Co-opted the criticism by embracing it.
Co-opt rebels by giving them positions of authority.
An example of co-opt is a person who gets himself elected to a homeowners association and rewrites the bylaws so he gives himself the freedom to make decisions without the rest of the board's approval.
Origin of co-opt
- Latin cooptāre co- co- optāre to choose
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition