What Is Cloutlighting? When Gaslighting Hits Social Media
Gaslighting has been chosen as one of the buzzwords of 2018 by the Oxford Dictionaries, but another term has recently come to light: cloutlighting.
Coined by the Metro, the word is used to describe gaslighting when the tactic is used online. The term "clout" means to have "influence or power".
Effectively, it describes the exploitation of an unwilling subject on social media, with the intention to shock and entertain others.
And as we all know, the videos which get the biggest reaction on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms are those that are shocking. It doesn't matter if the person in the video is upset, angry or embarrassed.
An example given by the Metro is of a recent video which made the rounds on social media.
It shows a woman crying because her boyfriend ate part of her dinner while she was doing something out of the room, which at face value, seems pretty funny.
But what we don't know is what is going on behind the scenes. She had had a terrible day at work and was exhausted, which makes her reaction understandable.
We also don't know anything about their relationship, either. We just saw someone being upstaged online and found it funny, or uncomfortable.
Gaslighting is a nasty tactic used to manipulate others and it's commonly used by perpetrators in abusive, controlling relationships.
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Gaslighting effectively causes a victim to question their own feelings and instincts, breaking down their ability to trust themselves - which means they're more likely to stay in a toxic relationship.
It comes from the 1938 play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife to insanity by constantly dimming the gas-powered lights in their home. When the woman questions it, he denies the light has changed.
Earlier this year, Love Island contestant Adam Collard was accused of gaslighting fellow contestant Rosie Williams, who he had coupled up with on the ITV reality show.
The pair were seen arguing, with Williams accusing Collard of ignoring her and paying attention to someone else.
Collard responded that Williams had been overreacting and her jealousy had "pushed him away".
In a statement, chief executive of Women's Aid Katie Ghose said: "On the latest series of Love Island, there are clear warning signs in Adam's behaviour.
"In a relationship, a partner questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of a pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse.
"Last night, Rosie called out Adam's unacceptable behaviour on the show. We ask viewers to join her in recognising unhealthy behaviour in relationships and speaking out against all forms of domestic abuse - emotional as well as physical.
"It is only when we make a stand together against abuse in relationships that we will see attitudes change and an end to domestic abuse."
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
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