This was my post I deleted:
The use of the term ‘denialist’ is also being discussed on your other thread
" A comment by Dan"
but there’s another substantial discussion going on there so I’ll just post here on the topic of this nomenclature. Hope that’s OK.
I know you are only looking for a word of description - but what word describes those who adhere to what is alleged to be denied?
So I’m definitely not aiming this at you Twirlip , but just generally - neither sides’ position can be encapsulated by a single word, and for one side to even try to do this suggests an aversion to discussion of the salient disputed points, or even reach agreement on what they are.
We’ve been here with ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘anti-vaxxers’ - deliberately inaccurate and pejorative terms (because they paint the other side as holding fixed or extreme views), the use of which only serves the purpose of one side, ie to have the denigration of the other built in to ordinary discourse.
The term ‘denialist’ suggests someone who is denying something that is established with near certainty amongst rational people. Without reference to what is alleged to be being denied, it’s logically meaningless - but conveniently attempts to steal an ad hom march by pigeon-holing and casting aspersions on ALL opposing views.
Also conveniently, it makes a claim for having a sound case for something, without having to specify what that is, or what the case is.
All that from one word - so this can be a powerful technique for the majority to denigrate other viewpoints, while avoiding accountability and keeping it’s options open…
Such terms may have their place when speaking to the choir, when the meaning will be understood - i.e. a sleight on the other side.
Eg (ie these were meant to be examples of qualified denials)
"This virus was far worse than flu for a while, in the UK at least. "
“This virus was very dangerous in the UK, but is less dangerous now except for some regions.”
Those you mention accuse those questioning the narrative in any way of denying ALL forms of it!
So really this is a call for accuracy and respect in addressing each other in discussion of contentious subjects.