Flag: because unvarnished politics.
I just posted the actual code behind this story.
This article presents the output of a really cool technique I haven’t been exposed to before, and discusses the pitfalls of this analysis as well as what was done to correct for that. If I only saw the code I wouldn’t understand how this particular ML worked.
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I’m sorry, I don’t see the ad hominem here. This isn’t saying “people who post in subreddit X are bad”, it’s saying “language used in subreddit X is similar to that in subreddit Y, if you exclude the language used in subreddit Z”.
Also, and this is very important:
simply do things they know are offensive to oppose political correctness
If someone intentionally acts offensive, then they are being offensive, regardless of the end goal of their offensiveness. There’s no logical fallacy here, only simple self-description.
This isn’t an ad hominem, it’s an assertion of fact:
r/The_Donald has repeatedly been accused of offering a safe harbor where racists and white nationalists can congregate and express their views
In supporting that assertion, the author links to two articles which both actually make that accusation. One of those articles is from the Washington Post, which is a pretty well established newspaper of record.
I’m up in the air as to whether it’s even a political assertion.
The other assertion could be better sourced – only one article supporting the assertion that r/the_donald is a conduit, and only one article supporting the description of 4chan. Still, aside from the word “fringe” (which is also supportable), I don’t see an ad hominem there.
And honestly half the article is this crap
That, on the other hand, is an ad hominem. It’s vague, pure opinion, and with no supporting evidence.
This isn’t an ad hominem, it’s an assertion of fact
You can engage in ad hominem while stating fact. In fact, that’s the best way to do it.
Mrs. Clinton has been accused of abetting human trafficking operations.
This is technically true, because “people” have made this accusation; if you hedge your statement with enough weasel words, you can imply anything you want and then repudiate the implications when someone calls you on them. “Oh, I wasn’t saying that, I was just saying that someone else said that.”
This is also ad hominem against Mrs. Clinton, even though it’s technically a fact, just like Martin’s quote is technically a fact.
Other examples of entirely factual and therefore very effective ad hominem attacks include true statements as to the person’s social status, appearance, legal background, etc.
For the purposes of argument, I’ll assume that Martin is being honest and didn’t intentionally select subreddits with intent to mislead the reader. (Although this may be unwise, given the curious lack of left-leaning /r/the_donald equivalents like /r/esist and SRS.)
Doesn’t this just indicate that only a particularly, ahem, enthusiastic brand of right-leaning person is willing to interact with the mostly strongly left-leaning Reddit? Conservatives typically choose other places to hang out online, from what I’ve seen.