An online debate is a communication format, in which two participants defend their opposing positions on the chosen topic.
Each debate includes 5 stages: creation, challenge, argumentation, voting and post voting.
Debates can be created by any active user that has the permission for participating in the debates.
When creating a debate, in addition to the topic and some other parameters, the instigator has the opportunity to invite other users into the roles of the contender or/and the judges. In this case, the instigator will be forced to wait for the invitations to get accepted or declined before proceeding to the next stage.
If at least one of the invitations gets declined, the debate becomes stale and will be automatically deleted after some short period of time.
Unless the contender has been selected at the creation stage, the debate goes into the challenge stage.
During this stage, any active user that has the permission for participating in the debates may accept the open challenge and become the contender. When the contender has been found, the debate goes into the next stage.
The argumentation is the stage when participants take turns publishing their arguments, the number of which is equal to the number of the rounds in the debate.
When argument is not published by the deadline, the participant automatically forfeits the round and most likely will be punished by the voters.
When all arguments have been published, the debate goes into the next stage.
During this period, the community or the appointed judges select the debate's winner, based on some criteria. Depending on the debate's settings, the voters may have to provide a set of evaluations, such as the quality of the arguments, the information sources, grammatical correctness and general conduct. In other cases, the voters must simply select the winner.
In order to avoid fraud, only participation in the debates with the open voting system leads to the change in the ratings of the participants.
After the winner has been selected, the debate goes into the next stage.
The post voting
The debate is considered finished and the users are encouraged to discuss it in the comments section.
Created debates can be edited only if other participants have not yet participated in them. If the debate has a contender or at least one judge, it cannot be edited because that could possibly violate the terms on which those participants agreed to participate on. Also it's worth pointing out that not all of the settings can be edited after the initial creation of the debate.
Debate can be deleted only by the instigator and only before it goes into the argumentation stage.
Comments can be edited or deleted only in the first 30 minutes after the creation.
In order to edit or delete the comment, go to your comment and click the buttons that have a pen or a trash can icons respectively.
If the buttons are not present, that means that the allowed period for managing the comment has passed.
In order to create a link for a specific comment, go to the comment and find its number on right side and then simply right click on it and choose the "Copy link address" option from the dropdown.
Unfortunately, this functionality has not been implemented yet.
Votes can be deleted only in the first 30 minutes after the creation.
In order to delete the vote, go to your vote and click the button that have a trash can icon.
If the button is not present, that means that the allowed period for managing the vote has passed.
In some situations, votes deletion is not possible, for example, if you are the only judge assigned to the debate. It's a known issue and will be solved at some point in the future.