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drastic broadening of the word 'gaslighting,' USPOL 

roundabout 2016, the word 'gaslighting' entered the zeitgeist when a bunch of American liberals in the thinkpiece demographic who didn't know what fascism was tried to explain how Donald Trump's lying was different from establishment liberal lying without saying "well, OUR lies are carefully thought-out"

gaslighting does not equal lying, though. you can gaslight someone without telling a 'lie' and you can lie without gaslighting someone. you have to be close enough to someone and have enough emotional influence on them, and you have to use that influence to manipulate them into doubting their own perceptions, sanity, and sense of reality. the concerted effort to undermine someone's ability to know what is real is what gaslighting is.

political lies told to large audiences aren't gaslighting, in a structural way. even the fash ones. even though it gives you a throbbing headache when the politician bold-faced contradicts themself.

anyway, that's just the initial transfer of gaslighting into a broader context (as far as I'm aware). the reason people now describe anything they consider disrespectful or rude as 'gaslighting' is the same reason they called everything 'toxic' or 'abusive' or 'problematic'.

that's just what happens to words when they become political polemics anymore. maybe it was always like that, I dunno

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@byttyrs we already have a word for organized efforts to get a group of people to doubt everything they think they know: Disinformation

drastic broadening of the word 'gaslighting,' USPOL 

@byttyrs I think there's a little bit of overcorrecting here, although you're mostly spot on. Gaslighting doesn't HAVE to be on the individual to individual level. Studies on racist microaggressions (micro as in scale not severity) have found that being repeatably dismissed and invalidated by society around perceptions of being mistreated based on race (and similar studies w/ other marginalized groups) has a gaslighting effect

drastic broadening of the word 'gaslighting,' USPOL 

@byttyrs like, you *can* be gaslit by society or the media in an emergent way by a lot of individual incidents from different agents adding up. Every time someone says "I don't think he meant it that way" or "you're just being paranoid" or the media portrays the "crazy black woman playing the race card" trope.

But the gaslighting isn't "I don't think he meant it that way" it's the adding up of all these "microinvalidations"

drastic broadening of the word 'gaslighting,' USPOL 

@byttyrs (this is the term used in the psych papers I didn't come up with it. It means something more severe than it colloquially seems like)

drastic broadening of the word 'gaslighting,' USPOL 

@shel okay, but like, what I actually said was that *individual-to-large group* manipulation structurally couldn't be gaslighting. and sure, my choices in defining gaslighting emphasized a small, intimate scale, but not individual-to-individual as such as a defining factor, and the thrust of my argument was pretty clearly about the *specific scenario* of a lying politician being outside the conventional sense of gaslighting

also, the thing you're talking about being similar in effect to gaslighting, or otherwise parallel, doesn't necessarily imply that it is illuminating to refer to both phenomena as gaslighting; even a productive comparison is not an equivalence. like, the fictional narrative which named 'gaslighting' is firmly domestic and small-scale, and following use of the word has trended the same way. Great care should be taken not to trivialize and individualize racist systemic sowing of self-doubt in making that comparison.

drastic broadening of the word 'gaslighting,' USPOL 

@byttyrs I don't think we're in disagreement here

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