– by The Shitty Activist
The best thing about Facebook is how easy it is to connect with like-minded people on almost any topic under the sun. Of course, the worst part is you’re subjected to a lot of opinions that you know are just plain wrong.
Since free speech is (currently) protected under the U.S. Constitution, you can’t stop people from spouting their nonsensical baloney. But the good news is you can put them in their place by following these ten simple steps.
1) Don’t Read the Whole Post
If you stumble across something you disagree with on Facebook—be it an article, post, or comment—be sure to only read the first few sentences to get a general gist of what’s being said. If you make the mistake of reading it to the end, you might find the argument to be more nuanced and complex than you first thought, which would require an equally thoughtful response—and who’s got time for that?
2) Use Emotions As Fuel
If something on Facebook makes you angry, make sure that emotion comes across in your response. Same thing with disgust, resentment, or outright hatred. A few simple ways to reflect those feelings include: swearing your fucking head off, USING CAPS LOCK, and excessive exclamation marks!!!
Above all else, avoid getting caught up in a rational discussion, which will only dilute your emotion and weaken your response. Remember, a poorly-written comment posted immediately is far more powerful than a well-articulated one posted minutes later.
3) Make Assumptions
Never take another person’s comments at face value. Though they might be saying one thing, chances are they’re hiding their true beliefs. Cut out the bullshit by reading between the lines and exposing what they’re really thinking. The more they deny these claims, the guiltier they probably are.
4) Launch Personal Attacks
All too often, those promoting “civil debate” will try to discourage personal attacks.
The reason? Because they work!
If you really want to win an argument, you’re going to have to do more than condemn another person’s thoughts—you must also denounce their character.
5) Accuse Of Lying
Even if someone is directly quoting a peer-reviewed scientific study to back up their points, don’t be afraid of calling them a liar. If they happen to be telling the truth, most people observing the argument won’t bother to do any fact-checking anyway. By simply casting doubts on the person’s credibility, you’re already halfway to victory.
6) Condemn For Speaking For Themselves
If your opponent makes an observation based on their own narrow point of view, remind everyone how close-minded and selfish they are.
7) Condemn For Speaking For Others
If your opponent makes an observation from another group’s point of view, remind everyone how presumptuous and arrogant they are.
8) Call Out As Oppressors
If the person belongs to a group considered to be the majority, point out how they’re mouthpieces for the oppressors and the status quo.
9) Call Out As Fringe
If the person doesn’t belong to a group considered to be the majority, point out how unpopular and irrelevant their views are.
10) When All Else Fails, Censor
If you’re unable to defeat a person’s arguments using steps one through nine (or are just feeling lazy), you’ve still got an ace up your sleeve: report them to Facebook, block them, and—if you’re an admin for a group—ban them from the group. Then don’t forget to delete the post. An argument silenced is an argument won.