Edited 11 months, 9 days ago

Should "a vocal minority" or "privileged" be considered fallacies? (113 votes)

I think that both should be considered fallacies. 25%
I think "a vocal minority" is a fallacy, but "privileged" is not. 5%
I think "privileged" is a fallacy, but "a vocal minority" is not. 21%
I don't think that either should be considered fallacies. 49%

I've seen both of these discussion points being used more and more lately, and to me they both seem to be a way of shutting down opposing thought.

When people claim that something is the opinion of "a vocal minority," they often do so without actual statistics or evidence that is the situation. When someone is arguing a point that is said to be coming from "a vocal minority," the intent seems to be to dismiss their perspective unless they can prove that they have the majority opinion, or even a significant minority opinion.

When discussing issues such as race, or gender, or sexual orientation, people frequently use the term "privileged" to silence opposing thought. For example, "The only reason you don't see that as sexist is because you're privileged." It then essentially creates an environment where people are only allowed to present opinions from members of that group.

"Wait, here's a woman who also doesn't think that this is sexist."

"Wait, here's a black guy who shares my thoughts on welfare."

"Wait, here's a gay guy saying that he doesn't think people should boycott Shadow Complex either."

Meanwhile, if any of these thoughts were being shared by a straight white male, they could be dismissed as coming from a perspective of privilege. As Janette Goering recently stated in an article discussing the "#1reasonwhy" campaign:

#1ReasonWhy is either going to be the great uniter of our times, or the great divider. We claim we want unity and equality, but if my male peers were to express the views I just have, they would be flamed to hell and back. They would be called enemies of the cause, oppressors of women. Is that equality?

So, what are your thoughts? Are "a vocal minority" and "privileged" forms of shutting down debate, or can they be useful in painting a clearer picture of an opposing viewpoint?

#1 Posted by Example1013 (4749 posts) -

My thoughts on this thread: Ouroboros or autofellatio, whichever you prefer to go with.

#2 Edited by BaconGames (3137 posts) -

Only in the sense that in the full range of patterned communication some amount of people in some situations have used it for the express purpose of argumentative advantage. Sadly, I don't think anyone using it that way most of the time explicitly thinks of it that way and I don't know if people on the other side interpreting it's use as shutting them down as wholly accurate either.

Both terms are essentially forms of rhetoric that reflect an individual's larger internalized viewpoints as expressed in the situation. On their own they may or may not be threatening or deliberately used but regardless, employing this interpretation can be fruitful in the short term for "winning" arguments but will cause more opposition than not over the long terms. While I commend some for recognizing the complexity of these issues as well as how we communicate, I find it disappointing that many don't follow through with a sense of self-awareness about their own views or arguments.

Basically, if one is ready and willing to play with the proverbial fire that is issues of gender, race, sexuality etc., they best be on top of their game and consider the full range of contexts and be able to communicate that effectively in order to be anything close to convincing. I don't find it entirely unreasonable however that most people in most situations are more naturally inclined to react in the moment and pull at whatever values they have internalized as inherently them, which often means emotionally opposing the other side. My point though is that this all kind of runs together and I'm skeptical (not dismissive, just skeptical) of efforts to label or otherwise limit interpretations of important rhetorical concepts.

#3 Edited by Example1013 (4749 posts) -

Actually, it might be 3 snakes eating each other's tails. Or...well, I'm sure you guys get the metaphor by now.

#4 Edited by Animasta (14460 posts) -

"you don't see that as racist because you're not black" can be completely accurate, because if you aren't black then how do you know? I'm not saying it's a perfect term but it's not necessarily a fallacy.

I mean if someone just says privileged without defining what that means exactly then sure but I don't see a whole lot of just that so...

#5 Posted by Sinusoidal (1155 posts) -

You can't call them fallacies just because people often misuse them.

#6 Posted by dudeglove (7257 posts) -

Change "fallacies" to "assholes"

#7 Posted by Tarsier (1052 posts) -

im against all of this so far.

#8 Posted by MattyFTM (14244 posts) -

Both can be accurate, but both are overused.

Prime example of a vocal minority is the internet going on about Call of Duty. People rage about how every iteration is the same as the last and at the lack of innovation. Yet those games still sell insane amounts. You wouldn't think that based on the volatile reaction people on the internet give it. Obviously that's a drastically different situation to the ones you describe, but it is certainly possible to have a vocal minority, it's just hard to quantify it in most situations.

