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Review of DebatePolitics

DebatePolitics reviews

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xelorx
1 review
1 helpful vote
5/19/19

Introduction:
I joined DebatePolitics.com (DP) about a year ago. My user ID there was Xelor, and I welcome you to review threads I created (https://www.debatepolitics.com/search.php?searchid=8976974) and posts I made so you can get a sense of the types of content and arguments I presented. Here are a few of the ~10K posts I made on the site:
-- Post 82 in "Today.... These are the kind of fake news headlines the public is subject to reading...." (https://www.debatepolitics.com/bias-in-the-media/345290-today-these-kind-fake-news-headlines-public-subject-reading-post1069607358.html#post1069607358)
-- Post 10 in "I trusted you!' Trump voters seethe after realizing they're getting screwed by the GOP's tax plan" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/breaking-news-non-msm/346679-trusted-you-trump-voters-seethe-after-realizing-they-re-getting-screwed-gop-s-tax-plan-post1069657197.html#post1069657197)
-- Posts 56 & 57 in "Richard Dawkins' Compound Ignorant Mistakes" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/academia/323315-richard-dawkins-compound-ignorant-mistakes-post1069825534.html#post1069825534)
-- Post 1 in ""FBI chief Wray refutes Barr, says no 'spying' on Trump campaign" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/breaking-news-mainstream-media/356284-w-171-fbi-chief-wray-refutes-barr-says-no-spying-trump-campaign.html)
-- Posts 394, 395 & 396 in "FBI chief Wray refutes Barr, says no 'spying' on Trump campaign" (Post 394: https://www.debatepolitics.com/breaking-news-mainstream-media/356284-w-171-fbi-chief-wray-refutes-barr-says-no-spying-trump-campaign-40.html#post1070092879)
-- Post 1 of "Reconcile this..." (https://www.debatepolitics.com/general-political-discussion/343720-reconcile.html#post1069545120)
-- Post 1 of "Social Welfare" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/economics/328183-social-welfare.html)
-- Post 1 of "Should public schools teach Father Georges Lemaitre's creation theory in science classes?" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/education/357009-should-schools-teach-father-georges-lemaitres-creation-theory-part-their-science-curriculum.html)
-- Post 1 of "An examination of the NRA's argument against registering guns" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/gun-control/319182-examination-nras-argument-against-registering-guns.html)
-- Post 1 of "A legislation proposal on accountability" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/gun-control/316095-legislation-proposal-accountability.html)
-- Post 1 of "Is it logical to believe in God solely on the basis of the major arguments for His existence?" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/328829-logical-believe-god-solely-basis-major-arguments-his-existence.html)
-- Post 1 of "An age of character draws depressingly yet conspicuously closer to a close" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/off-topic-discussion/339339-age-character-draws-depressingly-yet-conspicuously-closer-close.html)
-- Post 1 of "Regulation of Software Platform Firms" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/general-political-discussion/338954-regulation-software-platform-firms.html)
-- "Do you think people should be held accountable for their blacked out behavior? (see the rubric)" (https://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/332536-do-you-think-people-should-held-accountable-their-blacked-out-behavior-see-rubric.html)

Jejune Discourse:
The vast majority of opening posts (OPs) on DP consist of a member excerpting a passage or two from a news article whereof the opening poster (OP-er) writes a banal sentence or two about it. Basically OP-ers' OPs do little more than inform readers that "so and so" wrote an story about "such and such." Once in a blue moon, an OP-er cites a news or other essay as the inspiration for an editorial/argumentative essay OP-er presents.

Don't mistake me, however. I started threads of that sort (https://www.debatepolitics.com/general-political-discussion/338330-we-find-no-convincing-evidence.html). The disappointment derives not from the mere existence of such threads. Rather it's a function of threads commenced with a member's own editorial essay wherein s/he takes a clear and unequivocal stance being too rare.

Like most OPs on the site, most subsequent responses in the thread are little purport to discuss among the most complex issues of our time with only a sentence or two more prose than a tweet allows.

So, if you're looking for a place wherein people present strong, complete and coherent arguments for/against a given policy or "whatever," I suggest you look elsewhere. You can certainly present your own "proper" argument (note there's a 5000 character limit to each post, so you'll to break such commentary into multiple posts -- see posts 6-9 in "Is Quality of Life Actually Increasing?": https://www.debatepolitics.com/general-political-discussion/316475-quality-life-actually-increasing-post1068525698.html#post1068525698); however, if you do, expect to receive either no response or a barrage of trivial ones or one after another response that fails to consider material parts or all of the themes, factors and the relationships among them that you addressed.

