whataboutery


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whataboutery

A style of rhetoric that attempts to deflect criticism or a line of questioning (rather than responding directly or addressing the issue itself) by shifting the focus to alleged inconsistences in the position of one's opponent, or alleged wrongs committed by one's opponent or other entities. It was initially associated with propaganda used by the Soviet Union. The term gets its name from the common execution of such a strategy, when one facing criticism asks, "What about (something else)?" More commonly called "whataboutism." The whataboutery on display is blatant, but somehow effective. When he brings up unrelated atrocities, people seem to lose focus immediately. A: "Oh yeah? Well, what about the fact that you left the door unlocked last night?" B: "Don't give me that whataboutery—that has nothing to do with you forgetting to take the trash out."