ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can Debate Happen on the Internet? *Quick Update*

Updated on October 15, 2019
mike102771 profile image

Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.

Contradictory to Democracy

I believe we are losing or lost the ability or willingness to debate. We seem to be turning into an absolutist society. Jon Stewart talks about this in his book “America the Book” (A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction) about how the political party system discourages independent thought. The book gives the idea that such intractable platforms are contradictory to democracy. This is from a man who uses this very concept when it comes to his own beliefs. Ever since the tragic shooting at Sandy hook Stewart was on a nonstop gun control campaign turning his show into a platform for his views rather than a comedy show about the news. He now uses this platform for social reform including activism for 9/11 responders.

Talking at and Not With

We turned debates in our society from a place where each party can explain their views and discuss the differences into two and four-minute sound-bites. A style loved by most people on the Internet. It’s this “I am all right, and you are all wrong” mentality and the shock posters that make genuine internet debate impossible.

A shock poster or troll is anyone who will post to be funny at the expense of the thread (Hub) or post. Such an absolutist stance that actual debate is lost (“anyone who wants a gun is a crazy,” or “anyone who wants gun control should be shot as a traitor.”). Now I can see how people are fearful of debate. Here in Ohio (I mentioned this before), we had a debate over public smoking, which created a law that passed with the condition that private clubs could continue to allow smoking. Of course, the reality was that as soon as it became law, we saw that condition removed by the courts. This adds the idea that the gun control debate will start with magazine size and licensing and end with an amendment repealing the right to own a gun.


Now some of this debate is political with the idea that one party needs to oppose the other party. Republican media will twist any legislation or law proposed by the Democratic Party. Democratic media says any conservative measure is racist, sexist, homophobic, or just plain stupid. This last is why I dislike people in the media who use their platforms to say anyone who thinks different is stupid. They engineer TV shows, much like the old-time wrestling with obvious good guys and obvious bad guys. The inevitable ending of the good guys (him and his like-minded folk) beating the bad guys (anyone who would go on his show with an opposing view).

The worst of all is the typical Internet debate consisting of one or two ideas and many insults. The average debate follows the style of a five-year-old. The debates are all attitude with no real substance (I am right, and you are stupid. I’m Rubber, you are glue what you toss at me bounces off and sticks to you).

Are Modern Debates Worthwhile?

A public debate is more about the audience rather than the two (or twenty) debating. It’s up to the observer to keep an open mind and take in as much possible to make an informed decision. It’s not up to the debater to change your mind or even tell the truth (although that would be nice).

An internet debate seems to be more about an individual or entity using a platform to express their views for validation rather than debate. Groups use debate platforms to validate an opinion they already hold rather than verifying the validity of their belief. I guess the real question should be, are modern debates worthwhile?


Can you separate your faith from politics?

See results

TV and debate

Do you feel TV personalities shape today’s debates?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)