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Does Internet do more harm than good?

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Hi there everyone, back after a long time! :)

Well I want your views so that you can bail me out in debate. Well we have inter house debate competition (which my house forcefully put my name in it) and I have to support for the internet. The main problem is that in my team (3 students per house team), one is inexperienced (that's me, although I speak well), the other one doesn't use his brain and utter nonsense and the third one has nervous breakdown type attitude. But my main prob is my opposition team has excellent orators and debtors especially my friend in Sapphire house (there are four houses Ruby,Emerald, Sapphire and Topaz (my house) ). So since I am saying that internet is good I have to justify the following things.

1) Internet used by hackers and criminals to steal data and dupe people.

2) Access to adult movies.

3) Terrorist using internet for recruiting.

4) Breach of privacy in internet.

I am sure these points will be used by opposition who are anti internet against pro internet (which is my team). Can you guys suggest any arguments to justify that internet is good ??

Thanks! :)

P.S I have to also justify the recent NSA spying case...

Edited by akash jishnu

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As for hackers and criminals usage of the Net to steal information and dupe people, well, there's not a positive flip of the coin to this one... However, police can use their same weapon to stop them from doing harm! Online investigations may lead up to finding criminal groups operating online, discovering frauds, and so on.

I can't think of anything else concerning the points you've made right now, but I'll update the post if needed (:

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Hey there!

I think you need a slightly different approach. Unless the rules state that you have to discuss those topics, I think it'd be better to discuss how internet spreads information, shares ideas, creates change and empowers people. For the latter, just look at how the Arab Spring evolved - it would not have been possible had it not been for the social media. As for the breach of privacy, you can just as easily breach privacy regulations on paper. Also, a huge part of surveillance (wire-tapping, CCTV, etc.) is not done through the net, but in the real world. If it's a discussion about whether or not internet should be banned - one could say the same thing about surveillance. Although I strongly disapprove of the surveillance the US does in the name of 'national security,' I do believe some form of surveillance can be a tool to solve crimes, for instance.

As for terrorists recruiting people through internet, is that statement valid? I thought terrorists focused mainly on recruiting through person-to-person contact. As for internet being pestered with hackers - fair enough, valid argument to a degree. Are we going to ban or avoid the internet only because there are opportunities for criminals to exploit the system? If that's the case, why don't we just live our lives isolated from all the others as well whilst we're at it? The society is filled with criminals too, that doesn't mean we avoid being a part of the society.

Good luck!

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Hey there!

I think you need a slightly different approach. Unless the rules state that you have to discuss those topics, I think it'd be better to discuss how internet spreads information, shares ideas, creates change and empowers people. For the latter, just look at how the Arab Spring evolved - it would not have been possible had it not been for the social media. As for the breach of privacy, you can just as easily breach privacy regulations on paper. Also, a huge part of surveillance (wire-tapping, CCTV, etc.) is not done through the net, but in the real world. If it's a discussion about whether or not internet should be banned - one could say the same thing about surveillance. Although I strongly disapprove of the surveillance the US does in the name of 'national security,' I do believe some form of surveillance can be a tool to solve crimes, for instance.

As for terrorists recruiting people through internet, is that statement valid? I thought terrorists focused mainly on recruiting through person-to-person contact. As for internet being pestered with hackers - fair enough, valid argument to a degree. Are we going to ban or avoid the internet only because there are opportunities for criminals to exploit the system? If that's the case, why don't we just live our lives isolated from all the others as well whilst we're at it? The society is filled with criminals too, that doesn't mean we avoid being a part of the society.

Good luck!

Hey there Alex!

Your suggestions are good and impressive, thanks! Especially that isolation idea was in my mind too.. I don't understand breach of paper. :P Can you explain me that?

Regarding the terrorist recruiting the people through online is true they have twitter profiles ( I have seen it and all the misleading tweets they are posting. An fb page of Maoist (banned terror group) is also there.

Thanks once again!

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The question isn't whether or not they're spreading information, but if they actually recruit people online. Of course terrorist groups share information online, that'll give them more legitimacy, but do they actually recruit people online? Given the nature of NSA's surveillance, for instance, that is very risky, and I'm not sure the terrorist cells are that stupid.

