The Great american debate

It’s Time To Upgrade Our Debates

It’s time for the nation to come together in conversation and get to the bottom of our biggest debates! We’re a non-profit team applying technology to help the U.S. sort fact from fiction. Please consider a 5-minute volunteer job, or support our work by subscribing or donating!



Created by a consortium of debate and democracy geeks.


2018-2019 topic: climate change (usa)



We get it, not everyone can put down everything and work for their whole lives to change the world for the better, but if you can take the time to be a 5 minute volunteer with us, you can actually give the cause a big boost!

🖇Be a 5-min volunteer by completing these tasks.

🛠 Be a 10-min volunteer by completing these tasks.

⚔️ Be a 15-min volunteer by completing these tasks.

Got more than 15 min to spare? Write to us about joining us for weekly work!

P.S. Learn More about the mission! 🔭


Our Work


The Great American Debate is a non-partisan effort put on by a consortium of debate technology groups working to make American democracy more robust and online communications more productive, clear, and educational. The Great American Debate 2019 will be our inaugural event and designed for the general public.



There is a persistent debate about climate change in the United States. There are debates over: what climate change is, if it’s happening, who or what is the cause, is it a threat, and if so - what could or should we do about it?



streaming locations

Once we’ve mapped out the debate, we will have live streaming locations in all 50 states. You can also tune in online from anywhere on debate day. Get access by signing up here.



sub debates

The debate about climate change is complex . We’ve identified over 170 sub-debates being discussed in the United States so far.


Our Strategies

We’re pulling together debate tech, debate platforms, and digital democracy organizations’ works to collaborate on the Great American Debate. By bringing together existing content and new tools to help scrape, sort, and analyze, we can create an entirely new way of engaging in debate - nationwide.


Argument - mining

One of the limitations of human-to-human debates is the limited amount of information that can be referenced, presented, and explored in conversation. One of the challenges of sourcing arguments from the internet - is that there are so many arguments! Using argument mining technology, we’ll be working through massive amounts of content to pull out arguments and make sure all sides are represented.

logic-based content analysis

The study of logic is as old as Athenian democracy, and yet we hardly see logical fallacies called out in political debates today. As a part of the analysis performed by the Great American Debate, all arguments will be scanned for their logical merit and presented to the public. We’re working to set new standards for public discourse, and it’s about time we use all the tools we have to distinguish what’s logical and what’s fallacious reasoning.


november 2017

Technology like social media, rabbit holes of fake news, and the algorithmic underpinnings of search engines may have helped silo us into political tribes, but technology can be wielded just as effectively to bring us together again.

Mission Page / Read Post



Get Involved


Host a livestream event

Once we’ve mapped out the Climate Change debate, we’re going to take the public on a tour of the interface through a livestream presentation. If you’d like to host one, contact us!

Volunteer opportunities

There is so much work to be done, and even if you have just the most basic digital literacy skills (I mean you’re on the website, after all) we could use your help!

Make a Donation

We’re a project of a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan organization - the Benjamin Franklin Society Library, which DBAs as the Society Library. We’re mostly volunteer! Please consider making a donation to support the cause!