Bias Control in the Open Debates ELO Rating System

In order to understand why our system being biased is not as bad as you think, we have to define some terms and the demographic we are targeting.

What is a debate?
A debate is when two or more people argue the truth value of a proposition.

Who is a good debater?
A good debater is someone that can argue all sides of a proposition as well as they possibly can be argued.

How is the winner of a debate decided?
Winners are decided by an invisible leader board. The people at the top of the leader board will take the ratings from those at the bottom of it. A person makes it to the top of the leader board by receiving votes either from people listening in or actively participating as a debater. If a debater votes for someone, then their vote counts twice as much since they are seen as conceding the debate. In addition, each voter has to take a stance on the topic. Either for or against the topic. If someone votes for their own side their votes count half as much as if they had voted for someone that did not hold their position. This is because they are seen as being convinced by the person they voted for.

But wait, can’t voters simply always take positions they don’t agree with and always vote for someone they agree with to artificially inflate their scores?
Yes. But because the debaters can’t know ahead of time whether an audience is going to be a tough crowd and at the same disingenuous, they are forced to debate civilly and honestly to guarantee maximum success. It is also the case that votes are weighted based on how long someone was present for a debate. Finally you as a debater can see the stances of each person. It’s not like someone can change their stance on a topic halfway through a debate. If you feel someone engaging in bad faith, then simply don’t engage in the debate.