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12/12/2014 8:08:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Welcome to!

This thread will answer the most common questions you might have while using Please familiarize yourself with the information found here to get the most out of your experience.

Table of contents:

[01] Welcome, Table of contents
[02] Introduction, the basics, who can I ask for help?
[03] Email Verification and Identity Confirmation - I CAN'T VERIFY MY ACCOUNT! PLEASE HELP!


[04] Jargon
[05] Starting a debate
[06] Mafia
[07] Voting
[08] Content to be added
[09] Extended Code of conduct
[10] Code of conduct continued


[11] Writing a debate resolution and setting up a debate
[12] Resolutions, Burden of Proof, Semantics, Picking topics
[13] Brittwallers Cookbook
[14] Brittwallers Cookbook continued
[15] Adding pictures to your debates


[16] Tournaments
[17] New Member Debate Mentorship Program
[18] Content to be added
[19] Sources and contributors Moderator
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12/12/2014 8:22:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Introduction, the basics, Who can I ask for help? (DDO) offers many features and options to maximize your enjoyment of the webs largest online debating community. If you are new to DDO, you may have many questions. Please review the following to better understand how to use the site, and gain the most from your experience.

The following resources are a great place to start for information about DDO:


The FAQ can be found in the HELP section at the bottom of the page. It can also be viewed by clicking here:

Here are just some of the most commonly asked questions found in the FAQ:

Q: Can I have multiple accounts?
A: No. In order to protect the integrity of, each member is only allowed one active and verified account at a time.

Q: Why do I have to give you my cell phone number? What is it used for?
A: Cell phone confirmation is only necessary if you wish to vote on debates. The numbers are used to ensure that each debate vote belongs to a unique individual. This helps maintain the quality of our debates. Your cell phone number will not be used for any other purposes.

Q: What if my country/cell phone carrier is not listed, or I do not have a cell phone?
A: You can request to have your account manually confirmed for debate voting. To do so, finish three debates, then contact the site moderator (Airmax1227) who will manually confirm your account.

Q: Can I change my username?
A: No. The username you create when you sign up will be the same for the life of your account.

Q: What is the general site Code of Conduct?
A: prides itself on intellectual and thought-provoking conversation. Please be courteous and mindful of other members. When in doubt of whether or not something on the site violates our Code of Conduct, contact a moderator for clarification.

Q: Who is the site moderator?
A: Airmax1227 -

Q: How does one become a site moderator?
A: One may become a moderator if recommended for this responsibility by an existing moderator.

Q: What is vote bombing?
A: "Vote bombing" is when a vote is cast in one or more categories without sufficient supporting reasons in the mandatory Reasons for Decisions (RFD) box. In essence, vote bombing is unfair or unfounded voting.

Q: How do I have my post deleted?
A: You may report your forum post by clicking "Report Post" in the upper right hand corner of your post. Please provide a brief explanation in the report comments. Alternatively, you may contact a moderator directly to request that your post be deleted.

Q: What is Mafia?
A: Mafia is a forum game played in the "Games" forum. It pits two teams, an informed minority and an uninformed majority, against one other in order to determine a winner. Games of Mafia are usually always taking place, and sign-ups for new games happen almost every week.


A great source of information for those new to debating on is the Official Guide to Debating on

Another great source of information is Ragnar's Unofficial New Users Guide:


Who can I ask for help?

The are many members who will gladly help you on DDO. Any one of the following members may be contacted at anytime to help you with whatever you may need. Moderator:

Airmax1227 -

Assistant Moderator:

Whiteflame -

Junior Moderators:

PetersSmith (Polls section) -

Voting Issues Moderator:

Whiteflame -
Deputy VIM - Blade-of-Truth -

Community outreach members:

Hayd - Moderator
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12/12/2014 8:32:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Email Verification and Identity Confirmation


If you are experiencing issues with e-mail verification and/or identity/cell phone confirmation, please read the following:

E-mail Verification - "Verify Your Email Address"

Necessary for: Participating in Debates, Forums, and Opinions

When you created your account, you should have received an e-mail from verify @ (no spaces) to the address you used to sign up. This e-mail contains both an e-mail verification link and your corresponding verification code.

If you have not received the verification e-mail:

1) Double check your inbox and/or any spam/trash folders for an email from verify @ (no spaces)
Once you find the e-mail, click on the link, and input the corresponding code when prompted.

2) If you cannot find the e-mail, visit
a. Navigate to and log in to your account
b. Navigate to (link) to resend the verification e-mail
c. Check your inbox and any spam/trash folders
d. When you open the message, follow the link and input the code when prompted

If the e-mail verification code and/or link in the email is not working:

1) Send an email to webmaster @ (no spaces) with the subject line "Verification Problem"

2) Please supply your username and describe in detail the issue you are having

For all other issues, please send an e-mail to webmaster @ (no spaces).

Cell Phone Confirmation - "Confirm Your Identity"

Necessary for: Voting on Debates

If you would like to confirm your identity without the use of a mobile phone, either because you do not wish to share your number or because your carrier and/or country are not available, please follow these steps:

1) Complete 3 debates

2) Contact the site moderator, airmax1227 (, to have your identity confirmed manually Moderator
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12/12/2014 8:43:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago

Jargon - by Rockylightning

-DDO: Is an abbreviation of Debate Dot Org

-votebombing: Is a practice on DDO where a member puts all of his votes towards one member either because he agrees with that member or because he wants that member to win. Never, ever votebomb, and if you feel it is necessary to put all 7 votes towards one member, make sure to leave a Reason For Decision (RFD) that explains your reasoning.

