Present Content Out Of Context

AKA: Quote Mining, Contextomy

The tactic of taking part of something out of context so that it appears that the sources or creators believe or support something they actually don't. For example, let's say that scientist and writer Jack Nelson writes:

"As a writer of fiction, I can easily imagine a universe in which a world with dragons and vampires is possible, but as a scientist, I must concede that our universe does not live up to my imagination."

Bobby, who believes in things like dragons and vampires and very much wants to show that respectable people (such as scientist writers) also believe in these things, takes Nelson's quote and hacks it down to:

"A world with dragons and vampires is possible."

Nelson's original quote makes it clear that while he can imagine a fantastic world like this, he doesn't actually believe it's possible. But by taking a key part of it out of context, Bobby makes it look like he's saying exactly the opposite - that he does believe it's possible.

Or, Rick believes that the Harry Potter books are a bad influence and that children should not read them. So to prove his point in his anti-Harry Potter lecture, Rick takes Voldemort's line "there is no good and evil, there is only power... and those too weak to seek it" and presents them as values the book supposedly endorses to his audience. However, Rick conveniently leaves out that this line came from the main villain, and that none of the protagonists actually espouse these views anywhere.

Some people commit this fallacy without really realizing it - EG, in heated Internet debates, people will often scan over their opponent's posts and pounce upon the most obviously obnoxious parts and respond only to those parts, when if they had actually slowed down and read the whole thing, they'd find that their opponents didn't exactly say what they thought they said.

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