ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Activism

The Art of Internet Debates

Updated on August 6, 2015

So you want to have a debate on the Internet, but you aren’t sure how? Debates here can be tricky because there really aren’t any rules. Formal debates are expected to have things like logic, facts, critical thinking, and “sources.” Not so on the Internet. Here, everything is ruled by the three O’s:

1) Opinions

2) Overblown Egos

3) Overalls (as in broad strokes/generalizations. Also pants.)

And while there aren’t any “rules” per say, here are some guidelines to help you survive.

1) Don’t Supply Any Sources

No one will read them and you’ll seem pretentious. In fact, limit your use of factual evidence in general. Like I said above, opinions rule the Internet. Providing cold, hard facts is pointless because no one will believe you anyway. So just stick to opinions. Just be careful how you word it because otherwise you’re going to have people whine that you are stating your opinions “like they are facts.” Speaking of which:

2) Know How to Tell Facts and Opinions Apart

Because some people missed that day in first grade when we learned how to tell apart facts and opinions, people are going to get offended if you don’t explicitly say something is your opinion. Not that it’s hard to tell the difference. Facts are objectively true. Opinions are not. For example:

Red is a primary color.

Red is the best color.

While any six year old could tell you that the second statement is an opinion, people on the Internet cannot. In order to avoid the accusation of “you’re stating your opinions like they are facts,” simply sprinkle everything you say with things like “I’m not sure but, I think, I believe, maybe this is true, in my opinion, etc.” The more the merrier! I really like saying “I feel” because it implies I haven’t actually thought about it at all.

3) Keep in mind different education levels

If you’re trying to have an intelligent debate and it just isn’t happening, the other person’s arguments are face palm worthy, keep in mind that the other person might be really young, or not as educated as you. Don’t expect the topic you discussed in class or with your colleagues to go as well on the Internet. It is very possible that the people you are conversing with just aren’t as knowledgeable on the subject as you. This could be because they are still young or uneducated on the subject. This is why I advise against debating topics you actually know a great deal about. (Remember what I said about posting sources?) This doesn’t apply if your knowledge is limited to personal experience. If that is the case, then have at it.

4) Criticize Arguments, not people

This really shouldn’t need to be said. Don’t insult people. Don’t attack anyone. You can tear arguments apart. You can criticize the subject matter, but you can’t make things personal for any reason. As soon as you do, you’ve lost the debate because it is obvious you have no real counter argument. You’re also being a jerk, which is reason enough to not do something.

5) When in doubt, bring up Hitler

A much classier way to end an argument once realizing you’ve lost is to mention Hitler. It doesn’t matter what you are talking about; find a way to bring Hitler into it, and you’re done. There is no coming back, no way to redeem or salvage the debate. Mention Hitler, and the debate is over.

I can’t guarantee any of these tips will work or that you will “win” any debates. But if you want to survive the Internet, these are worth keeping in mind.

Note: None of the above applies to YouTube comment sections. If you ever find yourself getting pulled into a debate there, reevaluate your life choices immediately.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)