-RFD: Is an abbreviation for Reason For Decision. These are mandatory on most debates. When a user votes and leaves an RFD, it should explain why he voted for a certain member in each voting category.

-Noob sniping: A term used for when an experienced member debates a noob (and wins) just to inflate his Win/Loss Record.

-Spam debates: Debates with no purpose that are [usually] made to annoy members of DDO. Some spam debate resolutions: "lkdfsall;kklasdfjlk" or "Rabbits will eat my opponent". Do not confuse with joke debates, which are non-serious resolutions with serious arguments.

-Spamming: When a user annoys other users by posting a lot of text on nothing. There are two types of spamming. Text spamming, such as "LOLOLOLYOULOSTTHEGAMELOLOL" and argument spamming "I like cheese, do you like cheese?". Most spammers make their own threads to spam in, though if they infect a serious thread the consequences can be disastrous.

-Troll: A user who finds pleasure in annoying other members. To learn how to deal with a troll, watch the second video.

-Record Attempt At Most Posts Thread: Is a thread in the misc. section of the site where members are free to spam and troll as much as they want.

General Debate jargon

Some members have done debate in high school or college. There are a few specific terms these forms use that the users may replicate on site debates.

Case - The opening argument for a position.

Contention (C) - One of usually two or three key arguments.

Card - Piece of evidence, usually a quote.

Drop - An argument is dropped when it is not responded to. Arguments that are dropped are usually considered true for the remainder of the debate. You must respond to an argument once it is made, you cannot wait until the next round.

Warrant - Reason why something is true. If you just say "Drugs are bad", opponents will say your argument is unwarranted.

Impact - Why an argument is important. Ex: Environmental protection must be maintained; not doing so will result in the extinction of several key species.

Cross-examination/Cross-Ex - Time when you can ask your opponent questions. They can be any type of question.

Disadvantage/Disad - Affirming or negating the resolution will cause X bad thing to happen.

Turn - Used when your opponent uses an argument that actually supports your side. For instance, if your opponent says that we should pull out of Iraq because a lot of people are dying there, a turn would say that leaving Iraq would actually cause more people to die.

Impact turn - Used when your opponent argues that a certain consequence will happen if you affirm or negate the resolution, and say that this consequence is either good or bad. An impact turn would say that the consequence actually isn't good, its bad. Or vice versa. For instance, one side may argue that offshore oil drilling will reduce gas prices. You can impact turn this by saying that lower gas prices will reduce our desire for alternative energy. Thus, low gas prices are actually bad. Moderator
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12/12/2014 8:59:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Starting a Debate - By Rockylightning

-First you need to click on DEBATE at the top of any page once you have logged on (a)

-Second click START A NEW DEBATE on the left side of the screen. (b)

-Now you will see this page.

-Make sure to fill out all sections on this page.

(a)Decide how many rounds you wish to have. The more rounds the longer the debate. Be careful going to large or too short, to large may make some voters not want to take the time to read it. If it is too short they may not take it serious.

(b)Decide on how long other members can vote on your debate. Most new members choose a long time period for their first debates.

(c)Decide on how long you and your opponent will have to argue in each round. Don't cut yourself too short, life comes out of nowhere sometimes and it is usually seen as poor conduct to forfeit a round.

(d)Decide on how many characters you and your opponent will have in each round. This is much like deciding on the time to argue, don't cut yourself short but also remember an abnormally long and drawn out debate gets less voters.

(e)Decide if you would like voters to give a reason for decision (RFD) when they place a vote on your debate. This is a great tool to get feedback on how you and your opponent did.

(f)This is where you will place your main argument. Some like to have extra rounds (a)and use the first round for definitions and acceptances of certain guidelines specific to the debate.

(g)This is your resolution or topic of the debate, this will be seen when someone is reading through the lists of debate on Try to make it interesting but most important try to stay away from resolutions that can fall prey to semantics. An example of a semantic prone debate would have a resolution like this.

"President Obama will not get re-elected"

In addition, when typing your debate argument, there is a common way of citing sources on DDO. In your argument, when you have just typed an argument that references a source, you simply put a number in brackets [1] like so. [1] References the source listed below as #1. This is the same source citing technique Wikipedia uses. [2]
Remember ALWAYS to give the actual page you got your info from, not just the site (incorrect: Moderator
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12/12/2014 9:07:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Mafia - By Rockylightning


"Mafia" and many other fun forum games can be found in the "Games" section of the forum.

How to play

Mafia is a game in which there are usually two factions: the town and the mafia. There can also be a cult and other third party roles, but these aren't in every game. There are two phases: the day phase and the night phase. In the day phase people talk and try to figure out who the mafia is, and they vote to lynch whoever they think is mafia. In the night phase, people use their roles and the mafia collectively decides on a townie to kill.

The mod will PM you a role and a character. The PM will also tell you whether you are town or mafia.

If you are town: Your job is to kill off anyone who is part of the mafia. You can do this by lynching people in the Day Phase, or by killing them in the Night Phase if your role allows that. You win when there is no mafia left.

If you are mafia: Your job is to kill off the town. You can do this by voting to lynch them in the Day Phase. The mafia has a PM where the mafia players can communicate. Each Night Phase, the mafia agrees on one player to kill. Be careful not to look guilty, the townies are looking to find and lynch you.

List of roles


--Cop: Can investigate one person every night phase, telling the cop whether the player is guilty (anti-town) or innocent (town).
--Doctor: Can protect one player every night phase. Protected players cannot be killed.
--Vigilante: Can kill one player every night phase.
--Jack of All Trades: Can kill, protect, or investigate one player every night phase.
--Miller: Appears guilty when investigated
--Bulletproof: Cannot be killed in the night phase. Not immune to lynching.
--Paranoid Gun Owner: Kills anyone who tries to use a night action on them.
--Mason Recruiter: Can recruit other players into a PM.


