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- A propaganda technique where criticisms are deflected by raising corresponding criticisms of the opposite side.
- 1994, Austin, Joe, “The obdurate and the obstinate”, in Tony Parker, editors, May the Lord in His Mercy be Kind to Belfast, Henry Holt & Co, →ISBN, page 136:
- And I'd no time at all for 'What aboutism' - you know, people who said 'Yes, but what about what's been done to us? ... That had nothing to do with it, and if you got into it you were defending the indefensible.
- 2008 December 11, Staff writer, “The West is in danger of losing its moral authority”, in European Voice, retrieved 3 July 2017:
- 'Whataboutism' was a favourite tactic of Soviet propagandists during the old Cold War. Any criticism of the Soviet Union’s internal aggression or external repression was met with a 'what about?' some crime of the West, from slavery to the Monroe doctrine.
- 2014 August 25, Tracinski, Robert, “Crime: Understanding Ferguson: Fort Apache, Missouri”, in The Federalist:
- Back in the Cold War, we had a term for this: 'whataboutism.' Whenever anyone criticized the Soviets about the gulags, their mouthpieces would start a sentence with 'What about...' and go on to talk about racism and poverty and whatever bad thing they could think of that was happening in the United States.
- “whataboutism”, in Oxford Dictionary of English: Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 2010: “Origin - 1990s: from the way in which counter-accusations may take the form of questions introduced by 'What about —?'”
- “whataboutism”, in Oxford Living Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2017, archived from the original on 9 March 2017: “Origin - 1990s: from the way in which counter-accusations may take the form of questions introduced by ‘What about —?’.”