An appeal to spite (also called argumentum ad odium) is a fallacy in which someone attempts to win favor for an argument by exploiting existing feelings of bitterness, spite, or schadenfreude in the opposing party. It is an attempt to sway the audience emotionally by associating a hate-figure with opposition to the speaker’s argument.

Fallacious ad hominem arguments which attack villains holding the opposing view are often confused with appeals to spite. The ad hominem can be a similar appeal to a negative emotion, but differs from it in directly criticizing the villain —that is unnecessary in an appeal to spite, where hatred for the villain is assumed.

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