--Role Blocker: Can block the role of one player every night phase.
--Godfather: Appears innocent when investigated.
--Tracker: Can watch a player during the night phase to see who he visits (uses a night action on).
Third Party
--Jester: The jester wins the game by getting lynched.
--Survivor: The survivor wins by not getting killed during the game.

Modding list

The mod list is where people can sign up to be a mod. It is divided up into two sections; one for large games and one for small games. To sign up, put your name at the bottom of the appropriate list. When your name reached the top, it is your turn. The mod list is used to control the amount of games going at once, so that there are not more games then there are people willing to play them. Moderator
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12/12/2014 9:17:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago

Vote Moderation Policy Guide

The purpose of this guide is to explain the vote moderation policies here on This includes the standards to be used when placing a sufficient vote and the key reasons why a vote will be removed or deemed insufficient. In essence, this guide covers our general course of action when dealing with reported votes.

Section I. What is a Sufficient Vote/Reason for Decision

Vote Moderation defines a sufficient vote as one that explains *why* you thought one side had better arguments, higher quality sources, superior spelling and/or grammar, or superior conduct. If those respective standards are upheld within a vote that awards points for any of those four sections, then the vote will be deemed sufficient by Vote Moderation.

A) Which side had better Arguments

There are two key requirements to placing a sufficient reason for decision when deciding which side had better arguments:

The first is that the voter needs to reference specific arguments and/or counter-arguments from *both* sides that impacted their reason for favoring one side over the other. The second necessity is that the voter needs to explain *how* those arguments impacted the outcome that the voter arrived at in the end.

B) Which side had higher quality Sources

The key to placing a sufficient reason for awarding sources is an emphasis on quality, not quantity. This means that the voter needs to explain how the sources were relevant to the debate. This requires that the voter explain how the sources impacted the debate, directly assessing the strength of at least one source, and explaining how it either strengthened or weakened the argument it was utilized for. Even if one side does not present a source, the voter must at least establish the relevance of the other side's sources.

C) Which side had superior Spelling and/or Grammar

The key to placing a sufficient reason for awarding spelling and/or grammar starts by giving specific references to the mistakes made by one side or the other. More importantly though, these spelling and/or grammatical mistakes need to be excessive. A good rule of thumb is that if the spelling or grammar render the arguments incoherent or incomprehensible, the coherent side is awarded these points. While this can be somewhat subjective, it should be clear from the vote why a given argument is difficult to read, and not just how many errors a given side has made.

D) Which side had better Conduct

When voting for which side had better conduct, the voter must provide specific references to the instances of poor conduct in their vote. Furthermore, there are two main factors necessary for an acceptable reason:

The first is if one side was excessively rude, profane, used unfair tactics, broke the debate rules, or forfeited one or more rounds in the debate without reasonable and given cause. The second pertains specifically to awarding conduct *solely* for forfeited rounds. If this is the case, then the voter must also explain arguments, unless the debate is forfeited by half or more of its rounds. Then and only then would a vote that awards only conduct points be acceptable.

Section II. Reasons why a vote would be removed or deemed insufficient.

Vote Moderation will remove any reported vote that is deemed insufficient. In Section I., we covered what would make a vote sufficient in accordance with site voting standards. In this section we will cover reasons that would make a vote insufficient.

A) Failing to explain every single point you award

If you award conduct and argument points and explain why you awarded arguments, but fail to explain why you awarded conduct, then your vote will be removed.

B) Failing to explain *why* you awarded a point

If you say, "Con had better arguments," but fail to explain *why* Con had better arguments, then your vote will be removed. The reasoning must be specific and relate solely to the debate being judged. This also applies to Conduct, S&G, and Sources.

C) Voting based on personal bias

While it is recognized that personal bias will factor into decisions as a matter of course, your RFD must be as objective as possible. This means that if a voter employs clearly biased reasoning (e.g. "I voted for Con because I liked his argument more", "I voted for Pro because ______ is wrong", "I voted for Con because of I know that Pro is wrong", and "I voted for Pro because I don't like Con) as the reason for their awarding points, then that vote will be removed.

D) Voting based on outside influence

The voter must assess the content of the debate and *only* the debate, any reasoning based on arguments made or information given outside of the debate rounds is unacceptable. This includes reasoning that stems from already-placed votes, comment sections, and separate forums. If this is evident in your vote, the vote will be removed.

E) Voting based on nonsensical, objectively false, or contradictory reasons.

If your reason for voting just doesn't make any sense, claims that Pro or Con did something that they did not actually do, or says that Pro had better arguments but you accidentally voted Con, then your vote will be removed.

Section III. Special Circumstances

There are special circumstances that could determine whether a vote will be removed or not. In this section we will review these circumstances.

A) Full-forfeit Debates, Conceded Debates

A full-forfeit debate is defined as a debate that has no argument presented by one side following the opening round. When this is the case, these debates are considered full forfeit debates and are not moderated unless a voter votes for the forfeiting side. Similarly, a conceded debate is any debate in which on side clearly concedes the debate to their opponent. These debates are considered conceded debates and are not moderated unless a voter votes for the side that concedes.

B) No reason is required for voting

Some debaters opt to require no reason for decision when placing a vote. This is part of the options for how a debate can be structured, and thus is established upon instigating the debate. These debates are not moderated.

C) Troll Debates

If a debate is publicly designated as a troll debate, or if both sides present arguments that are done for the sake of trolling, then the debate is not moderated.

