Debate Club on Facebook. It was Created by podcasters
Shawn Vuillez & Aaron Moritz as a place for fun, but also
rational, debate. The debate page is an extension of
Shawn and Aaron's podcast which addresses a wide
range of topics in a semi-irreverent and off-beat style.
As someone who was there from the first day I've seen
how the club has grown and changed. This post is my
reflections on the club's growth and the extent it has
achieved its purpose. Its also a plug for the group (and
a fairly shameless one at that) as the group is only as
good as the diversity of opinions present. I'm sure this
isn't the only such group on Facebook but I'd argue its
one of the better ones.
The Primordial Soup
result. Not that that mattered. Debate was lively and wide-ranging. One person remarked that the debate club was consuming their social life and I have to agree it did so for me as well. Tellingly you can pinpoint when the group started up by looking when I stopped posting to this blog.
Logical Fallacies, Bad Boy Jail, and Darklords
the beginning it was this: You can make any argument provided you backed it up with polite, reasoned debate and
avoided all logical fallacies. A debate on issues concerning feminism brought out the first person unable to abide by these
rules. He was banned. Shawn, to his credit, did figure out an interesting way to handle those who broke club rules; the
Bad Boy Jail. Acting as half holding pen for malcontents and half as anti-logic debate club I have to admit it worked quite
well. Those who broke club rules to the point of being banned would be given the option of joining (or in one case tricked
into joining) the Bad Boy Jail. To my knowledge only one has ever returned. Although it appears they are generally happy
in their new home from what I've heard. Still, the early group posts are littered with those who decided to leave fairly
early on (as my partial index demonstrates).
demographics still leaned Vancouverite and left-wing but there was starting to be some diversity. At a little over 500
members it is of a respectable size. I still kind of wish there was a more recognizable conservative presence but that is
purely personal preference. There has been talk of arranging one-on-one debates and holding an event in real life. But
even without those things I think the debate club is doing quite well.
The sense of community provided by the debate group and the ease of sharing ideas demonstrates why platforms like
Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit have steadily eaten into the number of people blogging.