The posting style of liberal and conservative members is fairly similar; however, conservatives are more likely to post remarks that have absolutely nothing to do with the actual thread topic. Conservative members tend, slightly more than liberals, also to make inferences that aren't supported by the content to which their inference pertains.

Lastly, notwithstanding member's political lean, there're a lot of posts made by folks who really aren't well versed on the subject being discussed, yet they express strong opinions about it. For example, see the above referenced thread: "Should public schools teach Father Georges Lemaitre's creation theory in science classes?", the poll responses, a number of the posts in it and my own post 27 in it. Indeed, post 62 in that thread reflects a profound lack of understanding about the scientific method and the Theory of Evolution.

A lot of the exchanges on DP consists of members taking cheap pot shots at the political party, ideology and/or politicians they oppose or dislike. For instance, conservatives are quick to defend gun rights and assail gun control advocates, but they are completely quiescent when bid to proffer ways to attenuate the incidence of involuntary gun-related deaths and injuries. Liberals are quick to decry income inequality, but their doing so is ideologically driven rather than founded on any particular economic theory.

And, yes, there are certain members who seem to lurk in wait for threads they can derail, generally any thread that presents a strong argument against the lurker's stance or political or medial "darling," there are certain members (liberals and conservatives) who routinely post insightful and on-topic comments. The latter genre of member's are the bright lights on DP, but they comprise a very small minority of the regularly participating membership.

Capricious Moderators:
I was given an infraction for the content I posted in the above referenced post 396 (https://www.debatepolitics.com/breaking-news-mainstream-media/356284-w-171-fbi-chief-wray-refutes-barr-says-no-spying-trump-campaign-40.html#post1070093061), A moderator declared defamatory my response to the other member. I attempted to dispute the infraction, but on the same day I was told my dispute argument -- my refutation of the infraction was based on the fact that the truth is not defamatory -- was being considered, I was banned.

So that's another problem: if you are well versed on a given topic -- natural sciences, jurisprudence, social science, business management, etc. -- you'll need a lot of patience if you're of a mind to defend your own remarks. (It's just as well that I got banned, for my patience had run out and I'd about a month ago satisfied the social-media research goals that moved me to join it in the first place.)

On the same day I received the aforementioned notification, I also created a thread a moderator summarily deleted. That thread asked the DP moderators about the copyright message, "Debate Politics.com Copyright ©2004-2019," that appears in the footer of every DP page. I asked who, per public records, is the copyright claimant and for what exactly was copyright claimed. I asked because after using the Library of Congress' copyright search tool, I could find no copyright that had ever been registered in association with Debate Politics.com (or anything resembling it).

I initially posted the above question in the "Feedback/Suggestions" subforum, and that is wherefrom it was summarily removed from view (presumably deleted).

DP has a section called the "Basement." (Non-members cannot access that part of the forum.) Among the subforums in the Basement is one called "Where's My Binky?" The "Binky" part of the Basement is where members may air criticisms and complaints about various actions the moderators take...Or, in DP's own words in the DP rules, the Binky section is "made specifically for members wishing to rant about Moderator action."

On the same date that I was told my dispute was being considered, I created a "Binky" thread to complain about my the moderators' having deleted my copyright question thread. In my Binky post, I noted exactly what I'd asked about, and then I complained about the deletion.

About an hour or two after I created my Binky "rant," I was banned for "harassment." Whom I harassed I don't know.

In addition to the specific example of moderator caprice described above, moderators do not appear to exercise any measure of consistency in terms of who or what comments for which they assign infractions. Indeed, they exercise little-to-no discursive oversight; consequently, it's rare that a thread actually stays on-topic. The moderation team's insouciance in that regard is evident by how infrequently one sees in-thread moderator instructions/warnings to stay on-topic as compared with how many posts in any given thread are off-topic.

Other thoughts:
The non-political sections of DP are pleasant enough, but it can be like pulling teeth to get people to share things. For instance, the Food section is fairly lively, yet on the several occasions I bid folks to share recipes, very few folks did.

A fair number of DP's members will readily attest to "this or that" personal experience -- sometimes related to careers, sometimes merely anecdotal -- in support of a political or policy stance they're advancing, don't expect much in the way of reflective exposition that connects those experiences with something going on in the world today.

