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Linking to authority

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Logic and rhetoric

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Linking to authority describes a form of deceit people use online and in print. If a person uses a link as a reference to any claim, it appears to have authority backing it. In the form of books, these come as footnotes or endnotes which reference another print or online source.

However, following the links or reading the referenced material often reveals the deceitful nature of the claim. Sometimes a quote has been mined, sometimes the article linked has little to do with the claim, or even sometimes argues the exact opposite point the claim makes.

Playing on the notion that few of their followers will bother checking their work, or reading the referenced pieces, this form of deceit gives the author an aura of respect and his or her claim weight where none exists. You know where the best examples are.

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