdahumda 2 Pts
    Yes, they should and they are doing so.
  • inc4tinc4t 154 Pts
    When I conducted my original experiment with Debate.org, CreateDebate, and DebateIsland I was a user on all 3 sites.  I subsequently learned that Debate.org is definitely on its way down, and it's experience is just horrible and unfair to the remaining debate.org users.  
    I predict that debate.org will be a ghost town by end of the year, following fate of iDebate.org.  
    This month even the infamous dmoz online directory announced its shutdown.  It is time for debate.org to spare its users from their horrible online debate experience and let them switch to DebateIsland.
    I also have beem hearing from many how thousands of debate.org users are getting their accounts banned for even mentioning debateIsland. There are also proactive emails from debate.org moderators to some users, advising them to cut any contact with debateIsland.  
    If Debate.org is so afraid of DebateIsland, how about fixing their website instead?

    I agree that most debate.org users will leave and are leaving for DebateIsland.

  • DebateIslandRocksDebateIslandRocks 13 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    I agree as well.  Www.debate.org is too complicated to use.  I dropped my www.debate.org account.
    the mentioned debate at www.debate.org
    is a good description of the issue debate.org faces.

  • inc4tinc4t 154 Pts
    I'd like to provide an update related to my Debate.org experiment.
    Results of my analysis show that Debate.org is evaporating
    Given that debate.org is by far the largest volume debate website, I was really confused with lack of traction on my debate.org debates, and the feedback received on all 3 debate sites.
    I enjoy working with numbers and conducting fact-based research, so I decided to invest an hour of my time and figure it out.
    Debate.org publishes their statistics, so I was able to compare Debate.org usage stats between feb 28 and March 26, and that's what I learned.  

    In a 25 day period:
    Debate.org added 6300 new users
    Debate.org added 669 new debates
    Debate.org added 204 new debates in post-voting period.

    Let's take a closer look at the numbers.
    At a first glance, 6300 new debate.org users in a 25 day period sound great.  However, something is not adding up.  
    Since debate.org polls and opinions functionality has been broken for awhile, debate.org users can only use debates and forums.  
    I will argue that debate.org forums are far inferior to reddit, and don't  offer any debating.  At best I would call poor quality discussions.  I see little value of visiting debate.org forums.
    So how many debates did 417,000 debate.org users (and 6300 new users) create in 25 days?
    Only 669 debates - that is less than 30 daily debates.  Something is really wrong here.
    But wait, there is more.
    Only 204 debate.org debates were added in 25 days in post-voting status. That is less that 10 daily.  
    What does that mean? I believe that it indicates that 2/3rds of Debate.org debates either get abandoned in one of debate rounds, or ultimately don't get any votes.
    My initial assumption that only a 3rd of all debate.org debates had that issue, but now the data seems to show that it is 2/3rds! 

    I wanted to validate my findings by looking at empirical data at Debate.org.
    I ran a report of all post-voting debates sorted by newest.  

    Browsing through the first few pages, I learned that most of the debates only had one or a few votes, and single digit number of comments.  The most popular debate only had 18 comments.

    What are some of the Debate.org debates that actually got some votes and went to the post-voting period? Here are some examples:
    Should ugly people wear masks
    Cats are better than dogs
    Everyone should be allowed to say racial slurs
    No school
    Is it gay for a guy to wear girl clothes

    I'd say that's pretty poor quality debating at Debate.org

    Summary:
    Looking at the qualitative and quantitative evidence, it is clear that Debate.org stats look horrible.
    No one is debating, and vast majority of debates either get abandoned or don't get any votes.  
    Since new user data is not supported by actual site activity, I suspect that debate.org new user data is indicative of robotic spammer users, that sign up via some sort of script and attempt to spam the site.
    And if Debate.org popular debates include a heated discussion about requiring "ugly people to wear masks", I just have to ask, really? 

    Not sure about Debate.org operating expenses, but most likely this site is essentially abandoned and just milking whatever residual users are still left.  

    I predict that Debate.org will shut down before the year ends.

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