💬 Ad Hominem Attacks on Social Media

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Ad hominem attacks are great for convincing people who are already agreeable, while angering or being fully dismissed by those that disagree. What does this accomplish?

David, this reminds me of Venkatesh Rao’s post on the Internet of Beefs. He too questions what is actually gained. The intriguing thing though is that he also argues that ‘we are all already interpolated’ (to borrow from Althusser.)

One response on “💬 Ad Hominem Attacks on Social Media”

  1. Thanks for sharing Aaron!

    I can see the Internet of Beefs playing out, although unlike the suggestion that,

    “A beef must be conducted with visible skill and honor (though codes of honor may be different on the different sides), and in public view.”

    … I think Ad Hominem attacks really disregard honour of any kind.

    I’m reminded of 3 early morning radio hosts that my wife listens to in the morning, leaving her clock radio in while getting ready. They play this game of one of them saying they like something, another of them opposing the idea, and the third bouncing back and forth, depending on the last thing said, “Oh, I see your point, ok, I hadn’t thought of that!”

    It’s a ritualized banter with rules of engagement. I find it tedious more than entertaining. But the rules would fade quickly if the three of them switched to personal attacks. These attacks would undermine the ‘beef’ of the argument.

    I would argue that Venkatesh Rao‘s beef is a step up from the disappointingly slanderous, personal attacks that seem to be considered as acceptable ‘discourse’ now.

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