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Voting is an important part of Debate.org as it lets debaters know what they did right or wrong on their debates, and improve by learning from their mistakes and the feedback left behind by voters. However, voting in a biased manner and/or without proper justification is not helpful to other debaters as they cannot receive constructive criticism from biased votes, is detrimental to the site's intellectual integrity, and may be removed by the moderators.

How to Vote

Who did you agree with before the debate? (0 points)

Select which, if any, side that you agreed with before reading the debate.

Who did you agree with after the debate? (0 points)

Select which, if any, side that you agreed with after reading the debate.

Who had better conduct? (1 point)

The user who had the best conduct and avoided personal insults. Profanity, insults, and other types of poor conduct cause debaters to lose their conduct points to their opponent.

Who had better spelling and grammar? (1 point)

The debater whose arguments had better spelling and grammar and was more readable wins the spelling/grammar point.

Who made more convincing arguments? (3 points)

The debater who made the most convincing arguments and critically analyzed their opponent's arguments wins this point.

Who used the most reliable sources? (2 points)

Select whichever debater had, on balance, (1) a greater quantity of evidence, (2) better quality evidence, and (3) correctly interpreted evidence, and (4) relevant and well-used evidence. [1]

Explain why you voted for the debater you voted for

In the RFD text box, type in why you voted in the way you did. Explain why the points were awarded in the way you did so with clear, concise, but detailed writing. Remember to vote and explain the points based on the arguments of the debaters rather than personal opinion.

Bluesteel's moderation - what is looked for in a bad vote

The following text is taken from Bluesteel's topic - "Voting Issues Update" -

"I want to highlight a few issues that I keep seeing in RFDs over and over again. I generally am policing RFDs for two things:
(1) Failure to explain *why* a point was awarded.
(2) BS reasoning that appears strategic, i.e. attempts to award more points for bogus reasons or for really minor things.
As to the first, you'll see a lot of reasons for removal as being: failure to explain *why* a point was awarded. A mere statement *that* one side had better arguments is not a sufficient reason *why* that side had better arguments. It doesn't matter what *synonym* you use for "Pro/Con had better arguments." If it is a mere statement *that* one side did better, it is not a sufficient RFD. So "Con had better arguments" is just as insufficient an RFD as "Overall, Con just had a better go of it," or "Pro's rebuttals were insufficient," or "Pro failed to meet the BoP." I need at least *some* specificity as to *why* Con was better, or *why* Pro's rebuttals failed, or *why* Pro failed to meet the BoP. If your RFD can be copy-pasted to any debate and it would still make sense, you're not being specific enough. The following RFD could apply to *any* debate, which is why it's not specific enough: "By the end of the debate, Pro just convinced me more and was better at upholding the BoP and had better rebuttals." This RFD is so generic that it doesn't help the debaters at all in knowing (1) what the reason for decision was in this particular debate, and (2) how to improve -- which is the whole point of an RFD system. It also doesn't help me at all as a moderator in verifying that this person actually read the debate and reached a reasoned decision. This test is a pretty easy one to apply. Would your RFD make sense if it were copy-pasted as an RFD into a different debate? If so, it is going to get removed if I run across it or it is reported.
As to the second, a common example is "Con had more sources." The sources point is supposed to be about quality ("more reliable sources"), not quantity. If I read the debate and Pro had 20 sources and Con had zero, an RFD about quantity is going to be fine. But if I read the debate and Con had 6 sources and Pro had 3 sources, the vote starts looking like it was strategic. It's one thing if one side fails to provide sufficient source support (i.e. offers zero sources); it's entirely another when one side has a slight quantitative advantage on sources. *Please* stop padding your votes with conduct, S&G, and sources votes. I hate to remove otherwise valid argument point votes because someone added in S&G without adequately explaining why.
Ultimately, this moderation system is designed to be as objective as possible. I'm not policing RFDs to see if I agree with their reasoning; I'm only checking to make sure that they explain their reasoning at all. It's like doing a math problem for a class. You have to "show your work." If you just put the answer to the problem, most math teachers are not going to give you any credit. Likewise, if you don't show your work, your RFD gets removed.
Ultimately, that's the most fair system. That way, RFDs aren't being removed just because airmax or I would have voted a different way. They are only being removed because the author of the RFD failed to do his or her homework. While there is a bit of subjectivity when I'm trying to guess the user's motivation (in evaluating whether the RFD is manufacturing bogus reasons to award more points), I generally only remove RFDs that are flagrant in abusing the point system, such as awarding S&G for a single spelling mistake or awarding sources due to a slight numerical advantage in the number of sources. It's a relatively low bar to pass. The bar for a sufficient RFD is *much* lower than the bar for an RFD that I personally would consider "good" or "well reasoned." My TRW series was designed to deal with RFDs that pass muster for moderation purposes but that I would still consider poorly reasoned decisions. So just because an RFD passes moderation, don't assume that I agree with it or think that it is free from error. Only know that the RFD "shows its work."
The site could -- of course -- change the moderation standards so that only well-reasoned RFDs pass muster. bsh1 had a proposal that seemed to create a higher standard for "sufficiency." The site could theoretically adopt a stricter standard by consensus. But until that happens, please don't report votes just because you have a substantive disagreement with them. It makes more work for me and airmax, and if you repeatedly cry wolf when there's nothing moderation-worthy in an RFD, your future reports may be taken less seriously. Your reports are naturally taken more seriously if every time you report a vote to us, there is a clear problem with it.
As a side note, if the reason that the vote is deficient is not immediately apparent on the face of the RFD, please PM me directly with a link to the debate, a copy-paste of the RFD, and an explanation of what you think the problem is with it. This is particularly helpful for debates that fall within the "BS reasoning" category. But make sure the RFD really does appear strategic or biased (i.e. would set off a reasonable person's BS meter), rather than you merely having a substantive disagreement with it." [2]

References

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