Conclusion:
On what basis, if any, would I recommend DP?

Well, the ratio of conservatives to liberals is relatively even, though it seemed to me there were slightly more conservatives among the regular posters.

If you're seeking a web forum that encourages, welcomes and is structured to support rigorously coherent (sound/cogent) debate on public policies, look elsewhere.

If you're seeking trivial jabs based on whataboutism, tu quoque, guilt by association, well poisoning, and whatever other rational failing there is, DP may be a good fit for you.

Tip for consumers: Don't join DP if you have high to moderate expectations and/or little patience for banality. If you want a place where you can, with more characters than Twitter allows, express whatever trite notions enter your mind and/or you care to read and respond to whatever hackneyed notions enter others minds, DP may be just right for you.

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tonyd174
1 review
6 helpful votes
8/5/18

I joined Debatepolitics.com about 4 weeks ago and have been an active participant in the site,having started 24 threads and written over 680 points in that period of time.

I have been warned on 3 different occasions and now have 6 infraction points with the last one being in my opinion totally unfair as I drew an infraction from a post where I said of the poster that I was debating with that he sounded like a "true Trumpian". This was not meant as a dis of him but as a categorizing statement, like saying "said like a true Democrat and/or said like a true Republican".

I did contest the infraction and was given as my contact person a poster that is clearly "for Trump" as he has on his "about me" page that he is a member of the tea party. As such, not an impartial contact person.

I have also found the site not all that valuable given that my interest is more in debating about Trump and his policies and yet the people that are "Trumpians" generally do not debate with facts and figures but with opinions not backed up in any way. Meaning that debating with them is a waste of time.

In the entire time I have been there have been about 15 Trump supporters that have contested my posts and I have only found "perhaps" one that I was willing to further debate with.

I give the site a grade of "D" so far.

On the other side of the coin, the members arguing against Trump have been mostly informative and well researched but even in their case, the responses have been mostly opinion without much research behind them.

erice113
1 review
4 helpful votes
7/19/18

I have been on Debate Politics for nearly 10 years. I have posted about 10,000 times. I am also an outspoken critic of Donald Trump. I have not had any of the experiences that others have talked about. I have debated moderators without an issue. In my tenure, I have never received an infraction point (though I know that is rare), though I have been warned a few times. The warnings, however, were polite and appropriate (I deserved to be warned).

I have not been on that many debate sites, but I find this one to be pretty good. I usually can find good posters to debate with, though since Trump's election the character has changed a bit... the best conservative posters have become never Trumpers., while the Trumpers are zealots and not always interested in reason. It is often difficult to have a serious conversation with them. The pre-Trump era debates were much richer.

I actually think it is a well moderated site. Most of the people that have been run from the site, should have been run from the site. There are probably two or three that need to go, but I bet they are gone by year's end replaced by three more classless idiots... but, that is debate on the Internet.

The Basement is its own sub-culture and bit clicky, as represented. But, if you come to the site, bring your best debating game, are reasonably well informed and can disagree without being disagreeable, you would be a welcomed addition.

danielk269
2 reviews
4 helpful votes
7/9/18

Don't even bother wasting any time on this site, unless you are a Trump Supporter! The so-called Conservative Monitors will infraction-you-to-death! There are forum rules- but because of the obvious double standard, I'm totally convinced they only apply to liberal posters and others who do not support Donald Trump's policies and actions. It is the most unfair Political Debate Forum on the internet with some of the most unintelligent members on the planet!

charlesj75
6 reviews
18 helpful votes
10/31/17

Unless you're going along with the Crowd, you'll not last on this Forum. Since the Trump Election, The Ault-Right has the ear and access of Forum Moderator. If you're a Left Leaning Member, better not make them Mad, or they'll get their friends in the ever changing Moderator Pool to start racking up the points against you. If you want to really Debate, find a place that allows different points of view.

juniorb28
3 reviews
33 helpful votes
9/6/17

Several of the Mods have turned debatepolitics into a creepy, overly- and unevenly and unfairly moderated forum. They include Kal'Stang, Nota Bene, and Captain Courtesy, who act politely but certainly punish philosophies they don't like. They permit privileges in baiting, flaming, and trolling to pet posters while smashing the same actions of others they simply don't like. They deliberately misdefine "ad hom" and use it to give infractions and bannings.

