False attribution
The fallacy
In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually an incorrect argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor , or take advantage of social relationships between people...

 of a false attribution occurs when an advocate appeals to an irrelevant, unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in support of an argument. A contextomy is a type of false attribution.

A more deceptive and difficult to detect version of a false attribution is where a fraudulent advocate goes so far as to fabricate a source, such as creating a fake website, in order to support a claim. For example, the “Levitt Institute” was a fake organisation created in 2009 solely for the purposes of (successfully) fooling the Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n media into reporting that Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 was Australia’s most naive city.

A particular case of misattribution is the Matthew effect
Matthew effect (sociology)
In sociology, the Matthew effect is the phenomenon where "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". Those who possess power and economic or social capital can leverage those resources to gain more power or capital. The term was first coined by sociologist Robert K...

: a quotation
A quotation or quote is the repetition of one expression as part of another one, particularly when the quoted expression is well-known or explicitly attributed by citation to its original source, and it is indicated by quotation marks.A quotation can also refer to the repeated use of units of any...

 is often attributed to someone more famous than the real author. This leads the quotation to be more famous, but the real author to be forgotten (see also: obliteration by incorporation
Obliteration by incorporation
In sociology of science, obliteration by incorporation occurs when at some stage in the development of a science, certain ideas become so accepted and common-use that their contributors are no longer cited...


External links

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