As for breach of privacy on paper - you could share a lot of 'secret' or 'private' information on a sheet of paper. You could also take pictures of people without them knowing and publish them. That'd be a breach of privacy as well.

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The internet is funny, its a paradox in a way. It democratizes information. We have access to more information than learned people in the past could see in a life time, heck even 4 or 5. Yet at the same time we have seen it has allowed a tyranny of unseen proportions with surveillance only foretold in books people looked upon with horror when they were published.

I cannot believe how the government has the will to surveille massive populations, but it won;t protect children and under age views from adult content. In Ontario they want to change sex health education laws because "kids see so much, so early." Well maybe if you clamped down on filthy content you wouldn't have to explain past the basics...

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In my opinion the strongest debaters at these sorts of things have a powerful underlying argument for their own point of view and then link all of their counter-arguments into that view so that slamming down the points of the opposition also helps them illustrate their own argument. You shouldn't cover any negatives, save those for a second speech and rebutting any points of information. Use your opening speech to make your own case and ignore their case - although you need to have your counters ready in advance so you can respond quickly, if you put the focus on making your own argument persuasive then that'll really help you out. You want to appear to be the side with the strongest and most consistent view :yes:

In this, taking a step back and looking at the overwhelming goods of the internet is the way, I think. If you can trivialise/marginalise their arguments and point out that actually the vast usefulness of the internet for moral good, public good, convenience, internationalising the world, education, health etc. is the vast majority of what goes on online, then I think that's a good starting point. Don't get too caught up in their side of the argument - except to reject it!

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The answer to this will depend on how you use it. This question is extremely important in the modern world. In my opinion it is a dual-edged sword; it can harm and help at the same time. 

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Hahaha! I know I'm waayyy late to this party, but i'm surprised no one pointed out the fact that the OP's stance in trying to justify point no. 2 in his initial post, "Access to adult movies" is misguided, since it's not really a negative thing. Seriously, we're an advanced society now and the fact that the adult movie industry is like any other industry in the sense that it employs people, supports livelihoods and creates a cash flow, should be enough reason to prove that it isn't a "bad" thing. (Obviously not everything that does the same is "good" either.)

But the main point I'm trying make is that it's natural for people to want to watch these things, just because some societies consider it a taboo doesn't mean the rest of the world should comply. I know I'm not directly answering the question, but i felt like i should highlight something i found a little disturbing. The fact the OP had a preconceived notion that "adult movies were bad" signified stereotyping on the basis of faulty values, at least for me it did.

Of course, I'm open to any and all criticism for making such remarks. Otherwise there'd be no point to debating would there?

Edited by Excalibre

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Well, I'm by no means experieneced debator, but I would use these arguments:

-While radicals can indeed influence a lot people via internet so can forces that act against them. They can spread information about danegrs of terrorism widely via internet. Furthermore forces acting agaisnt terrorism can use information they give about themselves via internet to track them down, and possibly attack their systems.

-Porn was used before internet, so its not like internet causes it, and if there are programs that prevent children access to sites containing said material.

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1) Internet used by hackers and criminals to steal data and dupe people.

 

This is an issue to be addressed by ISPs and the government. I'm not for NSA-style surveillance of the population, however such behaviour is threatening to the general population and is not exactly a reason why the internet is "negatively influencing" the innocent, inconspicuous general citizen. Thus I would categorise this as a red herring, it's not a good argument to explain why the internet is bad. 

 

2) Access to adult movies.

 

So ****ing what?!? (Pardon my Français) Humans are a member of the animal kingdom and need to reproduce to maintain the species, I appreciate I am fairly secular and liberal when it comes to sex and all that kinky stuff. (Yes, I think gays, transsexuals etc need MORE attention, *GASP*) I acknowledge some communities may be more conservative when it comes to social issues like reproduction, but let's be honest, all the scientific evidence points to comprehensive sexual education resulting in lower teenage pregnancy rates etc, whereas archaic 'abstinence'-based approaches lead to guilt-ridden sex between teenagers that leads to unwanted pregnancies. (Though the leaders of their respective churches may be perfectly content about the following of the church growing. ;) ) News flash: Religious organisations are political...

 

3) Terrorist using internet for recruiting.