As for the "privileged" thing, it is very easy for people who have lead a somewhat sheltered life with little to no hardship to have a lack of empathy towards those who are faced with hardship. It isn't necessarily the reason as often as people say, but it can be and is often a contributing factor.

Also, guys, let's not turn this into a shit slinging match. Treat differing views with some respect. I don't want to have to come back and lock this thread later because of stupid pointless childish arguing.

Moderator
#9 Posted by TruthTellah (7671 posts) -

Despite being misused sometimes, they're not intrinsically fallacies. So, no.

And instead of wasting time trying to decide whether to name some opposing arguments fallacies, people should focus on how they can improve their own arguments.

#10 Edited by TheHT (10288 posts) -

No, they shouldn't.

"A vocal minority" without support is just that, a baseless claim.

Calling someone "privileged" like that without knowing anything pertinent beyond the superficial is reducing someone to a few features, generalizing on those features, and then magically using that to invalidate their statement.

Flat-out fallacies, not quite. Presumptive and lazy, absolutely.

#11 Edited by MEATBALL (2787 posts) -

All I know is that as soon as I read someone use the word privilege at this point I roll my eyes and move on while wishing they'd return to the tumblr bubble they came from.

#12 Edited by ajamafalous (11592 posts) -

It's an interesting question. They both do exist, but they're also both frequently (more often than not, I'd say) misused in the ways that you cited.

#13 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4282 posts) -

@meatball said:

All I know is that as soon as I read someone use the word privilege at this point I roll my eyes and move on while wishing they'd return to the tumblr bubble they came from.

That does tend to be the source of all this bullshit, doesn't it?

#14 Posted by Hunter5024 (5175 posts) -

@animasta said:

"you don't see that as racist because you're not black" can be completely accurate, because if you aren't black then how do you know? I'm not saying it's a perfect term but it's not necessarily a fallacy.

I mean if someone just says privileged without defining what that means exactly then sure but I don't see a whole lot of just that so...

Am I allowed to say that calling white people "privileged" is racist, and if someone disagrees with me, tell them they are wrong because of their race?

#15 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3334 posts) -

To clarify, I do not mean fallacy as in "false." I mean it as a poor logical argument. If you go first in a debate, and talk about how your debate opponent did something awful that's not even remotely related to the topic being discussed, that is a fallacy. It is called "poisoning the well." Even if every word you said about it was true, it's "false" logic for the issue at hand, and is considered to be a fallacy.

@sinusoidal said:

You can't call them fallacies just because people often misuse them.

But that's exactly what fallacies are. Logical misuse. Just because something is a fallacy, that doesn't mean that it can't be used correctly, so I would hope that people wouldn't get hung-up on that.

"If we made murder legal, it would lead to a lot more people being killed" isn't an example of the slippery slope fallacy.

"If we allowed the gays to marry, next thing you know we would be making it legal to marry animals." IS an example of the slippery slope fallacy.

Here are some other examples:

Right:

The people who want to the game developers to make a certain weapon more powerful--and force everyone else to go along with it--are a vocal minority. Internet polls have indicated just that, and that weapon is already in the top three most used weapons according to developer released in-game statistics.

Despite being 10 percent of the our city population, black people statistically represent over 50% of police car searches when there was no indication that something was wrong. This is an example of racial profiling. If you're white and you don't have your car searched for a traffic violation, that can be referred to as an example of privilege.

Wrong:

The developers made a radical change to a single player game after it was released. I like this change that has been forced upon all players, but some disagree, and at least want the option to play the game online as it was originally designed. Those people are clearly a vocal minority, and the developer should not give in to their whining.

Spike Lee refuses to watch the movie Django Unchained. He says it would dishonor his ancestors. Katt Williams agrees, and has said that any black person who did this movie deserves to die. Therefore, it is a fact that the movie is racist. If you're white and if you disagree, it's because you're coming from a position of privilege, and you don't know what you're talking about. If you're black and worked on the movie, you clearly sold your values out for a paycheck.

#16 Edited by Drebin_893 (2872 posts) -

You can't call them fallacies just because people often misuse them.

#17 Edited by BisonHero (5674 posts) -

@mattyftm said:

Prime example of a vocal minority is the internet going on about Call of Duty. People rage about how every iteration is the same as the last and at the lack of innovation. Yet those games still sell insane amounts. You wouldn't think that based on the volatile reaction people on the internet give it. Obviously that's a drastically different situation to the ones you describe, but it is certainly possible to have a vocal minority, it's just hard to quantify it in most situations.

