Spotlight on: rbutr: Facilitating Online Discussion
Are you a journalist in need of some counter arguments? Look no further. Introducing rbutr, the application that allows people to follow inter-website debates and easily find counter arguments to pages they are viewing. Rbutr takes the uncertainty out of finding facts online by providing a simple method to improve the user’s ability to critically analyse articles. To put it simply, the program puts two articles together that have both analysed the same topic, thus allowing the user to look at both sides of the story so that they can get a more complete idea of what actually took place. Being able to do this allows journalists to make a more informed assessment, rather than relying on one-sided, persuasive arguments.
Rbutr is a great way to break out of your daily online search cycle. If you are one of those people that uses Google and only Google, you are probably being fed a whole lot of one-sided stories and information and you, most likely, don’t even know it. With rbutr, this doesn’t happen. According to their website, “the whole thing is managed and curated by our community. Users add rebuttals they find, and other users can click and vote on those rebuttals so that the best are identified and the rubbish is thrown away.”
Rbutr was created by Shane Greenup and Craig O’Shannessy. Even though it is still in beta form, the program has accomplished a lot. Currently, it is in the top 52 applications out of 1078 for the Knight Media Foundation News Challenge and has a chance of winning a $250,000 grant to continue development. It has also been named one of the top ten startups that is expected to change the face of news forever.
If you would like to see rbutr in action, be sure to check out the tutorial video below. For more information about the project, please visit the website.
Published: June 26, 2012
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