Responsive Debate Format

In some posts I may have mentioned that I am using a “responsive debate format”. It has come to my attention that this format is usually just referred to as “reply format” or “reply debate”. I wish to clarify what I mean by responsive debate and it’s similarities and who and what has influenced the format.

First I will explain my use of the words ‘responsive’ and ‘debate’ as my choice to describe the format.

Responsive

The use of the word responsive is to make it clear that I am responding to something such as an article or a video. This means I will quote a part of what has been said and write my response to it afterwards. Example:

Pepe the Frog is a racist hate memeAnti-Defamation League

Internet memes are pieces of media that have become popular either by being shared between friends and family or going viral. Just like anything else on the internet, once it is online it can and will be interpreted or modified to symbolise whichever message the creator or reader intends. Pepe the Frog is a very popular meme, being used online for a decade. Usually referred to as the ‘sad frog meme’ Pepe the Frog is used to represent an emotion in a comical manner.

An individual or group modifying a picture of a cartoon frog to wear a Nazi uniform is not inherently racist or anti-Semitic, context is relevant and the context is almost always a joke. Pepe the Frog is not a racist hate meme and making such a claim is intellectually dishonest and childish.

This is the way that I express my response in writing. It allows me to show both the quote that I am responding to and my response in the same screen space making it convenient for the reader to read the content and my response without additional steps.

Debate

I use the word debate to make it clear that I intend to allow a free and open discussion on the topic and that the format is in a response friendly format. For example, if I made a post responding to an article on another website and I make some points that the writer of that article disagrees with then my format is in a convenient enough format for them to respond to me using a similar format if they wish.

Similarities and Influences

When used for written content this format could be compared to the ancient art of twitter debating. In a twitter debate there is no need to quote the other user in your post (mostly because this would limit you to 5 characters to use) since replying will link to their post. Twitter debates are a poor way of having any kind of meaningful discussion however due to the character limit and everyone’s assumption that disagreeing is a personal attack. Please don’t compare this format to twitter debates, it makes twitter debates look civilised.

I am a fan of a similar format that is used in video online that allows for people to have an argument or discussion in their own time. Generally referred to as a reply video or an answer video, a creator will play or read a portion of a video or an article they wish to make a response to and follow that segment with their opinion. A popular YouTuber that I follow named Sargon of Akkad makes great videos using this format. One that I particular like is his ‘Answers for Libertarians’ video in which he answers questions from popular libertarians.

Another YouTuber that makes fantastic videos in this format (almost exclusively in this format) is Undoomed. These two YouTubers are the main influences for this format and I recommend them highly.


If you believe I have missed anything out or have any questions about the format please comment below.

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