Debate Techniques

Debate Techniques

Techniques not commonly classified as propaganda techniques, but share many of the same aspects of propaganda techniques, in being evasive, misleading, and/or emotionally-charged.

appeal to pity - portraying oneself as a victim in order to gain sympathy and manufacture justification for attacking your opponents.

can't speak on behalf of - not addressing another's conduct by claiming that addressing it would be speaking on his or her behalf.

going negative - characterizing criticism from an opponent as being underhanded, unfair, or indecent in some way.

hyperbole - an extravagant statement or figure of speech used for effect, not intended to be taken literally.

innuendo - implying something without actually saying it, which can't be refuted because it wasn't actually said.

loaded question - presenting a question that has a presumption of guilt built into it.

mirroring language - just repeating words from a question in your response, to make it sound like you're answering the question, without answering the question.

non-sequitur - response that doesn't follow logically from or isn't related to anything previously asked or said.

passing the buck - shifting blame onto someone else for self-exoneration or to direct attention away from those really at fault.

the American people - promoting a position as having the overwhelming support of all Americans, while providing no evidence that it does.

the last word - getting in the final words in an exchange to take advantage of the cognitive bias to remember best what is heard last.

trolling - making inflammatory or controversial comments to provoke a strong, emotional reaction from an opponent.

Attacking the Press

Techniques designed to undermine public confidence in the press and journalism as a whole by portraying it as hopelessly biased, dishonest, or even dangerous.

attacking the leak - portraying a leaker or reporting of a leak as a threat to national security, when the leak or reporting of the leak is in the interest of national security.

attacking the ratings - attacking a news organization's ratings, circulation, or popularity, while not refuting the substance of its criticism.

demonizing the press - characterizing the press as the enemy, politically motivated, and dishonest.

fake polls - reacting to any undesirable polling data simply by characterizing it as inaccurate or biased.