Argumentum ad odium

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The appeal to spite (Argumentum ad odium, appeal to hatred) is a fallacy in which someone attempts to win favor for an argument by exploiting existing feelings of spite, or schadenfreude (pleasure derived from misfortune of others) in the opposing party. Basically it is an attempt to associate the opposition with a distasteful ideology.

The argument is often mistaken for an Ad hominem, which openly attacks the opposition, as well as appealing to negative emotion, whilst the appeal to hatred/spite only appeals to a negative emotion and assumes hatred for the opposition exists. Attacking the opposition directly is unnecessary.


1. "If you vote for this tax cut, it will mean that the fat cats will get even more money to spend on their expensive luxury yachts, while you and I keep struggling to pay the bills."

2. "Stop recycling! Aren't you tired of Hollywood celebrities preaching to everyone about saving the Earth?"

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