Also, Brad's recent position on the podcast that clearly everybody utterly despises the changes made to Star Wars when it was released on DVD. While I don't have some massive survey of millions of people regarding whether they loved those changes, hated them, or just didn't really care or notice, I doubt Brad has seen such a survey either. He's seen what probably only amounts to a few hundred (maybe thousand) people make well reasoned complaints on online communities such as neogaf or reddit. It is extraordinarily unlikely that those people are numerous enough to actually be a significant demographic that Disney is worried about pissing off.

Also, Jeff was right about the fact that even if you piss those people off, they'll still buy tickets to any Star Wars movie just so they can be informed when they discuss how much they didn't like it. Even if he wasn't right, though, Brad is completely wrong to extrapolate his exposure to a few dedicated internet communities out to apply to the world at large. That is a fair time to call those people a "vocal minority".

#18 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3334 posts) -

@bisonhero said:

@mattyftm said:

Prime example of a vocal minority is the internet going on about Call of Duty. People rage about how every iteration is the same as the last and at the lack of innovation. Yet those games still sell insane amounts. You wouldn't think that based on the volatile reaction people on the internet give it. Obviously that's a drastically different situation to the ones you describe, but it is certainly possible to have a vocal minority, it's just hard to quantify it in most situations.

Also, Brad's recent position on the podcast that clearly everybody utterly despises the changes made to Star Wars when it was released on DVD. While I don't have some massive survey of millions of people regarding whether they loved those changes, hated them, or just didn't really care or notice, I doubt Brad has seen such a survey either. He's seen what probably only amounts to a few hundred (maybe thousand) people make well reasoned complaints on online communities such as neogaf or reddit. It is extraordinarily unlikely that those people are numerous enough to actually be a significant demographic that Disney is worried about pissing off.

Also, Jeff was right about the fact that even if you piss those people off, they'll still buy tickets to any Star Wars movie just so they can be informed when they discuss how much they didn't like it. Even if he wasn't right, though, Brad is completely wrong to extrapolate his exposure to a few dedicated internet communities out to apply to the world at large. That is a fair time to call those people a "vocal minority".

But the problem is that it's "fair" to call almost ANYONE who has a complaint about something "a vocal minority," which is why it's a poor point to make in a debate. As I said in the original post: "the intent seems to be to dismiss their perspective unless they can prove that they have the majority opinion, or even a significant minority opinion."

And since when did holding a minority opinion invalidate your opinion? Let's say that only 5% of people who saw the special editions were outraged at the changes to Star Wars. That's still 5% more than if it would have just been left alone, which is still probably hundreds of thousands of people, so why change it?

#19 Posted by Sinusoidal (1155 posts) -

The best example of a vocal minority that I can think of is when Rain (Bi, pronounced bee: 비 in Korean) won Time's 2007 online poll for the world's most influential person even though he wasn't even on the ballot. Most people in the world outside of southeast Asia had no idea who Bi was in 2007, let alone were influenced by him in any way. He most certainly was not the world's most influential person, but through the power of their Internet connections (and some bots I'm sure,) Koreans - the extremely vocal minority - made him so.

#20 Posted by Demoskinos (13878 posts) -

As a vocal minority of privileged white males I feel offended by this topic.

#21 Edited by SomeJerk (2971 posts) -

Go back to Kotaku, you privileged vocal minority.

(Kotaku top men have started going grumpy over all the sexism/etc articles bad writers keep shitting out, fun fact I gotta squeeze in here)

#22 Edited by Nivash (239 posts) -

Neither is a a fallacy because they aren't wrong by definition. Vocal Minorities do exist: for example, pointing out that just because a comment field in an article on immigration in a newspaper is filled by racist people saying racist things does not mean that the majority of the population is racist is not a fallacy - if anything, it's a counter to the fallacy that the group that screams the loudest is the largest.

"Privilege" is more prone to fallacious use because it's not at all true that "privileged" people are entirely incapable of understanding how something might be offensive to the "less privileged", and it's neither true that refusal to respect how something can be offensive to a "less privileged" group is always because of "privilege" - sometimes, a person understands perfectly well that they are being offensive but for reasons they feel are justified decide to be so anyway. But "privilege" still has a perfectly valid use: the times that a person is incapable of understanding why something would be discriminatory or offensive because, due to their "privilege", they lack comparable experiences to draw understanding from, even if they try.

