Structured debate/counterpoint spam

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Problem

In a structured debate, dishonest participants may repeatedly raise spurious objections ("counterpoint spam") solely for the purpose of keeping the correct conclusion in a state of presumed falsehood.

This is similar to the technique of throwing spaghetti, although in this context it doesn't matter if the spaghetti "sticks" as long as it takes more time to "clean up" than to "throw".

Solutions

  • Each of these objections can be answered in turn, until the dishonest participant (DP) runs out of new ones.
    • Unlike in other debate formats, or informal debate, objections are not forgotten; they remain easily findable until they are answered.
  • In practice, it may be helpful or necessary to provide a mechanism whereby any participant can request a popular vote to curtail the activity of a DP. Possible proposals include:
    • "This argument is a repetition of an argument already refuted." This should be accompanied by a link to the duplicated argument.
    • "The person making this argument is not engaging in honest debate." This should be accompanied by specific accusations.
    • "This argument is verbal nonsense." -- for cases where the DP is typing random words or characters in order to flood the system with objections.

It should be a relatively simple matter for the system to keep track of such violations and provide a "DP" rating for every participant -- which would further harm their ability to convince others of their agenda.