Rebuttals are added to rbutr by our users. Anyone is free to connect any webpage to any other webpage at any time and indicate that one is a rebuttal of the other. The rebuttals in the system are then free to be voted on by other members so that the rubbish connections will be pushed down or removed entirely, while the quality rebuttals will be pushed up to the top where they will receive the most attention.
First of all, we need to note that there are two type of rebuttals that can be entered in to rbutr, Direct Rebuttals, and General Rebuttals. The distinction is very important and needs to be selected carefully when adding rebuttals.
Direct Rebuttals and General Rebuttals
General Rebuttals are written to rebutt a topic area or subject matter. Direct Rebuttals are written to rebutt a specific article.
General rebuttals may therefore be entered in to the system as rebuttals to many different articles because all of those different articles may make the same fundamental claims, and the general rebuttal is a valid rebuttal to all of them.
However, do not think that a Direct Rebuttal page cannot still be linked to many other articles – it can be, but every article other than the one it was specifically written to rebut should be marked as ‘General Rebuttal’ since the rebuttal being provided is on the correct topic, but not direct/specific for each of the other articles.
Quality direct rebuttals are the easiest to identify when you find them – they are pretty explicit that they are arguing against some specific article, so all you need to do is connect it to that specific article in rbutr. As long as direct rebuttals are expressing disagreement with one or more points of the original article, then that is a good rebuttal.
The quality of general rebuttals on the other hand is much more based on the quality of the evidence presented in it, the quality of the arguments, and of course, the fact that the evidence and arguments counter the arguments and evidence presented in the original article that is being rebutted.
In both instances – Direct and General – what we want to see are rebuttals which are not only expressing an opposing position, but do so eloquently with valid arguments and compelling evidence.
Bad Rebuttals 🙁
First of all, lets clear out the rubbish: Spam and Troll posts will be marked as such and quickly removed from the system. Posts which aren’t actually rebuttals (ie: they agree with the source article or present no real argument), and Offtopic posts (posts which miss the key point of the argument) will be downvoted rapidly.
Otherwise, any rebuttal which is posted which is simply poorly argued, or presents invalid arguments, falsified evidence etc can either be ignored or marked as bad.
So basically, the rubbish will be pushed down, the quality will be pushed up, and the best rebuttals will be presented to all users.