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As discrediting ( lat . Dis "divisive" credere "Trust") is defined as the deliberate undermining of the set in a person or thing trust in public. Often lying is used to achieve personal goals .

The means of discrediting are defamation , indiscretions or the spread of rumors .

In politics , the means of discrediting are used to harm opponents by reducing their power of persuasion and (in democracies) their chances of winning the election or by pushing them to resign . Political discrediting is one of the tools used by various secret services. It was and is used in authoritarian or dictatorial states (cf. “Decomposition” by the State Security Service of the GDR ) as well as in “Western” countries; The British secret service GCHQ , a member of the so-called Five Eyes , has trained the systematic discrediting of people via the Internet.

In the economy that is discrediting used products from competitors at customers in disrepute to bring. For example, by launching takeover rumors or skilfully timed product announcements, the public can get the impression that a competing product has no future.

Among celebrities and artists, their careers can be ended or at least made more difficult with the help of discrediting . Metaphorically one speaks of character assassination .


The accusation of striving for world domination was and is a common means of discrediting a group or a system of thought. This was assumed, among other things

Web links

Wiktionary: Discrediting  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ British secret service: GCHQ plans character assassination on the net . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( faz.net [accessed October 1, 2018]).
  2. Frank Oliver Sobich, "Black Beasts, Red Danger". Racism and Anti-Socialism in the German Empire , Campus, Frankfurt a. M./New York 2006, p. 264.
  3. See references in Johannes Zischka, Die NS-Rassenideologie. Power tactical instrument or action-determining ideal? , Peter Lang, Bern 1986; Jacob Katz, From Prejudice to Annihilation. Anti-Semitism 1700–1933 , CH Beck, Munich 1990; Norman Cohn, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy , Elster, Baden-Baden 1998.
  4. For example Bolko von Richthofen and Reinhold Robert Oheim, Weltherrschaft. The development of Russia into a great power. The goal and path of Soviet communism , Schütz, 1981.