Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson Helen Zille says many people are "delighted" that she has been "drawing the line" against what she calls "fauxragers" on social media, a term coined to describe what she believes is fake outrage.
Zille caused a stir on social media over the past month, initially sharing a cartoon that in her terms, was a critique of "race generalisations". Last week she used the term "Woko Haram" in response to a tweet by Piers Morgan regarding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, another term she believes describes fake outrage.
Because of this, some users have declared that they will not vote for the DA again.
Zille spoke to News24 and said she believed the users were bots or people who never voted for the DA in the first place.
"Many, many people are delighted with the fact that someone is drawing the line against the 'fauxragers'". I am sure that the few who have said they won't be voting for the DA again, never did in the first place.
"Some may well be bots. Most are anonymous, so there won't be any way of knowing," Zille said.
She added that before she was elected chairperson, the DA lost substantial votes in the 2019 national elections.
"Let's not forget that the DA lost 400 000 votes during the period that I was not politically active at all, which was also a period during which the DA was perceived to be turning into an ANC-lite. The voters hated that."
Zille has used the term 'fauxrage' to describe social media users who she feels express fake rage, saying it is part of 'woke culture' to be enraged.
She explained that there is some systematic element to this idea.
"One of the key features of 'Woke culture' is to continually look for reasons to be 'outraged' by anyone who challenges the rules of 'identity politics'.
"Social media is a gold mine for such people, because they comb through the tweets of people looking for anything that can be distorted, misinterpreted or decontextualised to create outrage. Then the mob of bots move in," Zille said.
She added that users purposefully looked for something to be enraged about, seemingly because it made them happy.
"Fauxrage also has some nice underlying meanings. It is pronounced "forage" which means to hunt and sniff around wherever you can to find what you are looking for. That is precisely what the woke mob do on Twitter.
"They forage about on social media time trying to find something to be enraged about and then spread the anger: 'fauxrage'. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that they aren't happy unless they are outraged about something."
She started using the term when she asked her followers to "submit proposals for a word to describe the deliberate attempt to manipulate and distort the obvious meaning of a tweet in order to maximise fake outrage".
'Fauxrage' won over terms like "agitrolling" and "Woko Haram".
"There were many more too. I ran a poll and 'fauxrage' won by a long shot. I then learnt that you will actually find it listed in the online urban dictionary. So, it isn't a new term either," Zille said.
Previously, Zille came under fire for sharing a cartoon about land and race generalisations on Twitter. She said at the time the cartoon captured the "fallacy and racism behind race generalisations" and said she could not see how anyone could misconstrue the cartoon.