Logical fallacies — common errors in reasoning such as straw-man arguments, ad hominem attacks, post hoc (false causation), false choices between extremes, whataboutism — are rampant in political debates on social media. Three more logical fallacies I’ve noticed:
- Gish Gallop — “(also known as proof by verbosity) is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort. It’s unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop. The Gish Gallop is named after creationist Duane Gish, who often abused it.” More.
- On the spot fallacy — If you’re not an expert on the topic, if you are unable to recite statistics, you do not have a right to an opinion.
The blog-era term “nutpicking”, which refers to cherry-picking the worst or nuttiest comments to disparage a larger group (“liberals”, “conservatives”, “feminists”) by falsely implying the views are widely-held within the group, needs to be revived. It’s very common on Twitter.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) April 23, 2018
- Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/
- One Cheer for ‘Whataboutism‘, by Ben Yagoda, NYT.