D) Stricter Opt-In Standards for Voting

Some debaters might prefer the stricter opt-in standards for voting. When these standards are applied, *every* argument and rebuttal must be significantly addressed by the judge. To be clear, this does not require that the voter specifically reference every single argument, but that it is clear through their RFD that they factored in any points of substance. Failure to do so will result in the vote being removed.

E) Statute of Limitations

When voting on a debate has already been completed for over the period of 1 month, we deem it as being past the statute of limitations and therefore do not moderate those votes. Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:03:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Extended Code of Conduct for (DDO)

1. Definitions

1.1 Terms of Use. The rules agreed to by members as a condition of membership, given at Sometimes referred to as terms of service [TOS].

1.2 Trolling. Use of inflammatory language, personal attacks, or extreme and unsupported claims aimed at provoking emotional response rather than debate.

1.3 Vote bombing. Abuse of DDO voting privileges by awarding points to a debater for reasons unrelated to the arguments or evidence presented in the debate.

1.4 Moderator. A person granted authority by the site owners to enforce the rule of the site.

2. Scope

2.1 If there is any conflict between this document and the Terms of Use, the Terms of Use takes precedence.

2.2 This document establishes trolling and vote bombing as offenses punishable by a Moderator or through trial.

2.3 This document establishes the procedures for holding trials of members in cases where violations of the rules as judged by a Moderator are for any reason unclear. Trials are at the sole discretion of a Moderator, and the provision of the Terms of Use whereby members may lose membership privileges is unchanged.

2.4 The Moderator retains the ability to remove a member or restrict privileges without benefit of a trial.

3. Warnings

3.1 The Moderator shall issue warnings to members upon observing patterns of their apparent trolling or vote bombing. The forum post, debate, or debate comment exhibiting the offense shall be cited in the warning. The member may choose to respond with a defense of the behavior.

3.2 The warning shall advise the member that repeating the offense may result in loss of membership privileges.

3.3 If an offense is repeated after the member has received a relevant warning, the member may be subjected to, at the option of the Moderator, revocation of membership privileges or subjecting the member to DDO trial.

4. Trials

4.1 The member shall be notified in advance of the trial.

4.2 The Moderator shall appoint a prosecution team.

4.3 The accused member may select a defense team or request that the Moderator solicit a defense team.

4.4 The Moderator shall establish accounts for prosecution and defense for the trial, which will be conducted as a DDO debate. The trial debate shall be four rounds of 8000 characters with a three day response period. The voting period shall be two weeks.

4.5 The Prosecution shall prepare charges and post the charges with links to supporting evidence as a challenge to the Defense. No new charges or evidence of offenses may be introduced after the challenge. The Prosecution may, however, post additional evidence in rebuttal to defense claims.

4.6 All members having voting privileges may vote on the trial debate.

4.6.1 At the option of the Moderator, the Moderator may appoint a jury prior to the start of the trial and announce that the verdict will be determined by the vote of the jurors alone. If a jury is appointed there shall be either three, five, or seven jurors. Each juror shall have participated in at least ten debates. The jury may consider the membership vote in making their decision, but are not bound by it.

4.6.2 The standard for voting for the Prosecution is that the charges have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. A reasonable doubt is not any doubt, but rather the doubt that a reasonable person would have given the evidence of the trial.

4.6.3 Voters shall be instructed in the Prosecutors' R1 that they may vote up to all seven votes for the prosecution or the defense.

4.6.4 Voters finding the defendant guilty may use the RFD to recommend a suspension of privileges rather than permanent loss, and they shall be advised of this by the Prosecutors in R1.

4.6.5 The Moderator shall comply with the result of the trial. If a guilty verdict is found, the Moderator shall select the level of punishment.

4.6.6 The Moderator shall act as judge in ruling upon trial procedures.

Created by: Wnope, RoyLatham, and Unitedandy

Commissioned and endorsed by: President innomen.


Personal Attacks Policy

TL;DR: Personal attacks serve no purpose and only harm what we are trying to foster on this site. They will no longer be tolerated. This policy will take place site wide--In debates, forums, polls, opinions, and everywhere else. Do not make personal attacks, or there will be consequences.


This is a website of heated exchanges. Yet it should also be a place where all users can feel comfortable--a space where they can be free of personal attack. But on a website of such variety of ideology, and that's intended to foster debate, it's worth spending some time explaining what that means in our context.

Personal attacks have always been against the TOS. However, there has not been an extended discussion on what, exactly, is a personal attack for the purposes of the site. Recently, it has become apparent that that discussion is necessary.

The following is an explanation of the sorts of things that are not allowed on DDO, in order to keep this a place that fosters debate and discussion. Expect this to be followed moving forward. This policy will take place site wide, including in debates, forums, polls, and opinions. If you have made personal attacks, stop doing so. If you were thinking about making a personal attack, don't.


A personal attack, in the context of this site, is not "anything directed at a person that they find to be unfavorable". Not only would such a definition be absurd, it would stifle exchange and debate. If someone is being dishonest, calling them out on it could be considered by the literalist to be a "personal attack". You are, after all, saying something negative about them, personally. But that's not what's intended by the policy.

The goal is to foster debate, and allow for even heated debate and exchange of ideas, without allowing abuse and unwarranted attack.

Instigation of a personal attack will, of course, face a harsher penalty than reciprocating against one. But understand that the latter is not off the hook.

The only appropriate responses to personal attack are: taking the high ground and replying to it without a personal attack, ignoring it, or reporting it.

