User:Tenmei/Delegitimisation as a tactic

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Himorogi in Japan are most commonly seen at construction sites, where they stand for a while before actual work begins. The zigzag-shaped paper streamer hanging from the boundary ropes are called shide (紙垂).

Delegitimization as a tactic presents value judgments as facts [1] and as a self-justifying mechanism.[2]

It is axiomatic that to criticise is not per se to de-legitimise. Delegitimisation is qualitatively different. It can seem the same sometimes, but it isn’t. The one is valid, and the other is not.[3] Delegitimization is a specific kind of impediment or disruption of Wikipedia's collaborative editing.

Delegitimization refers to a process in which an editor and his or her work are strategically undermined. As a tactic, it is an attempt to deflect attention away from the substance of any contribution, focusing instead on the writer.

Delegitimisation may (a) inhibit an examination of valid issues and (b) redirect or re-frame a discussion thread. Often the context will be muddied or worsened by a others, who introduce a simplistic policy-based response instead of addressing the substantive content of a diff or a thread. This can have the effect of sidetracking a discussion into policy interpretations.

Within the ambit of delegitimization tactics are those processes which attempt to achieve "rebranding" within the wiki-community.

One form of delegitimisation is hard to spot, harder to anticipate and hardest to deal with because those engaging in it will fiercely deny they are doing so. The problem is marked by an unwillingness to listen to the other side, to acknowledge that someone else has a point, to embrace the notion that this is a complex matter that requires an investment in another way of looking at a controversial topic.[3]

Dispute resolutionEdit

Delegitimization as a tactic distracts attention from the top three sections of this pyramid.

Wikipedia is built upon the principle of collaboration and assuming that the efforts of others are in good faith.

However, for those who use delegitimization as a tactic, something else becomes the focal point -- not encyclopedia writing.

Illustrative examplesEdit

Delegitimization is a term used to describe is a kind of personal attack which is damaging to the work of building an encyclopedia, e.g.,

Historical contextEdit

In the course of history, individuals and groups have been targeted; and this caused the development of the "theory of delegitimization" as an academic framework.[4]

For example, images of derogated target groups were published in the Italian Fascist magazine La Difesa della Razza in the 1930s. These were classified according to eight delegitimizing strategies,[5] including trait characterisation, political labels, group comparison, segregation, outcasting and using a delegitimized group to stigmatize another group.[6]

In 1975, "delegitimization" became a kind of "buzz word" when then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan accused the international body of delegitimizing Israel by passing a "Zionism is racism" resolution.[7]

The paired concepts of "legitimize" and "de-legitimize" have gained currency in discussions about nuclear disarmament.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. Clabaugh, Gary et al. (2007). Analyzing Controversy, p. 36. at Google Books
  2. Volpato, Chiara et al. "Picturing the Other: Targets of Delegitimization across Time", International Journal of Conflict and Violence (Germany). Vol. 4, No. 2 (2010), p. 273, citing Daniel Bar-Tal. (1990). "Causes and Consequences of Delegitimization: Models of Conflict and Ethnocentrism," Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 46, pp. 65-89; retrieved 2011-09-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Blair, Tony. "It is a democratic duty to counter deleligitimisation of Israel," Speech by the Madrid Quartet Representative at Herzliya, Israel, 24 August 2010.
  4. Volpato, p. 272; retrieved 2011-09-20.
  5. Volpato, (abstract); retrieved 2011-09-18.
  6. Volpato, p. 275; retrieved 2011-09-18.
  7. Rosenberg, M.J. "Israel: 'Delegitimization' is just a distraction," Los Angeles Times (US), July 17, 2011; Lis, Jonathan. "Livni: Delegitimization of Israel exacerbates other threats," Haaretz (Israel). August 24, 2010; retrieved 2011-09-19.
  8. Blair, Bruce et al. "Smaller and Safer, A New Plan for Nuclear Postures," Foreign Affairs (US), Vol. 89, No. 5, September/October 2010; excerpt, "These postures also perpetuate a mutual reliance on nuclear weapons that lends legitimacy to the nuclear ambitions of other nations"; compare Berry, Ken et al. "Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons: Examining the Validity of Nuclear Deterrence," Monterey Institute of International Studies. May 2010; retrieved 2011-09-20.


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