Compare that to a few established fallacies and you'll spot the difference:

  • The Gamblers Fallacy: the belief that odds change in relation to recent events. For example, the belief that if a flipped coin just showed heads, it is more likely to show tails the next time. In reality, the odds are still 50/50 as probability lacks memory. The fallacy is in that this belief is always wrong.
  • The Post-Hoc Fallacy: the belief that if an event immediately preceded another event, they first event must have been the cause. In reality, this is never guaranteed and could just as likely have been a coincidence. Cause-and-effect has to be established before drawing any conclusions. While at times the events could be connected, the fallacy is in the thought process and jumping to conclusions without sufficient proof.
  • The Sunk-Cost Fallacy: the unwillingness to to give up on an investment because it will be lost which leads to larger investments in an attempt to save it. In reality, an early loss is indicative of even larger future losses. The rational thing is to abandon the early investment in order to avoid losing an even larger future investment. The fallacy is in an emotional response based on aversion to loss, rather than rational acceptance.

So it's perfectly possible to use those terms fallaciously, most often by failing to back them up with proof, or as dishonest debate tactics, but this can be done with lots of other valid concepts and tactics as well and the terms are not by themselves fallacious.

EDIT: @spaceinsomniac

But the problem is that it's "fair" to call almost ANYONE who has a complaint about something "a vocal minority," which is why it's a poor point to make in a debate. As I said in the original post: "the intent seems to be to dismiss their perspective unless they can prove that they have the majority opinion, or even a significant minority opinion."

And since when did holding a minority opinion invalidate your opinion? Let's say that only 5% of people who saw the special editions were outraged at the changes to Star Wars. That's still 5% more than if it would have just been left alone, which is still probably hundreds of thousands of people, so why change it?

You're mixing it up with another fallacy, the "Appeal to Popularity" fallacy. That one is the one that deals with the belief that the opinion shared by the majority is by definition correct.

#23 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

"Privilege" as commonly used is a fallacy. Arguments are qualified based on the proposals, evidence and logic presented, not the race, gender or whatever signifier you wish to choose of the speaker. To ignore an argument or cast aspersions on it based on the speaker belonging to a majority or a wealthy class is no different than doing the same to a minority or poorer class. If someone's argument is ignorant due to their privilege, it should be simple to refute the argument, rather than to simply attack the speaker.

There is a YouTube video by a woman named Correctrix that deals with this. I believe it's called "Check your Fallacy". I'd link but I'm on my phone.

#24 Posted by N2NOther (83 posts) -

@mattyftm said:

Both can be accurate, but both are overused.

Prime example of a vocal minority is the internet going on about Call of Duty. People rage about how every iteration is the same as the last and at the lack of innovation. Yet those games still sell insane amounts. You wouldn't think that based on the volatile reaction people on the internet give it. Obviously that's a drastically different situation to the ones you describe, but it is certainly possible to have a vocal minority, it's just hard to quantify it in most situations.

This is the example I was going to use for "vocal minority", in which case it's valid. And for showing statistics, it goes both ways. One would have to prove it's not the vocal minority.

#25 Posted by EpicSteve (6442 posts) -

The whole "white privilege" argument is probably the weakest idea I've ever heard.

#26 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6077 posts) -

You Americans have fun, I'm going back to playing Neverwinter.

#27 Posted by MindOST (215 posts) -

Privilege generally isn't used as a fallacy. It's generally presented as a reason why someone might not see something as sexist/racist/homophobic/whatever, and it's often true in that sense.

Sometimes it IS used as a straight-up fallacy, but in those cases it's just ad hominem, and not it's own distinct fallacy.

#28 Posted by Video_Game_King (34618 posts) -

@animasta said:

"you don't see that as racist because you're not black" can be completely accurate, because if you aren't black then how do you know?

By that logic, Native Americans cannot find anything racist ever.

#29 Posted by jsnyder82 (685 posts) -

Well, obviously they ARE used quite often to make the people saying them feel superior and hopefully feel like they've won the argument. But they're not always false, so I don't think you can necessarily call them fallacies.