Violations of this policy may or may not include a warning--and scale quickly from that, to a suspension, up to even a permanent ban. Airmax is the final arbiter of the policy.

A personal attack can take several different common forms. There is some overlap between them, but it may be helpful to specifically outline a few:


This is where, outside the context of a discussion on the topic or of behavior in the course of that discussion, someone posts something negative about a specific member. Generalized complaints about generalized behaviors are not direct attacks. But, for example, a thread specifically calling out a member by name, and speaking negatively about them, is a direct attack. Attack threads will be deleted out of hand.

There is another kind of direct attack, as well. The kind of post where someone drops in to just say something like "You're all idiots". While not a direct personal attack against an individual, it's still a direct attack against the members on the thread.

There is a very slim exception to this rule, noted mostly for history's sake. It only applies to moderators. On occasion, a moderator may initiate a trial of a member. Only moderators can initiate this process. If you have a beef with a member being on this site, the appropriate place to bring it up is with a moderator. In the unlikely event something like a trial is necessary, they will make that determination.

Direct attacks are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: A forum post saying "You're an idiot", or a debate with the resolution "User123 should be kicked off the sit Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:04:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago

A step below even the Ad Hominem fallacy in terms of argument: Simple unjustified insult. "Stupidity" is not something that can be objectively justified. Nor can other insults with subjective meaning. (A**hole, etc.) Some things which may be insulting can be justified. "You are saying something dishonest" can be justified objectively, by demonstrating dishonesty. If it isn't justified, though, then it becomes a mere insult. Mere insult of ideas is allowed--mere insult of people is not.

Slurs against an entire class of people (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, religious, political, ethnic, or national groups) are mere insults. Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse for mere insult. Mere insults are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: "You're an a****le", " You f**")


Should be the easy one, on a debate site; ad hominem is a logical fallacy which every debater should be aware of. Formally known as the Argumentum Ad Hominem.

Ad hominem attacks are not valid rebuttals. Which is not to say that the every statement about the person in relation to their arguments is an ad hominem attack. Pointing out that of course a politician would deny cheating, whether they did cheat or not, is not an ad hominem. Claiming that of course someone cheated, because they're a politician, would be. Ad hominem attacks are personal attacks. They are not tolerated.

(Ex.: "Well, you're a cop, so your opinion is wrong")


Another kind of personal attack is where a member with whom you've had heated exchanges in the past posts something unrelated, and you feel the need to bring up their actions there against them. Unrelated discussions are just that. Sometimes new discussions do directly relate to the old ones. Then, it may be acceptable to bring up the old ones. Otherwise, if it's not related to the current discussion, it's just you attacking them to attack. That doesn't help the current discussion/debate--it only hinders it. Comment on the arguments presented, and the way they're being presented. Not about the member or your own general opinions of them.

Treat every new exchange with a member with as much of a "clean slate" as possible.

Cross-thread contamination is a personal attack. It is not tolerated.

(Ex.: In a forum about the relative tastiness of cheeses, User A opines that smoked gouda is by far his favorite. User B says "Yeah, smoked gouda is delicious. But you think that leveraged buyouts are legitimate uses of corporate financing, so your opinion is worthless!")


Accusing a member of misconduct (such as votebombing) is serious. Obviously, misconduct is bad. But likewise, baseless accusations are bad.

If you're going to accuse a member of something, remember that serious accusations require serious evidence. Egregious misconduct of the kind likely to warrant immediate banning should be reported to airmax1227, rather than complained about in the forums. However, if you want to discuss something like an accusation of a supposed vote bomb, you may bring up the vote for discussion, provided you actually have cause to make the accusation. Without that evidence, an accusation is as stifling to discussion as a threat.

It should be noted that, even with a justified accusation, stating what consequences will result would be a threat. Which brings us to threats.

Threats are, for the purposes of this policy, personal attacks. They are not tolerated. Threats include (but are not limited to):

- Threats of legal action. This should be self explanatory.

- Threats of violence (even oblique ones). This should also be self-evident.

- Threats of "Doxxing" someone, or exposing a user's real-life persona. Particularly if the threat implies exposing the user to political, religious or other persecution. It's not doxxing if it's information they have provided. It is if they have not.

- Threats of moderator reporting or action. If you are not a moderator, threatening someone with moderator action is, first and foremost, an empty threat. More than that, though, it's a threat intended specifically to cut off the discussion at hand. If you really have a reason to report someone to a moderator, do so. Do not threaten to do so.

(Ex.: "I'm going to hunt you down and break your legs", "I'm gonna get you banned for this!")


As previously noted, instigation of a personal attack will not be tolerated. Neither will retaliation for a personal attack. Report attacks to airmax. It can be difficult to not respond when you've been personally attacked or abused. But you should not take it upon yourself to reply in kind. Airmax is the moderator. It is his job to intervene and ensure no one is getting attacked or abused. Help him do his job by reporting any you receive, and understand that he will investigate and act accordingly.

"Fighting words" are posts intended solely to provoke or belittle. They're essentially a form of bullying. Even if you've avoided the specific use of an insult, if you post a diatribe intended solely to make someone feel bad, you're going against the goal of the site. If you're getting in the way of that goal, even if you're technically keeping your hands clean, expect to have a conversation on the subject with airmax.


The above examples are not an exhaustive list. Just as there are many forms of personal interaction in general, personal attacks can take many forms. While not every negative thing said to you is a personal attack, if you believe you've been attacked, contact airmax1227. In the interests of allowing as much exchange of ideas as possible, moderator intervention is primarily initiated when a member contacts a moderator about an issue. In some cases, for the good of the site, a moderator may step in even when no complaint has been made.

