Rebuttal alive on the net

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 ENTREPRENEUR Shane Greenup of Engadine spent the best part of 12 months convinced his latest idea was available already.

After searching the internet and realising that no one had his idea, he dedicated his time to creating it.

That is how he came up with rbutr, a browser plugin that informs people whenever the page they are reading has been disputed elsewhere on the net. 

In other words, it provides an opposing opinion to any information on the web.

‘‘At the moment, the web is passive and we’re trying to make it more educational — to get people to critically analyse what they’re reading,’’ he said.

‘‘I hope to literally change the way the internet works. It is not so different to what Google does and I can see it being something in the longer run it will find interesting.’’

Written By: Belinda Connolly
continue to source article at theleader.com.au

8 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by crookedshoes:

      Now to get it downloaded onto the computers and phones of all the people who NEED it. They will simply NOT use it, the same way they are NOT using their senses and intellect.

      All they need is a motivation to install it. That motivation is simply to get their argument in front of people who disagree with them. Creationists spend a lot of time arguing that evolution is wrong – why wouldn’t they want to install rbutr and get those arguments in front of the wikipedia page on evolution?

    • In reply to #2 by bluebird:

      If above sounds familiar – RbutR, announced @RD.net 3 months ago.You shan’t refute my rebute ;)

      I thought I recognized the logo.

      I think it’d be better in red and green, or blue and yellow.

      Anyway, it’s a good idea, and I hope people use it; but then hope springs eternal.

      S G

  1. There are lots of website ratings sites (e.g. sitejabber.com). I even recall a primitive site from about 10 years ago which hosted a site in one frame and allowed users to add comments to it in another.

    The problem of course was amongst the valid criticism, people used it to throw abuse at the website. I suspect these days it would be used by spammers too. How is all this moderated since it’s unlikely that human intervention would scale to the task?

    Secondly, even if it were used for its purpose, many sites (particularly the kind which are sensitive to criticism) would want to opt out of it. As such, the very sites which deserve the criticism (e.g. quackery, woo etc.) would soon find the opt out switch and if there wasn’t one they would reach for their lawyers instead.

    So I think there are a lot of hurdles to making it happen and making it effective.

  2. In reply to #3 by locka:

    How is all this moderated since it’s unlikely that human intervention would scale to the task?

    There’s nothing to moderate. There are no comments. It merely points you to other websites that disagree with the one you are on.

    As such, the very sites which deserve the criticism (e.g. quackery, woo etc.) would soon find the opt out switch and if there wasn’t one they would reach for their lawyers instead.

    They’d be very quickly laughed at by their lawyers. There’s no right to opt out of something you’re not actually participating in. Even if Rebutr did have a comment system, there’s simply no legal avenue against it. The original website isn’t edited (by which I mean the files on the site’s server remain intact). Additional information is simply overlayed onto the website by the plugin. And the only people who see it are those who actually have the plugin installed.

  3. That is how he came up with rbutr, a browser plugin that informs people whenever the page they are reading has been disputed elsewhere on the net.

    In other words, it provides an opposing opinion to any information on the web.

    I hope this is not going to give Hammy, YEC & Co, the opportunity to provide the gullible with “counter arguments” to science!

    • In reply to #7 by Alan4discussion:

      I hope this is not going to give Hammy, YEC & Co, the opportunity to provide the gullible with “counter arguments” to science!

      What counter-arguments? I ask myself?

      Well there’s the ‘other ways’ of knowing stuff. Always unspecified.

      Then there’s the stuff we can never know, because it’s ‘beyond our understanding’. A bit like trying to understand how so many people who are smart enough to tie their shoelaces, are too dumb to question the existence of a great megalomaniac in the sky.

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