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Common Online Debate Tactics of Mindless People


  • Common Online Debate Tactics of Mindless People

    Written by His Tediousness

    Common Online Debate Tactics of Mindless People

    In honor of some of the absolutely useless people we've argued with online (in the "Flame Community"), I've compiled their list of shared tactics. Creative? No, not in the least. These are the tried and true methods of people who go out of their way to fallacy out of an argument.

    Direct Combat a.k.a. Prolonging Your Inevitable Defeat

    D1: What you can't refute, ignore. If your opponent insists on bringing it up, dismiss whatever they are talking about as briefly and obtusely as possible.

    D2: What hurts your case, "misunderstand." Faking confusion or playing semantics can be the key to pretending you hadn't lost shortly after hitting "Submit."

    D3: When in doubt: hit quote, break up the oppositions' comments into paragraphs, then write anything under these paragraphs to pretend like you're addressing the comments.

    D4: When having no ground left to stand on: requote entire post without reading it and write response underneath. Try to be brief with your dismissal, lest you draw attention to your lack of a good response.

    D5: Remember the axiom, "Repetition is better than being right." Repeating yourself is the same as proving your points.

    D6: Large amounts of text are an ideal substitute for proof. Make a point, then follow it with a paragraph of rambling and/or insulting nonsense. Done enough times, your post will look like it has a valid argument in it (until someone actually reads the thing)

    Evasive Maneuvers a.k.a. "Abandon ship! Abandon ship!"

    E1: Ramble about your qualifications. Any challenge for you to prove your qualifications should be met with claims you don't understand what someone is asking you for or claiming they're not qualified to compete with you. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

    E2: Never outright say anything that you can smugly imply. If someone calls you on your implication, accuse them of making things up because you didn't say it word-for-word. Similarly, refer to any instance of someone paraphrasing you or making a rational conclusion from your comments as "misquoting you."

    E3: Always lay the groundwork for your retreat before running. This can be anything from claiming someone isn't "worth your time" to repeating their observations of your obtuse behavior back at them and claiming they're just trying to get the last word.

    E4: If you don't want to be seen as retreating, try to get yourself banned. If this is impossible, just claim you were banned.

    E5: Claim any proof against you, no matter how damning or indisputable, is false. Never stop saying it's false nor explain how it's false, no matter how stupid you look.

    E6: Invent rules of conduct that go against your opponent's behavior and berate them for failing to follow said rules. Ignore the fact there's no justification for your opponent to follow your rules in the first place. Used in conjunction with E3.

    Gaining the Advantage a.k.a. Trying To Frustrate Superior People

    G1: To avoid problems with these methods, create a group of like-minded back-patters and encourage them to do as you do. Even your failures as a group will be lost in the deluge of text supporting each other. You can also utilize them to frustrate opponents into quitting when you're attacked with things you can't handle, such as logic, reason, and The Forbidden E-word (evidence).

    G2: Ban anyone you can't shout down, and feel free to move or delete posts whenever you're feeling emotional. Remember that you answer to no one and everyone else answers to you (according to you), so you don't even need to make up an excuse for this hypocrisy. Used in conjunction with R1.

    G3: When someone has your number, claim what they proved was true of you is actually true of them. When asked to demonstrate how it is true of them, claim they proved it for you but never, ever attempt to show how. Especially when it's pointed out that you're a hypocrite.

    G4: What you can't justify, claim has been settled already. Used in conjunction with R5.

    G5: Blatantly lie about the distant past to put your opponent on the defensive. This will keep them busy disproving your claims about the past instead of proving how what you're doing in the present makes you look stupid. Call any response you get desperate, or the lack thereof as an admission of guilt. Never follow any links they post or read anything they quoted, but indicate that they haven't proven anything to keep them on the defensive. Used as a follow-up when R6 fails.

    G6: Never take a real risk. If anything you do has official results, be sure you control the officials making those results.

    G7: Represent your forum as the premier [whatever] group of the internet, while purposely obfuscating exactly who or what makes it "premier." Only make vague references to your group's/site's aptitude as a whole when "proving" how good your site is at [whatever], and openly admit the highest ranked members of your group are elevated solely out of favoritism. This will make it harder for people to attack the proof behind your reputation (since you haven't actually presented any).

    Non Sequiturs of Fury a.k.a. Desperate Flamers Call for Desperate Measures

    N1: When challenged, make up rules on the spot which your opponent(s) would be an idiot to accept, put you at a grotesque advantage, and completely replace the original challenge with another one. Claim anyone not accepting your rules is cowering away from the challenge they made, even though it's no longer anything like the challenge they made. Used in conjunction with G6.

    N2: Claim that someone's actions indicate the opposite of what they do. If someone draws attention to a point you're making (asking you prove it, directly offering proof to the contrary), claim they're deflecting. If someone demands to be part of a fight, claim they're making up excuses to stay out of it.

