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When you deflect criticism by pointing out flaws in your opponent, specifically using the phrase "what about x?" This is an attempt to excuse you from changing you behavior by painting your opponent as a hypocrite.
Dad: Son, you haven't cleaned your room in two years. Please clean it up.

Son: Why are you always telling me to clean my room? What about YOUR room? Or what about your relation with mom? Shouldn't YOU be the one cleaning up your life?
Dad: Quit your whataboutism and clean your damn room. I'm tired of seeing that dead rat over there in the corner.
by JohnW22 May 16, 2016
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Jul 6 Word of the Day
Phrase meaning that a deceased cannot rest in peace until society changes due to the circumstances of a death.
People said rest in power for the unarmed man had been shot by the police.
by FooBarBiz October 12, 2017
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2
A rhetorical term used by Americans to dismiss criticism of their own hypocrisy. Originated when the Soviet Union would respond to American criticisms of Soviet human rights by pointing out, for example, that if America was so concerned with human rights, it should repeal its Jim Crow segregation and address its own white supremacist violence. Americans, believing their country was, by definition, "the home of the free" and above such criticism, accused Soviets of "whataboutism."
American: "Cuba is a brutal, authoritarian dictatorship which suppresses political dissent."
Cuban: "You know the one place in Cuba where political prisoners are detained indefinitely without charge? Fucking Guantanamo Bay."
American: "Waaaah! That's whataboutism! "
by Thorstein Shiver May 07, 2018
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3
When you deflect criticism by pointing out deficiencies in your critics, specifically using the phrase "what about x?"
Dad: "Your room is messy. Please clean it up."
You: "You've always been criticizing my room! What about YOUR room? Or what about mom? Shouldn't YOU be the one cleaning up you life?"
Dad: "Just clean your damn room. Damn whataboutism."
by JohnW22 May 25, 2016
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4
Made up term created by US propagandists to defend their and their government's hypocrisy.
US propandist: this is an evil man because he has tortured people!
Concerned citizen: what about US torturing people in GuantΓ‘namo Bay?
US propandist: Whataboutism!
by InRaged December 03, 2015
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5
An attempt to change the subject, often attempting to connect the emotional component of the original comment to whatever the individual thinks belongs in the same emotional bucket as the original subject of the conversation.
Individual 1: I am very upset about X. I dislike it for the following 6 reasons.
Individual 2: Y is a much more important thing than X.
Individual 1: OK... Sure, fine, whatever. I was talking about X though. If you'd like to talk about Y, fine, let's talk about Y. We can do that, or not do that, without getting into a discussion ranking the importance of every single thing on the planet... It is difficult to have conversations with you do to your constant use of whataboutism.
by SimpleSimon34 May 02, 2019
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6
Using an unusually stupid example of wrongdoing to try and excuse other wrongdoing. When in reality it just makes both examples wrong.
"It's okay for China to collect our metadata because the US did the same thing and used it to hunt terrorists in Yemen"

"Dude, that is the stupidest whataboutism I have ever heard. If you think it's wrong against terrorists then why the hell do you think it's okay to do the same against anyone else? If one is wrong then they're both wrong, dumbass."
by Davezilla July 06, 2019
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