Still, once the wise and sly poster realizes the game is rigged, that poster can use the system against the Mods and do pretty much whatever he or she wants. I have been under this name, and they are searching for the others.

koshergrlk
3 reviews
41 helpful votes
8/23/17

The site is rigorously patrolled and maintained by mentally ill death cultists who ban anybody who can pose an argument they can't counter without breaking their own *civility* rules. They banned me forever, of course. They have some of the worst trolls from usmessageboard, this seems to be a site for trolls to roll. Avoid it. They're creepy.

gt32
3 reviews
54 helpful votes
11/26/16

Debatepolitics seems pleasant enough at first. Most of the people are nice, and the community is undeniably quite a bit more mature and intellectual, on average, than most. Beneath the surface, however, the board is actually something of an Orwellian nightmare in terms of moderation, administration, and the culture behind it.

Have you ever had the misfortune to work in a truly toxic environment? One where management always makes sure to be on their soft-spoken "Ps and Qs," but are backbiting and manipulative authoritarian low-lives underneath it all, making decisions based off of petty personal biases, rather than any sort of real professional interest? Yeah... That's DP's moderation team in a nut shell. They'll swear up and down that they're all just as professional and impartial as can be, and that they are absolutely bound by the board's rules in laying down judgement (and God help the poor fool who suggests otherwise on the open board).

In reality, however, they clearly show favoritism towards some posters, and negative bias towards others. What gets one person a slap on the wrist, or is allowed to pass entirely, will get another punished to the fullest extent possible. And if, for that matter, the mods decide that a certain poster needs to go, they will not hesitate to bend, twist, and distort the rules in basically any way necessary to make it happen as quickly as possible. They will usually do it all with a smile... At least where other posters can see the interactions in question.

That's before we even get to the "good ole' boy" circle jerk that is "the Basement." In theory, this "special" area of the board is a place, mostly free of moderation, meant for blowing off steam, and the settling of grudges. The reality of the place, however, is a veritable no man's land of clichish and caustic board vets, psychopathic trolls, and bullies. These supremely unplesasant people operate with near total impunity, and viciously rip into any new-comer unfortunate enough to cross their paths.

Which... Finally... Brings us to the board's last and most serious problem. It's - really rather bizarre - "troll culture." One fact serves to illustrate this point above all others: that among the number of those "Basement-dwellers" mentioned above one can even find a Senior Moderator - having served in his position for several years. This individual claims to be a psychologist in real life. However, he not only openly boasts about using his skills in that profession to manipulate the rest of the moderating team, but he also claims to use his advantaged position on the board to drive posters he dislikes into nervous break-downs for his own amusement.

Most shocking of all, however, is that - while this mod's antics draw numerous complaints from board members - no one with any power or influence seems to care in the slightest. Some even congratulate the probable psychopath on his "smack skills," and will gladly toast along with him to his many victims.

Likely due to the Basement's influence, this seems to be a sentiment shared by many - if not even most - of the board's longtime members towards trolls and trollish behavior of all measure; both in the Basement, and on the greater board. They feel that it's perfectly acceptable to be an actively malicious troll; deliberately lying, baiting, or otherwise trying to cause harm to other posters. It's just not alright for the intended victim to draw attention to it, or try to fight back. They feel that deserves to be punished. Hell! The moderators even count accusations of "trolling" as being an infractable offense, regardless of if the poster accused openly admits to being a "troll" in other contexts, or is well known by that reputation across the entire board!

Yes, I'm almost certain that this plays into the favoritism and biased moderation I mentioned above. Some people seem to be able to insult, bait, and abuse other posters with near impunity even when operating outside of areas in which the board supposedly deems this as being appropriate behavior. It is likely more than just coincidence that these favored posters also happen to be board vets, and usually the Basement's most well known agitators as well, more often than not.

In any case, DP can be a lot fun. Most of the rank and file membership is nice, and the atmosphere is generally fairly relaxed in most areas. It might behoove one, however, to keep their head down, and avoid some of the more corrosive subforums likely to draw attention to one's self from the board's more malicious and corrupt "elite" members. Simply speaking, no good ever seems to come from it.

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You know, I really don't know whether it's legit company or who's behind the site, and the folks who are have assiduously endeavored to make sure it's hard to find out. For example, I asked who, per public records, is the copyright claimant for DebatePolitics.com and immediately after doing so, I was banned. On another occasion, I did a "WhoIs" search to find out who owns the site, and my search revealed that the site owner uses a proxy outfit to mask his/her/its identity.

By Xelor X.
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