Slang dictionary


[ bri-geyd-ing ]

What is brigading?

Brigading is a slang term for an online practice in which people band together to perform a coordinated action, especially a negative one, such as manipulating a vote or poll or harassing a specific person or members of an online community.

The verb form brigade is also used.

These terms were originally used on the forum website Reddit in reference to vote brigading, in which users coordinate to inflate vote tallies, but they are now used in many different online contexts. Examples include mass direct messages sent to a person’s social media account as a form of harassment or a coordinated effort to dislike a certain post.

Example: Being the victim of brigading can be overwhelming, especially when the target is someone who’s not a public figure.

Related words

shadow banning, sealioning, stealthing, ballot harvesting

Where does brigading come from?

dark green text "brigading" on bright green background

In general use, the noun brigade can mean “a group of individuals organized for a particular purpose.” The ultimate origin of the terms brigade and brigading in the context of coordinated online activity is uncertain, but they are thought to have emerged around 2010 on the forum website Reddit, where they were later popularized.

On Reddit, the visibility of posted content is determined by upvotes and downvotes, and initially the phrases vote brigade and vote brigading (sometimes preceded by up or down, as in upvote and downvote) were used specifically in reference to coordinated attempts to manipulate this system. The shortened forms of brigade and brigading seem to have emerged soon after and evolved to be applied more generally in other online contexts.

Examples of brigading

If you’ve never been a victim of online “brigading,” let me tell you right now - it’s scary, it’s overwhelming, and it’s exhausting.
@StephTaitWrites, January 10, 2021
The subreddit was subject to repeated “brigading”—a term for when users of one subreddit organize coordinated attacks against another.
Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, June 12, 2020

Who uses brigading?

The term brigading is typically used in a critical way by those discussing coordinated actions online, especially ones considered to be forms of harassment or manipulation of polls or voting. The verb form of the term is also used.

Just Added

Earth Day, yassification, ♈ Aries Emoji, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Awareness Month


This is not meant to be a formal definition of brigading like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of brigading that will help our users expand their word mastery.