When people, particularly those in media organizations, take minor concerns held by small amounts of people, and not too strongly even by them, and present them as though they are causing hordes of people to go into chaos. Manufactured outrage usually draws on legitimate things that are being said, but blows them way out of proportion to the point of painting a highly misleading picture. Mostly a means of getting attention and selling media.
An example of manufactured outrage happened in 2016. A fair amount of people were moderately (and for the most part reasonably) critical of the new Ghostbusters trailer, but a handful of obnoxious trolls made low-effort negative comments about the stars' gender. Many media publications treated it as though hundreds of angry middle-aged men were deeply furious about the movie, despite this being a clear exaggeration of reality.
by RandomAnonymouseUD November 12, 2021
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A falsified righteous outrage at things that are basically unimportant and meaningless, frequently employed by politicians, political activists, or the media. Politicians and talking heads use it to garner support for their causes, to claim the moral high ground and to tar their opponents; the media often just uses it in a cynical bid to increase ratings.
Manufactured outrages of note include Nipplegate, the Monica Lewinski scandal, the 2009 tea partys, backmasked satanic lyrics, lapel pin controversies...

Just about any time you hear any politician, activist, or radio show host getting outraged about anything, really. The louder and angrier they get, the harder they're working at manufacturing it.
by Aquillion2 May 20, 2009
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An invention of the mainstream media MSM intended to drum up outrage at a statement or situation. The key characteristics of manufactured outrage are: (1) prior to the media’s intervention, the vast majority of the general population had never heard of the statement or had never found the statement or situation to be objectionable in any way and (2) the outrage over the statement or situation is intended to generate support for a left-wing cause, a left-wing politician and / or is intended to damage the credibility of a right-wing politician or any person connected to the right-wing.
In the 2006 campaign, Sen. George Allen of Virginia called out a heckler in the audience for one of his speeches. The heckler was working for his opponent, James Webb. In the process, he twice referred to the heckler as a “macaca”. Few people in the US had ever heard of the term before, but the media quickly played it up into major story, in order to portray Sen. Allen as a vile racist. The manufactured outrage over this incident was a major factor in Sen. Allen losing his re-election campaign.
by Ellsworth December 18, 2006
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A right wing fear mongering tactic to try the misleading and inappropriate insertion of principles from the United States Constitution into debates about issues of the day.
Every developed country in the world has universal health care and we would of had it a long time ago if it was not so easy to generate Manufactured Outrage among the ignorant white male rednecks who cling to their guns and bibles and constitutions.
by Techclerk March 26, 2010
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A common Left-Wing tactic to incite "change" in a known policy or cause. Also used as a mudslinging device in order to undermine Right-Wingers
The Democrat Politician revealed his Manufactured Outrage at the cutting of trees in order to SAVE THE PLANET. He was further "outraged" by a myriad of things: polar bears, sea otters, Styrofoam, swamp land, the War on Terror, certain books, the conservative talk shows on a.m. radio, the lack of rights for Gays, the lack of rights for animals, the lack of rights for women...and children...and illegal immigrants, the use of the word "God" anywhere, the "right" to abort babies, corporations, banks, SUVs, hunters, guns, bibles, big cars, oil-production, and the over-spending of the Bush Administration. Of course, the over-spending of the Obama Administration was OK, though. A few things he wasn't outraged about: Term Limits for elected officials, tort reform, a balanced budget, and freedom.
by stirling78 May 24, 2009
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When fox news expresses outrage over someone on the left doing or saying something that the right has been doing and saying to a far, far more egregious degree for years with no complaints from fox news, it is clearly an artificial, manufactured outrage.
When fox news launched a day long tirade about John Stewart being a "racist" for mocking Herman Cain's idiotic remarks about only passing small bills if he were president despite having never said a word about the viciously racist anti Obama signs the teabaggers carried in ralliess, it was clearly manufactured outrage. (And Stewart spanked them for it the next day!)
by professor tanhauser August 4, 2011
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