    N3: When applicable, claim you were being diplomatic or sparing someone's feelings when you run out of plausible excuses for repeatedly changing your story. Feel free to do so regardless of how long you'd been insulting them before you confess about your "sensitivity for others."

    N4: Answer damaging questions with counter-questions that neither make sense in the same context nor answer the original question. If asked if you're using a sock puppet, reply by asking if your inquisitor was afraid of that sock puppet.

    N5: The amount of gloating you do in regards to how well you're winning should increase proportionally with how badly you're losing.

    N6: When attempting to prove your case, provide links to earlier posts you made on the same subject. Do so regardless of if these previous posts contain refuted evidence or are nothing more than earlier instances of you making the same unproven claims you're making now. Used in conjunction with D5.

    N7: Ignore your responsibility in how events unfold. Overreact with righteous indignation no matter how reasonable, predictable, or deserved the response you get for your behavior is. If you attack multiple people and more than one retaliates, claim they ganged up on you. If you take jabs at someone and they respond in kind, act as if you were viciously hit with an unprovoked attack.

    Posturing a.k.a. Living in a Fantasy World

    P1: Act as arrogant as humanly possible, despite lacking the wits to back any of it up with skill or real intelligence. Don't worry; arrogance is often confused with skill and confidence. Always preface a potential engagement with unsubstantiated chest-beating, but avoid actual combat at all costs. Note that posturing may continue during retreat.

    P2: Accuse others or doing things that are morally wrong while disregarding all the fucked up things you do. Should someone point out your hypocrisy, do whatever it takes to avoid admitting they're right.

    P3: Use smilies to hide your distress. The worse your emotional breakdown, the more happy/laughing/eye-rolling smilies you should bombard your posts with.

    P4: Say anyone who makes you look stupid or laughs at you from another site is a victim.

    P5: Laugh at other people from sites they aren't posting at and say they are owned. Ignore the fact that by your own definition (P4) you're a victim for doing so.

    P6: Never let shame, double-standards, hypocrisy, or inadvertently insulting yourself keep you from posting a response. You already know you can't win, so your goal should be to have something to say, no matter how ridiculous, for as long as possible.

    P7: Pretend your stupidity and ineptitude are all an act, and therefore anyone pointing out your weaknesses has "fallen for your act." Then pretend you're winning because "your act" is so convincing, much in the same way that whole "gravity act" the universe pulls is convincing. Never, under any circumstances, should you attempt to demonstrate that your idiocy really is just an act.

    Rewriting History a.k.a. So You Fucked Up Hard, Eh?

    R1: All administrative action is abuse when someone does it to you. When you do something so stupid you can't feign ignorance about breaking the rules, play the oppressed rebel leader merely "pushing the rules to show the other posters they are oppressed," or some similar nonsense. Used in conjunction with G2.

    R2: When all else fails, cry, "TROLLED!" or "OWNED!" until the bad people go away.

    R3: When in doubt, and in absence of anything to reply with whatsoever, just ask for proof, then ask for more proof. Just never stop asking for proof.

    R4: When your known plans have backfired or made you look like an idiot, claim everything was going according to your secret master plan.

    R5: Depending on the degree of your loss, do not post again for a few pages, days, in the same thread again, or ever on that forum again. When you do post, pretend nothing happened.

    R6: When losing badly to an opponent, shift focus away from your screw-ups by summarizing the fight [and what lead up to it] in a manner that supports your position and insults your opponent or discredits their position. Do not, under any circumstances, actually attempt to prove things happened the way you implied. Rampant disregard for the facts is vital to pulling this off. Best if used prior to G5 (if you're trying to conceal your desperation).

    Spin a.k.a Licking Your Wounds

    S1: Anytime you fuck up say it was troll. In fact, any time you get any reaction, claim it was a troll. There is no situation that is inappropriate for claiming you trolled someone.

    S2: When people DON'T attack you on your home board after running you off of theirs, call them cowards for not chasing you after forcing you to retreat. Play dumb in regards to points they make about your cowardice or your need for the homefield advantage your board gives you.

    S3: When people DO attack you on your home board after running you off of theirs, call them obsessed victims for chasing you after forcing you to retreat. Play dumb in regards to points they make about your cowardice or your need for the homefield advantage your board gives you.

    S4: When people accompany you to an attack it's a coincidence. When people accompany your enemies its a tardpile (even if your side outnumbers theirs).

    S5: Call any variation in posting style a meltdown. Particularly when the post in question cows you so thoroughly you leave the thread.

    S6: Refer to any action (or inaction) by your opponent as a sign you're getting to them, particularly if it's a double-standard that embarrasses you if applied to your own behavior. For example, you could claim retaliating in any way proves someone is upset, ignoring the fact you are making this observation while retaliating.

    • Madcow Klitzgasm
      Madcow Klitzgasm commented
      Editing a comment
      Shit...I do most of that.

      Fuck! I'll need to reinvent myself now.

      Please change my username to Fluffy Bunny Blow Job 69... (damn you)

    • cw_
      cw_ commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't be the bunny.
    Posting comments is disabled.



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