Domaining Industry Fallacies – Ad Hominem

Posted on 25 February 2014 by Andrei

This is a fallacy (a logical error) that we will most likely be seeing more and more of unfortunately. What is the ad hominem fallacy all about? Simply put, it means rejecting an argument by pointing out various negative aspects about the person making it. In other words, instead of analyzing the argument, you’re analyzing the person who is making it.

This is in my opinion an emotional impulse.

The rational approach would simply be identifying the argument’s weaknesses and articulating counter-arguments accordingly. However, especially when the discussion becomes heated, people tend to act emotionally rather than rationally and that’s why ad hominems are so common.

Why did I say we will most likely be seeing more and more ad hominems in the domaining industry?

First of all, I hope I’m wrong.

I really do.

But our industry is going through several fundamental changes.

Love them or hate them, the new gTLDs will definitely not go by unnoticed.

A lot of people seem to believe that you *have* to pick a side.

As time passes, the gap between the two sides will most likely widen and instead of exchanging ideas in a productive/civilized manner, the risk is that these two sides will end up resorting to ad hominems among other things.

That would be a shame and our industry deserves better.

How can we prevent such developments?

First of all by pointing out fallacies such as the ad hominem one whenever we come across them and then by trying to change the course of the discussion. Instead of attacking one another, encourage people to limit themselves to attacking arguments. Otherwise, all new gTLD-related discussions will end up turning into irrelevant wastes of time.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Caillo Says:

    No, you mis-understood.

    No one is talking about the author, speaker or source.

    What is being said, rather, is that the G’s, themselves, are a REALLY stupid and flawed idea. BIG DIFFERENCE.

    IMHO, no one wants them and no one will ever use them.

  2. Andrei Says:

    @Caillo: as far as the present is concerned, you’re right. For the most part, ad hominems aren’t used all that frequently during new gTLD debates at this point. What I explained through today’s post however is that “we will most likely be seeing more and more of” this in the future.


    Because the journey is just starting.

    Only a few new gTLDs have been launched.

    Most domainers don’t yet have skin in the game, so to speak.

    But as time passes, the gap between the two sides will widen.

    This is pretty much inevitable.

    What we as domainers should in my opinion be doing is not letting the previously mentioned gap cloud our judgement. By not accepting ad hominems and other fallacies when we are involved in a debate, we are basically encouraging people to act rationally rather than emotionally and I for one consider this the best approach.