It cannot be said often enough that the goal is the fostering of debate and discussion of ideas. Please keep that in mind in every post you make. If you know that what you're saying will stifle that, reconsider. Remember that you don't have to comment on everything you have an opinion on. If your opinion is just a mere insult, then it would be better for you to not voice it.

When in doubt, simply comment on the content without referring to its user at all.

And always remember that the internet is a primarily text-based medium; tone of voice doesn't always come through. If you meant to be kidding, but the person you were joking with didn't "get it", trying to say "I was just kidding" isn't going to be a sufficient defense. Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:06:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago

Introduction to writing a debate resolution and setting up a debate - By darkkermit

A debate resolution is the debate topic you want to either affirm or negate. While writing a debate resolution might seem simple at first, it is very important that the resolution is worded properly. A poorly worded or vague debate resolution can be exploited by an opponent.

A poorly worded debate resolution is open to semantic. Semantics occurs if one uses a word that has multiple meanings, and the opponent twists the meaning around so that the definition favors him or her. An opponent might also take a figure of speech, and argue against the literal meaning.

Take for example J.kenyon's debate with mecap:

Since valid, in philosophy, means:
Valid: so constructed that if the premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction.[2]

J.Kenyon was able to win the debate by explaining that the argument was valid,
even though some of the premises could have been false.

Here's another example of a debate trying to use semantics but it backfired:

It should also be noted that the harder it is to negate a resolution, the more likely the resolution is going to be abused by semantics. Most likely, the audience will applauded the opponent's use of semantics and vote in favor of that opponent. So in other words, don't try to get an easy win by debating an easily defendable topic, since it will come back to bite you.

To avoid an opponent using semantics on you, it is important to define your terms before the debate. The general debate custom is that whoever defines the terms first,

Another important part of writing a debate resolution is to avoid generalizations. For example, If my resolution title was "bananas are yellow" and I was Pro, then this resolution can easily be refuted. CON can point out that bananas can be green and sometimes brown.

To avoid this pitfall ask yourself "Do all of A have attribute X,Yand/or Z?". If you can find counterexamples, then I would suggest you try to rephrase the resolution.
Finally, it is important to establish which opponent has the burden of proof, abbreviated as BOP.

The general custom is that an instigator that makes a positive claim, must provide evidence that the claim is true. Asserting that a claim is not the same as arguing that the claim is true. Evidence and logic must be used to prove the claim. More will be discussed later on how to actually come up with evidence that a statement is true.

As a result, often it is much more difficult to argue as PRO then it is to argue as CON. Unless explicitly stated, CON does not have to prove that the resolution is false, just that there is not enough evidence to prove that the resolution is true.
For example, If my resolution is that "god exists", CON does not have to prove that god does not exists, only that there is not enough evidence to prove that he exists either way.

In some situations, both opponents have an equal burden of proof. What this means is that PRO must prove that the resolution is true, and CON must prove that the resolution is false. For example if PRO states "The minimum wage should be abolished" it might be CON's burden to also explain why the minimum wage should remain. Before any debating begins, the criteria for who has the burden of proof and how the winner of the debate is determined should be established beforehand. Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:08:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Resolution, Burden of Proof, Semantics, Picking Topics - By RoyLatham

A resolution is a statement

Debate resolutions are affirmative statements like: "The grass is green." Resolutions are not questions. If a resolution is posed as question -- always by a new debater -- the Pro position usually is the one that answers "yes" to the question. Don't take a debate if the challenge is unclear.

The burden of proof

Be aware that there are least four theories as to who has the burden of proof:

1. Whoever is Pro.
2. Whoever instigated the debate.
3. Whoever wants a change in the status quo.
4. There is no burden of proof. Whoever makes the better argument wins.

Often 1, 2, and 3 are the same person, but not always.. 4 is usually only favored by novice debaters. Sometimes a debater calls himself Con, but is clearly the proponent of the resolution. My advice is that if it isn't clear who has the burden of proof and you think it matters, then ask through a comment before accepting. Often enough it doesn't seen to matter. If you are posting a challenge and it isn't clear who has the burden of proof, and you care, then state it as part of the challenge.

Semantic arguments

The meaning of words is determined by the context in which they are used. The word "set" in English has over 100 meaning. Consider, "He set the table with a new set of dishes, so we were all set to eat." The sentence makes good sense even though "set" is used with three different meanings in the same sentence. English is actually pretty good about not having multiple meanings. Some languages have man words with thirty or forty meanings.

Your opening argument should give enough context to define what the words in the resolution mean. That context might include a whole opening argument, a description of the general area of debate, or specific definitions.

Personally, I don't buy attempts to use unexpected alternate meanings. A recent debate affirmed "Planes can't fly." and then tried "Oh, I didn't mean airplanes, I meant planes that are used by carpenters (or whatever it was)." No, "planes" in the context of "fly" is clearly understood to mean "airplanes." The trick is not clever and should be punished by the opposing debater and by the judges of the debate.

However, if the meaning is not clear from context then semantic arguments are valid. "Atheist" means "lacking a belief in a god or gods" to most atheists, but it means "denying the existence of God" to many religious people. Under the first definition, an agnostic is an atheist. Lacking definition at the outset, semantic arguments are likely. Religious debates seem to be full of semantic arguments, but there are others. A "theory" in science is not the common meaning of "theory," for example.

Pick subjects you know

When considering resolution, think of subjects that you know something about and that you find interesting. It's not important whether the fate of humanity depends on the outcome f the debate or not. If you are not interested in the subject, you won't put in the time required to make a good debate. Make the resolution a clear statement and make sure all the words are defined either explicitly or by context. Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:11:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Brittwallers Cookbook

This cookbook was initially developed several years ago as a predecessor to this new user thread. It was aimed at helping less experienced debaters achieve better debates.

