Ad Hominem

Ad Hominem occurs when you attack your opponent instead of their argument. This can take multiple forms:

  • Personal attacks that insult appearance, intelligence, follower count, education, etc.
  • Circumstantial accusations that say your opponent is wrong because their circumstance leads them to be biased one way or another, for example if they have a financial stake in the argument.
  • Tu Quoque arguments point out the hypocrisy of their opponent's argument becuase they don't live by their beliefs.
  • Guilt by association attacks happen when you disagree with someone because they are connected to someone undesirable.

Each of these Ad Hominem types attack the person instead of their argument. A simple check to do is consider if your argument would work if you had a different opponent. If your argument is dependent on your opponent it is likely an Ad Hominem Fallacy.

How to Respond

Point out that your opponent is now attacking you or someone else instead of the actual argument. Restate the original argument and ask them to address it directly.

True or False: The following is an Ad Hominem
Who care's what you think, you only have 6 followers.