rbutr Newsletter Number 2!

Hello from Santiago Chile!

Sorry for missing last weeks rbutr run down email, but I was moving overseas at the time. So this week we get to look back at the last two weeks! An awful lot has happened, but I will do my best to keep this brief!

Application Updates

Craig has continued to work on the app relentlessly. The following additions and alterations have been made recently:

  • Subscription Services Improved
    Subscriptions are now controlled through a ‘Manage Subscriptions’ page (accessible from ‘My Account’). Much more importantly though, you are able to subscribe to Tags now, meaning that you will be emailed whenever anyone creates a rebuttal link  or requests a rebuttal for a page and tags it with a tag you are subscribed to. This could be incredibly useful for active authors who seek to keep disinformation well rebutted, and for people who love to be informed of ongoing debates on specific topics.
  • Click Counting and Vote Enabling Improvements
    We have managed to improve the way the system counts rebuttal clicks, so that clicking from link pages and ‘rebuttals of’ pages will count your click correctly – which importantly, allows you to then vote on the rebuttal. The way the system is built, it is impossible to vote on a rebuttal without first clicking through to the rebuttal. With this change it will be easier to vote on more  rebuttals!

Knight Foundation Competition

We were lucky to find this competition and submit an application for it just before it closed applications! The competition “seeks projects that use the best of existing software and platforms – those already integrated into people’s lives – to find new ways to convey news and information.” and awards those projects a monetary prize to work on the project from a total pool of $5,000,000. Our application can be seen here and liking it and commenting on it will help us stand a better chance of winning our requested capital, and thus ensure the ongoing development, promotion and success of rbutr! 🙂 As the News Challenge blog says: “Through March 29, you’ll be able to comment and like the ideas you see there. The five applications that receive the most support will move into a second round of consideration, along with 95 or so others.” So please visit our application and like and comment on it! There were over 1000 applications!!! So lets make sure rbutr stands out from the crowd!

Rebuttals and Activity

I want to quickly thank MaryM for taking a huge part in helping to get rbutr going, adding 20 rebuttals to our system already! Thanks so much Mary, and also to everyone else who has been submitting links and providing feedback – we really appreciate every one of you!

Here are a few of the best links I’ve noticed this recently. The incredibly detailed rebuttal of the “Genetic roulette” book. And Scientists Cure Cancer, But No One Takes Notice has been rebutted twice, thanks to MaryM and thegene.  And for something a bit different, Paypal’s recent attempt to censor erotica, which they ended upbacking down on (mostly).

Who is Talking About rbutr Now?

As well as all of you who are using rbutr and giving us feedback, we also need to thank everyone who is talking about rbutr publically. The more discussion there is of rbutr publically, the better chance we have of making rbutr the huge success it should be. Ben Goldacre has been incredibly helpful with his tweets to his enormous collection of twitter followers, tweeting again about our News Challenge application – so thanks for that Ben! Tim Farley has also been great with his regular tweeting and support of our efforts.

DaveC recently wrote a great article about his impressions of the efforts being made on rbutr and Hypothes.is. And Neurobonkers mentioned rbutr in an update to an article about a range of applications, websites and efforts being made to fact check the internet. Nicholas Ritchey has also written about us in his blog.

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