It was never fully employed until now. The main proponent of this cookbook was Brittwaller, a well know and very respected member of Brittwaller passed away Aug. 16th 2010 he was 29, and has been and will be severely missed.

Rest in Peace Britt Waller

We included this cookbook as a way to honor and remember Brittwaller.

I hope you can find the time to read this cookbook. It is a lot to take in but this is the advice of some of our best debaters. I'm sure you will learn something and be able to apply what you have learned to one of your next debates.


There are many means and reasons to have good etiquette.

The simplest way to practice great etiquette is to have the first and last sentences in your debate are a welcome to your opponent. Thank him for his or her intelligence (no matter what you personally think). You can also in this first opening paragraph ask him to keep the debate mannerly if he's been rude. You can also suggest that he keep away from such and such a topic, as it doesn't pertain to the debate. Really the opening paragraph is as much a way to keep the debate friendly, factual and on point as it is to make yourself look more mannerly and intelligent.

Personally when I read a debate and see that one opponent has started out by being mannerly while the other has just gone right into his/her argument, I immediately get a better opinion of the more mannerly person. Also the opening paragraph is the first thing voters will read. You look much better if you start out by being mannerly and your opponent doesn't.

Additionally one can practice good etiquette towards the end of your debate. This reaffirms your politeness (in case you seemed rude anywhere in the debate) and reminds both your opponent and your voters of the desire to keep the debate mannerly. This will ward off any insults your opponent my throw at you the next round, because your opponent will realize how poorly the insults will make him look in the eyes of the voter.

With that being said, try to refrain from personal insults throughout your debate, as it will only give your opponent ammo on being more polite than you and bringing up your insults in the opening paragraph of his next round. One can have excellent arguments, but if he is rude the chances of him winning the debate are much less than they would have been had he been polite.

Etiquette not only remains in use in the debate itself but also extends to the comments section. Although a comment can be anything, more intelligent debaters will refrain from insulting each other in the comments section and refrain from divulging into personal rants. Please save rants for the forums. Also, if you are placing a comment, try to make that comment more on constructive criticism of both debaters than on tearing down someone's argument. Constructive criticism will make you look more intelligent, and both debaters will appreciate your insight. Also constructive criticism will help voters determine who placed a better argument. Additionally, writing the reasons why you voted the way you did is another excellent use of the comments section.

Please try to avoid criticizing other debaters' reasons in the comments section unless they are blatantly biased. Additionally try to refrain from placing your comments in the comments section until the debate is in the voting period. The comment section should only be used before the voting period if a debater missed the deadline and wished to post his argument in the comment section, or before the debate has been accepted to further clarify the resolution and/or parameters of the debate.

Overall, etiquette is one of the most important tools a debater has, if used properly, debaters can become much more advantaged in their coming debates by applying these simple guidelines.


Logic is critical if you want your debates to actually make sense and if you want your arguments to be solid. Basically, by using logic correctly, your argument will be fool-proof. The following is a little how-to for logic.

[b]Syllogisms (Deductive Reasoning)[/b]

A syllogism uses premises to infer a conclusion. Here is the basic layout:

If p, then q.
Therefore, q.

By saying "If p, then q", we say that if p occurs, then q will follow. The second line "p" means that p has occurred. To keep your argument sound, these first two premises must be true. "Therefore, q" means that because of the first two premises, q has occurred. This is a direct syllogism. Let's look at an actual example.

If it rains, then I will be wet.
It is raining.
Therefore, I will be wet.

Now if you've ever stepped outside under the rain, you'd know that it makes you wet. So since the premises are both true, the conclusion must be true. Here's another example.

If it rains, then pigs will fly.
It is raining.
Therefore, pigs will fly.

This is false, of course. Pig's don't fly, and even if they did, I doubt it would be because of rain. Because one of the premises has been proven false, the conclusion is false.

There are also more types of syllogisms, but that was just the most basic one. All you need to know is that the premises must be true in order for the conclusion to be true. So to recap:

A conclusion is false if at least one of the premises used to reach it are false.
If your conclusion (resolution) is reached by using true premises, then it cannot be disproved.
To keep your argument solid and sensible, make sure your arguments are logical and according to your premises, your conclusion must be true.

[u]Inductive Reasoning[/u]

Inductive reasoning is kind of like deductive reasoning, but it's not as effective and you should probably avoid it. Basically, inductive reasoning assumes a conclusion based on one's own knowledge. For example:

All observed crocodiles are less than 40 feet long.
Therefore, all crocodiles are less than 40 feet long.

Now, I'm pretty sure nobody has seen a 40 foot crocodile. That would be quite silly, after all. However, just because one hasn't been observed doesn't mean it exists. There could be one right outside your window! That is the problem with inductive reasoning; it turns assumptions into facts. You want to avoid this kind of reasoning in your debates, and attack it whenever you find it in an opponent's argument. So, for example, if I was debating the user LR4N6FTW4EVA on "There is no crocodile that is more than 40 feet long", and he, being the silly person that he is, said, "Well, I've never seen one, and nobody else has, so that must mean it doesn't exist", that would be inductive reasoning. I would point out the fact that just because it was never recorded doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


Using reductos is kind of like using a process of elimination. The basic layout goes like this:

X implies either Y or Z.
Y is impossible.
Therefore, Z.

