I am part of a closed group on Facebook which is dedicated to musical instruments and recording gear. Several months ago, one of the members posted an advert for his services. The name of his company, in conjunction with the logo and illustration, was found to be offensive by most of the people in the group. He was called out on it, and criticised.
He had an opportunity to learn from his mistake and grow into being less misogynistic and sexist, or, at the very least, go away and be quiet. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the Streisand Effect by doubling down on his opinions and practices. This created quite an outcry in the group, and brought him a great deal of attention. He was then punted from the group, and the group returned to “normal”. Several months later, he emailed one of his critics a very rude email and noted that his business was better than ever before. He then ended with a run of taunts and name calling. Clearly, he had learned nothing from this episode, and the increase in his business only served to solidify his perception that doubling down was the correct and most useful behaviour.
I’ve seen this elsewhere – I’ve noticed this in a number of other forae. So, here is a feeble attempt at formalising this. Because the guy who started this doesn’t deserve the notoriety, and I certainly have little / no ego in this, I would call it the Doubling Down Condition (DDC).
We can see the DDC online in a number of forae – it’s a common practice. It has a fairly repeatable pattern. Someone says something that offends local standards. Others note/react to the offence and defend the standards. The offender then doubles down, and others attenuate and amplifie their defence.
This can go on for quite sometime.
This will continue until the offending stops or power is brought to bear and the offender is ejected from the conversation. The net result is that the group returns to an equilibrium state with the offender removed. The offender has learned nothing from the exchange. It could be said that the group has also failed to learn – however – it may not be in the charter of the group to learn or care about the things that were offensive except insofar as they are offensive – and that lies outside the scope of the group. It was sufficient that the offender was offensive and continued in the behaviour – Doubling Down. Thus, this is the Doubling Down Condition (DDC). I would submit this is part of what got Trump elected.