#30 Edited by Maddman60620 (92 posts) -

this is "a vocal minority" vs "privilege" in a nutshell, it should be easy to see which side has the moral higher ground or better points... When it comes to race, gender, sexiality, and social and economic class a person who takes the side of it being his/her "privilege" 9.5/10 is most likely wrong....

#31 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

You guys are misunderstanding. "Privilege" as a concept is just that, a concept that we understand to be a thing. In situations, people may make an argument that is ignorant, and it may be due in some way to privilege.... But, pointing to that privilege as blinding them is _not a counterargument_. If the argument is bad due to privilege, then it should be simple to make a counterargument based on the argument. There is no non-fallacious use of "privilege" in an argument, just as there's no non-fallacious use of insults. The other person may in fact be an asshole, but calling them an asshole as your argument is explicitly fallacious.

#32 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4484 posts) -

Well these are both political terms, political arguments are universally garbage so there's no point assigning any high and mighty philosophical bylines to them. Only stupid people seriously consider American political arguments, unless they're actually getting something out of the proceedings (this works for both sides).

#33 Edited by MindOST (215 posts) -

You guys are misunderstanding. "Privilege" as a concept is just that, a concept that we understand to be a thing. In situations, people may make an argument that is ignorant, and it may be due in some way to privilege.... But, pointing to that privilege as blinding them is _not a counterargument_. If the argument is bad due to privilege, then it should be simple to make a counterargument based on the argument. There is no non-fallacious use of "privilege" in an argument, just as there's no non-fallacious use of insults. The other person may in fact be an asshole, but calling them an asshole as your argument is explicitly fallacious.

True, but calling someone an asshole in addition to your argument, or pointing out that their values and actions stem from them being an asshole are not inherently fallacious actions.

#34 Posted by RazielCuts (2711 posts) -

Adam Sessler brings up a few good points in this video and the Nintendo skipping E3 press conference video about the idea of a 'hive mind' mentality found on the internet and how this can be misconstrued as thinking 'everyone' thinks the same way you do when forumlating groups around the same similar interests.

Also the thoughts on Nintendo making up for not having an E3 by just having more Nintendo Directs and just talking to an already converted fanbase is kind of missing the point of E3 where everyone will be watching not just 3DS or Wii U owners.

#35 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@mindost said:

@brodehouse said:

You guys are misunderstanding. "Privilege" as a concept is just that, a concept that we understand to be a thing. In situations, people may make an argument that is ignorant, and it may be due in some way to privilege.... But, pointing to that privilege as blinding them is _not a counterargument_. If the argument is bad due to privilege, then it should be simple to make a counterargument based on the argument. There is no non-fallacious use of "privilege" in an argument, just as there's no non-fallacious use of insults. The other person may in fact be an asshole, but calling them an asshole as your argument is explicitly fallacious.

True, but calling someone an asshole in addition to your argument, or pointing out that their values and actions stem from them being an asshole are not inherently fallacious actions.

Actually, they are. As the respondent, you are presenting a counterargument to a proposition. Where the petitioner's values or actions originate from is irrelevant to the proposition brought forward, unless the proposition is entirely about whether or not the petitioner is an asshole. Even then, the accusation of assholery requires qualification with evidence, not merely the statement. This is a textbook appeal to the speaker, arguing not that the grounds or evidence presented in defense of the proposition are insufficient as to entail the proposition, or that the proposition does not necessarily follow from the evidence presented, the argument instead is that the speaker is incapable of presenting grounds or evidence, a logical fallacy due to the fact that grounds and evidence have been presented.

Allow me to elaborate;

P: "My proposition is that the sun revolves around the earth, in a structure we refer to as geocentrism. The proof for this being the nature of the seasons, the patterns of global weather trends conform to the pattern shown here of a sun that oscillates the earth in a asynchronous manner, explaining why some areas have longer winter months and some have longer summer months."

R: "My response is to show that the petitioner does not have any major scientific degrees from any accredited university, in a previous argument offered a proposition that disagreed with the majority of established scientists, and is incapable of showing evidence for their claims because they are religious."

Do you know who actually wins this point? The idiot petitioner and their bogus geocentrism, because the respondent did not put forth a counterargument, merely four logical fallacies; appeal to authority, appeal to majority and association, and a circumstantial ad hominem (possibly an appeal to motive, as well). Do you know what would have been a better counterargument to the petitioner's easy falsifiable claims? Positive evidence of heliocentrism and a refutation of the grounds of geocentrism. Not fallacies.

