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Attacking Substance or Credibility (Part 2 of 2)
In Part 2, read how online comments attack the credibility of the person
In Part 2 of Attacking Substance or Credibility, we review the comments that attack the credibility of our 24Hour Journal Creator and 24Hour Investing Instructor/Advisor, Anna Rubešová. If you haven’t already, read Part 1 to understand attacking substance of the content.
Before we review the comments, let me answer the question of why. Why are we reviewing these online comments and the attacks of the substance of the content or the credibility of the person?
Exhibit 2 — A selfie of Anna with roses in the background as she shares her love of learning new languages and how learning these languages have opened new doors and opportunities, one of which is investing in her retirement.
The Pursuit of Doing and Being Different
I am reminded of Wisco Weekly podcast episode #206 where Joslyn Davis shared how everyone in Hollywood talks about doing something, but many do not follow through on their words and ideas. Hollywood is a city of dreams, but dreams do not manifest by merely being in the presence of other Hollywood celebrities nor simply meeting and networking with other like-minded individuals. At some point, the rubber must meet the road and this entails doing all the things that others won’t do in order to make your dreams a reality.
Some of the most toxic people to be around are those who have high ambitions and who are also very lazy. These toxic people often have big ideas and always have an opinion of having the right solution. But, these ideas halt when the real work comes in like knocking door-to-door, making 100 sales calls in a day, or sitting at a computer and writing a 1,000-word essay.
This type of non-glamour and “unseen-to-the-public-eye” work is something that toxic people would rather: 1) hire someone else to do or, 2) be stuck in a “analysis paralysis” mode as they try to hack the system to make it easy on themselves (sometimes, this can be referred to as working smart without working hard).
Then, when you actually see someone who is working hard and working smart, toxic people get really toxic. And so begins attacking the credibility of a person, rather than the substance of the content.
Let’s look at a couple examples.
Example 1 of Attacking the Credibility of a Person
Exhibit 2 (above) was a post made by Anna in the FB Group, Foreigners in Brno, where she posts a message about her love of learning new languages, and one of them being learning the language of investing. One commenter’s response was to simply attack the credibility of Anna by claiming that she is just a trickster, and because of that, Anna is opened to criticism.
The irony is that the commenter does not know Anna, nor do I imagine, the commenter did any research on Anna to learn more about her. Is Anna fair game for criticism? Absolutely. But the attacks on the credibility of a person are completely unfounded. And as you read the back-and-forth between two commenters, the dialogue is not productive and these attacks are merely a way for the commenter to feel good about standing up against something that they perceive to be harmful. Where is the harm you may think? We don’t know either, which is why attacking the credibility of a person brings about a toxic conversation.
What is a better way to attack the credibility of a person? Easy. Do the research to investigate why a person’s post is harmful, or a trick, or a scam. By simply doing that work, the attack is more thoughtful and hence, productive.
Example 2 of Attacking the Credibility of a Person
We reference Exhibit 2 again, and in the case, we have a classic battle between male versus female. (Sidenote: I’ve researched both of these commenters and can confirm they are indeed biological males.)
The first comment displays a healthy dose of skepticism, and justifies it by attacking the credibility of Anna. The second commenter does the same and justifies it because Anna put an American flag next to the word ‘English.’ Presumably, the second commenter would have deemed the post to be more appropriate if all flags of English-speaking nations were listed.
What was most interesting to note on these two comments were that it was coming from two males. The topic of money, finance, and investing has long been an area of interest primarily for men. Evidence of this can be seen through the amount of men working in the finance and investing space rather than women. Again, is Anna fair game for this criticism especially from men? Yes, absolutely. But attacking the credibility of Anna is unfounded yet again.
Anna is not an employee of an investing company. She is a Co-Founder of one which educates students to invest in the biggest stock exchanges in the world, the United States stock exchanges. Learn more about Anna and her investment education company here.
Attacking the substance of the content or the credibility of a person is par for the course when it comes to social media posts. It is easier — way easier — to attack a person than an idea. To attack an idea requires more thought and nuance, while attacking a person can be boiled down to the simplest and easiest identifiable characteristics like name, gender, diction, or image.
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