Automatically Moderated Group Debate on the Internet
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Disclosed is a system and method for automatically moderated group debate on the Internet. There is a clear demand both for watching and for participating in debates. There are hundreds of debates on television and radio talk shows every day but the audience at home remains passive, and only a few can participate by calling the show on the telephone. Many people need to express their own opinions on the subjects that are debated on television but do have the proper forum for it, since the people around them may not be interested in the same subject at all. Chat rooms on the Internet do not offer a good solution since they are not moderated, so everybody can just type in asynchronously. Newsgroups provide more synchrony since they can be viewed according to threads, but they do not work in real time. The invention is a system that allows user to participate in scheduled moderated debates on various topics. The debate can be in many different forms, from Internet video conference with additional audio channels, through audio conference, to simple teletyping of text lines. The methodology consists of the following elements: a. Topic picked automatically . The system picks topics for debate automatically from various sources. Example are: news headlines, TV programs (participants debate topics of a TV show immediately following the show), debates in the U.S. congress or local government, sports events. Also, the system maintains a list of topics for ongoing debates. A new topic can be generated by any group of people of some minimum size.