In the Wikipedia article, whataboutism is defined as a tu quoque fallacy, yet later on it is said that the accusation itself is a form of tu quoque fallacy. How so?

Christian Christensen, Professor of Journalism in Stockholm, argues that the accusation of whataboutism is itself a form of tu quoque fallacy, as it dismisses criticisms of one's own behavior to focus instead on the actions of another, thus creating a double standard. Those who use whataboutism are not necessarily engaging in an empty or cynical deflection of responsibility: whataboutism can be a useful tool to expose contradictions, double standards, and hypocrisy.

I have an issue with the claim, because it is said: it's an attempt to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. If you accuse someone of whataboutism, do you really discredit him of being a hypocrite? It might be a fallacy, but I don't think accusing someone of whataboutism if a form of tu quoque fallacy. What do you think? Can you give a simple example?

  • I would have phrased it "accusation of whataboutism can be a form of tu quoque fallacy", and often is. "You are way too sloppy, you should act more like me" - "Oh yeah? Remember how you messed up last time? Hypocrite". – Conifold Jul 21 at 23:16
  • @Conifold In that format I’d say the tu quoque is not very clear, as the answer is proper to “[...] you should act more like me.”, but not to the accusation of “You are way too sloppy[...]”. The example would be better if it were only “You are way too sloppy.”, “Oh yeah? Remember how you messed up last time? Hypocrite.”, as the target of the tu quoque is isolated. – William Jul 23 at 12:50
  • The tu quoque fallacy is unusual in that it can be recursively stacked atop itself indefinitely. Then both sides may honestly claim the other commits the fallacy. The only fallacy with a similar behavior that I am aware of is the fallacy fallacy. – Kevin Jul 23 at 16:56

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