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When Kellyanne Conway introduced the term “alternative facts” into the public lexicon last week, the Donald Trump adviser was roasted by Merriam-Webster’s Twitter account. Meanwhile, plenty of people immediately ordered themselves a copy of 1984.
Psychology Today explains that gaslighting is “a tactic of behavior in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality … It is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders.” It was also the subject of a viral Teen Vogue essay about Donald Trump.
As Dr. Stephanie Sarkis writes, people who gaslight tell “blatant lies,” deny they said something when there’s proof they did, and try to wear you down over time.
The alternativefacts.com domain name reportedly was bought last Sunday, the same day Conway said that Press Secretary Sean Spicer was using alternative facts to insist wrongly that the size of the inauguration crowd was the biggest in history.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.