In the Telegraph, the man who invented virtue signalling complains that BBC employees are still doing it even though they’re not allowed to. Although I assume that for the next couple of weeks, a different flavour of virtue will be loudly and proudly signalled throughout the Corporation, and there will be complaints if it’s not done; something I remarked upon nearly 14 years ago, long before Mr Bartholomew ever came up with the phrase.
When you say somebody is ‘virtue signalling’, you’re not bothering to commit yourself to an argument about whether the position they are taking is right or wrong. (Perhaps, indeed, you feel on sticky ground entering that argument.) Rather, you are making a groundless and unfalsifiable presumption about their motive for doing so and using that as the supposed basis to dismiss the whole shebang.