I oppose mob lynching of any criminal even if the criminal is a rapist. When I wrote a blog post about it, people commented that I was supporting the rapist by saying this. I know it is some kind of logical fallacy because opposing the mob lynching of a criminal does not mean that I think the criminal's crime was not a crime nor that I am favoring that crime.

Is this the tu quoque fallacy?

This is not the only example. In my country there's a hate-group who oppose a famous poet for some religious reason. I am against that group like most of the liberal and democratic people in my country. Once I criticized this famous poet for plagiarism. Then many liberal people in my country claimed that I belonged to that hate group and that I was engaging in propaganda supporting that hate group. But I criticized the poet simply because I thought one of his poems was a plagiarism. I did not have any other intention with my criticism. I know their arguments were a logical fallacy as they were not right, but I want to know the name of this logical fallacy.

  • I made a edit with the intent of clarifying your question. You are welcome to roll this back if you think it was inappropriate or continue editing it. It would be helpful to have links to your blog posts as well as those who commented. Jun 17, 2018 at 23:45
  • This seems close to an association fallacy, guilt by association, that "attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument" according to Wikipedia. It combines elements of red herring (distraction), hasty generalization, and ad hominem (attack on character).
    – Conifold
    Jun 19, 2018 at 17:16

4 Answers 4


There are a few possible answers to this.

One of these is called False Dilemma.

A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy in which something is falsely claimed to be an "either/or" situation, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

Another one is Cherry Picking.

the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.

And third one can be Appeal to motive.

Appeal to motive is a pattern of argument which consists in challenging a thesis by calling into question the motives of its proposer.


Excluded Middle, I suppose. One can be against rape, and against mob linchying of rapists - there ar other, more civilised (or so we hope) forms of punishing rapists.

  • Actually, other methods are used in all civilised countries, and lynching will get you convicted for murder.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 18, 2018 at 6:55

It an enthymeme : an argument with a tacit (missing) premise and a tacit premise which in this case is false.

The argument is :

1 You oppose mob lynching of any criminal even if the criminal is a rapist.

2 All who oppose mob lynching of any criminal even if the criminal is a rapist either denies that the rapist has committed a crime or supports (favours/ tolerates) the action of rape.

3 Therefore you either deny that the rapist has committed a crime or support (favour/ tolerate) the action of rape.

2 is the tacit premise and is false. It is false on two grounds. One : the first premise is not quite unambiguous but presupposes on any ordinary reading that you acknowledge that rape is a crime. So how can it be the case that you deny that the rapist has committed a crime ? That deals with the 'either'. As for the 'or', it does not follow that to deny that the rapist or any other criminal should be subjected to a certain form of punishment (mob lynching) is to affirm that the criminal should not be punished at all and a fortiori it is not to support (favour/ tolerate) the action of rape.


This is not a fallacy, this is a truth. If you oppose the lynching of a rapist, you are in effect supporting the rapist in their desire to not get lynched.

There's no fallacy here, just an accurate description of you.

In fact, if anybody's making a fallacy here, it's you, since you seem to conflate the words "support a rapist" with the words "support rape".

No, your actions do not indicate that you support rape, but your actions do indicatte that you support a rapist, which is what you are doing.

  • He also has a second example to consider about a poet's alleged plagiarism which may more clearly express what the OP is trying to describe. Jun 19, 2018 at 13:29

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