Derailing is the process by which a forum thread, discussion, debate or social or political exchange of ideas can be subverted into talking about a different issue. It is a form of silencing.
Derailing is the loss of initial context and purpose of a discussion to the detriment of an oppressed group. Derailling is not the natural meandering of conversations through topics. Importantly, derailing is the intentional or unintentional change of theme as a means to an end (not talking about the original topic) or as an end in and of itself (talking about what the derailing party wants).
The process of derailing can be very hurtful for those who instigated the discussion, since they are being silenced.
- Derailing For Dummies (Google cache reconstruction)
- Derailing For Dummies: A Guide to Derailing Conversations