 

Take the passports of radicalised individuals away, simple enough. The socialist, leftist governments IMO go to far in harbouring returning radicalised youths. Let's take the cat out of the bag. Screw the peaceful majority of Muslims (Assuming the focus is on ISIS-like organisations here, for youth feeling ostracised in a Western environment), US intelligence has shown that 15-25% of Muslims are radicals, and even more support, or do not condemn violence against "blasphemers". Just like with Germany under Nazi rule or China, Japan or Russia under authoritarian rule, the peaceful majority is 'irrelevant'. The radicalised extrremists of whatever movement they belong to are the ones executing great injustices. I'm a liberal in most aspects, though PC can be thrown in the trash in this aspect, facts should be interpreted as such. Addressing real issues facing Western societies, regardless of the sensitivities of the opponent should be addressed. I mean can you believe Pope Francis' statement about religion being beyond open criticism.  The organisation behind my imaginary friends' existence doesn't hold privileges among billions of people, nor considerable funds, why should one that is deemed 'prestigious'. Preposterous, say I. Freedom of speech is unconditional, or it doesn't bear any importance,  

 

4) Breach of privacy in internet.

 

Again, an issue regarding the government and complacency within get government and the population. You would be surprised how many people simply don't care to what degree the government, or any other surveillance organisation oversees their use of the internet. The term "national security" is so easily manipulated, people will buy into anything and agree to unfavourable conditions in the name of it. How many U.S. citizens here have read through the details of the Patriot act, and what it enables the NSA to do, even if you are not a U.S citizen, or if you don't live in the U.S but use services such as Facebook or Google... People are complacent because they don't fully understand or act based on their values. Thankfully, due to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, some more political attention is brought to these issues and amendments are being made. (Though unfortunately, many U.S citizens would still wrongfully classify both as terrorists, or threats to 'national safety', so I guess that proves my point to some degree. :D

 

So in conclusion, I think when it comes to the Internet, the shared knowledge and methodology is invaluable. I don't recall significant scientific progress in the middle ages when such avenues of global communication were not open. The international society benefits from shared knowledge, and having such an accessible database covering innumerable fields. 

 

I think arguing against the internet will be the hardest position to defend, until your audience is prone to respond to religious criticism of the natural reproductive process and any videos involving it. Oh yes, porn, sin sin sin. Let's all go to hell for following our instincts...  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

Edited by OMGIBISFUN

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I am a debater :) and I couldn't resist responding to this.  I presume the four points you listed will be used as rebuttal, since none of those are actually points for your side (rebuttal = negating them, substantive = benefits of your argument)

 
1) Internet is used by hackers and criminals to steal data and dupe people.
 
Like I think someone else said) it is also used by law enforcement to catch hackers and criminals.  It is much stronger in this capacity than it is in hacking, because Internet users can exercise their own caution, rendering the issue redundant.  Just as you lock your house when you leave it, you install a firewall on your computer.  The answer to this problem is not to blame the internet, but rather to teach users how to safely protect themselves.  
 
Comparatively, the internet is in fact useful in the security sense because although many people are hacked, it is easy not to be, and it is very useful in discovering suspects and convicting people of serious crimes.  How many people have been caught because of their Facebook posts?
 
2) Access to adult movies.
 
Why is this a bad thing? The adult film industry creates jobs and income for people.  Even if it was bad, porn is not easy to source unless one goes looking for it; if they do, it is likely that they would just get it elsewhere, without the internet, such as in magazines and so forth.
 
3) Terrorists use the internet for recruiting.
 
This one is true.  It can't be denied.  However, it allows them to be caught.  Similarly to the first argument (group them together in your rebuttal under the issue "security") the internet aids security forces in determining who is likely to be a terrorist, where they are, and people who are at risk of becoming radicalised by them.  Through internet monitoring, this ability can be turned against terrorists and the internet can be used against them to combat the global terrorism crisis.
 
4) Breach of privacy on the internet.
 
Do you mean metadata collection, hacking...? This one is quite vague.  Can you explain, please?
 
A thought that I had: they might go into the deep web and the shady services offered on there, like trafficking, drugs, and even assassination.  Think about rebuttals to that :)
 
Good luck!
 
ETA debating is comparative.  That means that to win, you have to prove that your side is not perfect, but better than theirs.  Don't deny things that are blatantly true, but show that in each case the internet is overall more productive in reducing the problem than no internet at all.
Edited by azara

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