In an effort to make rbutr more inclusive of all opinions, we are going to revise some of our language.
I have noticed, particularly when using the Tweet Reply Widget, that the phrase “has been rebutted” tends to be a little more confronting than we really want it to be. Even though ‘rebutted’ is technically correct – ie: Someone has responded with an attempt to prove it wrong using evidence and/or logic (as opposed to refuted, which implies they have succeeded in their attempt) – most people don’t dig on getting in to linguistic nuances in twitter. Also, people tend to react emotionally on first impressions, rather than taking the time to check intentions…
So from now on, instead of tweeting “The page you just shared has been rebutted”, we’re going to change it to “Someone has responded to the page you just tweeted”. This is clearly much more inviting to the person receiving the tweet, and conveys an inclusion in the discussion, inviting them to read and perhaps even respond themselves. The prior, on the other hand, would make most feel judged for sharing a page which ‘we’ have obviously judged as wrong.
So this is the most obvious and direct change which we are implementing because it is our main interaction with non-rbutr-users. In general though, we are going to start watching ourselves and start trying to avoid ever using the word ‘rebuttal’. Again, even though it is completely accurate on a technical sense, it just isn’t inclusive. Instead we will always refer to how one page responds to the other.
What about ‘rbutr’ though – doesn’t it mean Rebutter?
Yes, so rebuttals will still forever be a part of our identity, but we will capture that with some new terminology which we will start using. Now we will refer to the two halves of a rbutr link as ‘the rbutd’, and ‘the rbutl’. The rbutl responds to the claims made in the rbutd.
So yes, these terms are clearly revealing the intention of the app, but just obfuscating it within rbutr terminology within our system. They also don’t refer to the content of the URLs being linked to, they refer to the entities within our system. This nuance will almost certainly be lost on most people, but it works for us, and helps us keep things separated.
We can also refer to the submitter of the link as the rbutr. Though I also wonder if we should call the link itself ‘the rbutr’; ie: a rbutr consists of a rbutl which responds to a rbutd. But that is really getting away from the real meaning of rebutter (which would be the the person or tool who/which rebuts).
Yes I spend too much time thinking about crap like this 🙂