#36 Edited by MindOST (215 posts) -

@brodehouse: That's not really what I was saying, though.

You're correct in that the respondent in your example failed to present a counter-argument, but what he said could be used as an explanation of why the petitioner clings to his geocentric beliefs. "Why does he believe in a geocentric model when the overwhelming evidence is clearly against him? Well, it's because he's uneducated, refuses to believe scientific claims, and is highly religious." It's not really a counter-argument in itself, simply an explanation of where the original argument is coming from.

Which is how "privilege" tends to be used. "Billy doesn't believe in racism or sexism because he's never experienced either one."

Admittedly, "Privilege" IS often used to swat away an argument, but that's often because systemic sexism and racism are very large, complex problems that require a certain level of understanding in history, culture, media, and sociology. "You just think that because you're privileged" is often shorthand for "A proper argument would take far too long and you'll probably just ignore it anyways because of your preexisting biases." That's why it comes up so often on the internet. I'm not gonna write an essay on a forum only for that topic to get swept off to page 4 within the hour.

#37 Edited by egg (1339 posts) -

"When people claim that something is the opinion of "a vocal minority," they often do so without actual statistics or evidence that is the situation."

This is why the minority/majority argument is always idiotic.

It's just like why I'm reluctant to participate in any "post your unpopular opinions" thread. To do so is making really vague assumptions about what people's opinions are.

#38 Posted by Alexander (1720 posts) -

Giant Bomb is a vocal minority.

#39 Edited by Darji (5295 posts) -

@animasta said:

"you don't see that as racist because you're not black" can be completely accurate, because if you aren't black then how do you know? I'm not saying it's a perfect term but it's not necessarily a fallacy.

I mean if someone just says privileged without defining what that means exactly then sure but I don't see a whole lot of just that so...

That is why we should abolish words like black people, feminism patriarchy, women and men in such arguments. They are people. If you go with words like "because I am black" or because "I am a women" or because "you are a white male and do not know about anything". You try to make yourself inferior to the other one. You try to be a victim of society and with this all conversations about equality will be result in nothing more than a dispute.

#40 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@mindost: It is irrelevant to the argument where or how the petitioner developed this set of beliefs. Referencing Plato's Cave, to argue the petitioner's claims of the nature of the shadow on the wall you do not bring up that he has been staring at the wall his entire life and this it forms his allegedly incorrect proposal; this is an appeal to the speaker. Instead, you show with evidence the real nature of the shadows, you show them the creatures and objects that create them. Argue the argument, not the speaker's authority to make the argument.

You're right that the use of privilege is fallacious and used by people who don't want to actually generate an argument based on fact. And yet they still want to be involved, and most of all, want to be right. And so they use fallacious arguments to attempt to achieve being seen as right without bothering with the critical thinking or the use of evidence. I'm a rationalist, if I come to a point that I feel strongly about, but I don't want to argue or think critically about, I have to pause and consider whether my feelings on the point are wholly rational. If it was merely a matter of not having the time, then I don't respond (or wait until there is time). Or, I could be fallacious and say 'privilege privilege rights privilege imputation of malice'. I think if we say that this type of fallacious reasoning is okay because 'it's for a good cause' or something, you set a precedent that favors majority feelings rather than critical logic, and that's a precedent that results in far more abuse.

#41 Posted by gamefreak9 (2327 posts) -

My thoughts on this thread: Ouroboros or autofellatio, whichever you prefer to go with.

Cool, i've never actually seen Ouroboros used before... though I thought that when I did it would be for something cool.

#42 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

You're a fallacy.

#43 Posted by triple07 (1193 posts) -

I think the idea of a vocal minority definitely exists but is perhaps used too often without any evidence to back up the fact that many people believe the opposite but just aren't speaking up, which admittedly a hard thing to do. For instance I think an example of a vocal minority would be a few years back when Call of Duty was at the height of its popularity and yet there was a very vocal contingent of people who absolutely hated the games and would post scathing messages about it. Obviously a lot of people were really enjoying the game as shown by the sales numbers of the games continuing to sell extremly well. This may be less true now as Call of Duty fatigue seems to be affecting people outside the hardcore gaming audience, at least anecdotaly.

When it comes to the privilaged argument I feel that it is a dickish way to ignore someone's argument even if it may be true. However as a straight white male I suppose I'm basically the prime example of someone who is privilaged.