A favorite modus operandi of flat-Earth perpetrators is quote mining, or quoting out of context. They would read statements from scientists and watch their videos, then look for words they can use out of the intended context and spread them.
To some people, these scientists would appear contradicting each other and that there is never a consensus in science. They would even go as far as portraying the scientists as having some evil intentions to deceive us. In reality, the information no longer resembles what the scientists had in mind.
Arguments based on quoting out of context typically take these two forms:
- As a straw man argument: misinterpreting scientists’ position to make it easier to refute.
- As an appeal to authority: misinterpreting scientists as supporting the position they are holding.
Their ultimate goal is to incite their viewers. If they succeed, the victims will become emotional, and some of them would no longer be able to think effectively.
To avoid becoming a victim of flat-Earth indoctrination, we should try locating the original statements or writings, and figure out the context intended by the original authors or speakers.
In practically all the cases, the original statements are pretty much standard and reasonable, and it is impossible to make anyone emotional about the topic. But after being manipulated by the unscrupulous flat-Earthers, they no longer convey the original meanings and become emotional & full of drama.