The state of online debate


Have you ever tried to follow or, God forbid, participate in a debate on Twitter or any social network or online forum? It can be quite frustrating for the following reasons:

It's overwhelming

There is no limit to either how long or how numerous the responses can be. Twitter limits the number of characters but it doesn't limit how many tweets your interlocutor can send before you have a chance to reply. Nobody is required to wait for their turn.

Everybody's invited

You may enjoy a debate with one person, but not with another. That won't stop them from joining in. Anybody can reply to you and they do. Even if you can ignore them, your interlocutor may not. While the original debate seemed promising it can now steer in any direction due to distractions.

No time to think

While this incoherent group is busy replying to each other, it may feel as though you need to reply as soon as possible if you want your opinion to be heard. You don't have time to read others' replies and think because, if you take too long to reply, there may not be anyone there to care.

Lack of context

While under pressure of time and short format, there's one thing that will be missing in your replies and that's context. Others will fill this gap by whatever context best suits their arguments. It's the perfect setting for misunderstanding.

The competition

Because of vanity metrics, such as likes or retweets, the imperative of the debate is to win, not to be right. Our sole aim is not to understand the opponent's standpoint, but for ours to be endorsed by more people.

The bubble

The result is a shouting match. We never truly understand the other side and they never truly understand us. Our shouting is echoing back to us off the walls of the bubble we have imprisoned ourselves in. Too bad. Nobody is right 100% of the time and we're missing a chance to learn.

The value of debate


All the opinions in the world are here, on this vast platform that is the Internet, but they are locked in bubbles. If a particular opinion is not in yours, at best, it will be interpreted to you by someone who is. Usually in a selective fashion that won't even let you understand it, let alone accept it.

Aristotle said that the mark of an educated mind is to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. A platform that supports that is precisely what's missing on the Internet today.

I made Debubble when I imagined the value I could get by simply seeing two well-argued, opposing opinions on a single page, side by side, without interpetations or distractions. A true debate.

Debubble


Debubble is a publishing tool that facilitates a debate between two people.

It will let you start a debate. Other users can then challenge your opening arguments. If you accept a challenge, you and the opponent will be able to engage in a public but distraction-free conversation. Debubble will make sure you wait for your turn before you can deliver your arguments. It will also limit each response to 1500 characters (roughly one page) and the entire debate to 12 turns. Instead of cheering for their side like sports fans, users will be able to signal the value they got from your conversation by starring the whole debate.


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