disfigure/derail public discourse

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Well, I am trying to find similar phrase for "disfigure public discourse." "Derail public discourse" is what I've found. But it is not satisfying and some phrase like "spoil public discourse" is rarely used.

The question of this thread is whether "disfigure public discourse" shares the same meaning with "derail public discourse" in this context.

This administration has cleared out science and scientists across all departments. Anger and cruelty disfigure public discourse and lying is commonplace. Truth is being chased away. But with your help we can continue to put it center stage.

The Guardian The April 2, 2020
'On the light side': Trump casts doubt on China's coronavirus figures
  • MrMuselk

    Senior Member
    English - South East England
    I don’t agree. To disfigure it would be for it to become ugly or changed in a bad way. To derail, for me, would be to completely change the topic.
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