One action cause two different reactions; however, if you prove that one of those reactions is impossible (or near impossible), then one can logically conclude that the result will be Z. For instance, say I wanted to prove:

Choosing random answers to SAT question [don't do that, by the way] implies either passing or failing.
It is HIGHLY improbable that I will pass the SAT by choosing random answers, given that there are five choices to every question, and hundreds of questions.
Therefore, I will fail [most likely]. Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:12:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Adding Pictures To Your Debates - By Imabench

If you want to add pictures directly into your debates, it is a rather simple process.

Step 1:
The first thing you have to do is save the picture you want to use in your argument to either your computer or a folder on your desktop where you can access it later.

Step 2:
When you are on DDO, there is a tab that says "My Photos" which is under the account menu. Under that tab you can create a new photo album or use an already existing one to upload your photos

Step 3:
Simply upload any photos you want to use in your arguments to the photo albums by clicking the "add" button. There are many ways to add photos to an album but this is the simplest

Step 4: Make sure the photo was successfully uploaded. Sometimes you have to do it twice because it didnt work the first time around

Step 5: Now in the debate you are in, click on "Rich text" at the top left corner of the box where you type your arguments. Scroll to the place you want to insert the picture.

Step 6: In the Photo Album, "Copy" the photo, not the URL just the photo, then simply "Paste" it into your arguments where you want it.

Tada! Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:19:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago Tournaments

If you would like to moderate an official tournament please contact the site moderator (airmax1227), or the Tournament Czar, SolonKR,

Official Site Tournament:

Moderated by Hayd,

Official Beginner Tournaments:

Moderated by SolonKR,

Unofficial Tournaments:

If you would like to moderate an unofficial tournament, please add your name to the following sign-up list: Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:19:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
New Member Debate Mentorship Program

This New Member Mentorship Program is designed to teach new debaters the ins and outs of becoming a better debater from start to finish. Debaters looking to enroll in the program can expect to be taught how to properly construct a resolution, how to write a cohesive case, helpful research methods, as well as in-debate tactics and techniques such as rebuttals and defenses.

Debaters who sign up will be assigned a mentor from among the site's most elite debaters who will walk them through the basics of preparing for a debate, then debate the new user while showing them in-round techniques and tactics for new users to use.

The entire program should take approximately one to two weeks to complete.

If you would like to sign up, message Hayd - Moderator
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12/12/2014 10:56:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Sources and contributors:


[1] Orientation thread:
[2] DDO tutorial thread:
[3] Verification thread:
[4] New Members Welcome Thread:
[5] FAQ:


[01] Darkkermit
[02] RoyLatham
[03] Logic_on_rails
[04] Rockylightning
[05] Imabench
[06] jharry
[07] Andromeda_Z
[08] BlackVoid
[09] ChristianM
[11] Twsurber
[12] Ore_Ele
[13] Bladerunner060
[14] Ragnar
[15] Koopin
[16] Wnope
[17] Innomen
[18] Unitedandy
[19] Airmax1227


That concludes the Read Me. Feel free to post in this thread to say hello and introduce yourself. If you have any questions or need clarification about anything, please contact any of the appropriate members, or create a thread in the appropriate forum.

Thank you for reading, and welcome to Moderator
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12/13/2014 1:13:40 AM
Posted: 6 years ago

Welcome to DDO :D
I don't care about whether an ideology is "necessary" or not,
I care about how to solve problems,
which is what everyone else should also care about.

In essence, the world is fucked up and you can either ignore it, become cynical or bitter about it.
Deep down, we're all dumbassses who act like shittheads



P.S. Shipped Sailey before it was cannon bitches.
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12/13/2014 7:29:41 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/13/2014 1:13:40 AM, ESocialBookworm wrote:

Welcome to DDO :D

Shush nobody wants to know you :p they all want to learn of the great linkish.
"I am a mystery and to unlock the mystery at my core, one must simply embrace slendermans hug with no fear."- me

"I hearby declare myself a phantom in the darkness."-me
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12/13/2014 11:23:54 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/13/2014 7:29:41 AM, Linkish1O2 wrote:
At 12/13/2014 1:13:40 AM, ESocialBookworm wrote:

Welcome to DDO :D

Shush nobody wants to know you :p they all want to learn of the great linkish.

More like they want to get to know Uncle Seb.
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12/14/2014 12:06:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/14/2014 8:25:16 AM, Ajabi wrote:
Welcome! I am immortalized here forever.

No , really this is Ajabi . Leader of the DDO Elite and the real man behind RationalMadman.
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12/14/2014 12:14:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/14/2014 12:06:24 PM, SebUK wrote:
At 12/14/2014 8:25:16 AM, Ajabi wrote:
Welcome! I am immortalized here forever.

No , really this is Ajabi . Leader of the DDO Elite and the real man behind RationalMadman.

How dost thou know of my true form?
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12/14/2014 10:33:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
This is really really long. Almost like one of those agreement contracts that some sites make you agree to, contracts that you never ever ever read.
That said, these series of posts are instructive both to members who feel that they need to know the policies of the site and to members who'd like to learn a bit about the site's various features.
Read it.

P.S. Airmax is absolute dictator. Do not oppose him. Lots of users enjoy this site's features and community. I hope you will too. :)
Senpai has noticed you.
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12/14/2014 10:40:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/14/2014 10:37:03 PM, tylergraham95 wrote:
This sticky blows.

I thought you liked sticky blows?
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde
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12/14/2014 10:40:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/14/2014 10:40:12 PM, Maikuru wrote:
At 12/14/2014 10:37:03 PM, tylergraham95 wrote:
This sticky blows.

I thought you liked sticky blows?

Did I indicate counter to this?
"we dig" - Jeanette Runquist (1943 - 2015)

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