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Rhetorical spin, usually referred to as just "spin", is a rhetorical deception in which a given set of information is interpreted in such a way as to divert or quell criticism which would normally be applied to that information.
Rhetorical spin is like interpretive framing, but applied to a narrower information set. (If framing is the overall game strategy, "spin" might be analogous to a particular pitch.)
Daniel Dennett's "Canons of good spin", from The Evolution of Confusion (talk at AAI 2009):
- It is not a bare-faced lie.
- You have to be able to say it with a straight face.
- It has to relieve skepticism without arousing curiosity.
- It should seem profound.
Item 3 means that "spin" is a form of curiosity-stopper.