It could be an individual, a single society, culture, country, whatever.

Let me use an example: Let us say that it is a fact that Mr and Mrs X (or a large portion of people of X descent or people who live in the rural areas of X country) do not care about animal rights. Imagine this is talked about all the time, is on the news, it's analyzed to death, etc.

I can only think of the charge of hypocrisy but I am not even sure of that. Mainly because while the X family may mistreat animals or kill them and eat them, I might shoot animals for sports and not eat them. So it is not like I am doing the exact same thing, and thus it is difficult to argue that I am being hypocritical.

Alternatively, I might be perfectly respectful of animals rights but that the practice of animal mistreatment, hunting for sports, eating them, etc, be widespread and yet I criticize the X family without considering the prevalence of similar behavior by others.

By the way, this issue has nothing to do with animal rights. I do not want to discuss the specifics of it, but it was regarding a college professor of mine who was criticizing a certain kind of behavior by people in another country, and going on and on about how inhumane it was and how he could not understand how people could do such a thing, when all I could think about was that similar behavior was quite widespread and that the exact same behavior was also done right here just a few decades ago, and it was unfair to single them out without acknowledging these other facts.

  • 1
    This sounds like fallacies of selective attention (strawman, cherry picking, etc.). But be careful with it, tu quoque, a.k.a. appeal to hypocrisy, "you do it too" defense, is itself a fallacy.
    – Conifold
    Mar 25 '18 at 22:14
  • This is a very common problem. Say food quality, people draw attention to plastic/synthetic eggs in China, and say it tells you something about their national character. Forgetting the food scandals we had say in England, when we were industrialising here. A lot of non-vegans get very upset that a very tiny number of Koreans eat dogs, while being happy to eat more intelligent pigs. It's important to use data for populations rather than anecdote wherever possible, and look at motivations and ethical omissions in ones own culture & history, as well as others, for sure.
    – CriglCragl
    Mar 25 '18 at 22:32

If I understand your question, it sounds like you're describing people who focus on individuals in an anecdotal way. "I maintain that this country treats animals poorly, and as an example, let me introduce Mr. X."

I'm not sure if that qualifies as a logical fallacy. If not, you might just call it "cherry picking anecdotal evidence."

As a matter of fact, there is a logical fallacy called cherry picking. I think it applies to the scenario you describe.

Another technique commonly used by propagandists is lies of omission. If a person tells you about the bad things one person does while ignoring the good things that person - or the larger community of which he's a part - does, that's effectively a lie. Or they could tell you that a person does something bad without explaining why they engage in such behavior.

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