Assigning blame  to an individual or group, thus alleviating feelings of guilt from responsible parties and/or distracting attention  from the need to fix the problem for which blame is being assigned.

Scapegoating has been used throughout history as a means for people to move blame and responsibility away from themselves by attributing it to others (or to an object or event).

A scapegoat is the person or group made to bear the blame for or punished for those errors committed by others.


  • Robert Murat
  • Paedophiles in Portugal
  • Raymond Hewlett
  • Victoria Beckham look-alike
  • The "monster" who took Maddie
  • Goncalo Amaral
  • The British and Portuguese police (April/May 2010 McCann interviews)
  • a lesser degree, to any forum or individual who has spoken out against the inconsistencies in the McCann's version of their daughter's disappearance.

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