If you are like me, you probably spent a fair amount each day reading comments on social media and internet forums. So i guess you would agree that the most common thing you meet on the comment sections is… arguments. From the stupidest things to political debates, one’s things for sure: people love to fight online.
These arguments, created one of the most dominant rules of the Internet: the Godwin’s law. Simply said, the Godwin’s law states that the longer the argument lasts, the more likely one side is to compare the other to Hitler.
The term was coined in the early 1990s by American attorney and author Mike Godwin. Being a frequent user of Usenet newsgroups (the precursor to Internet forums), Godwin noticed that people would often compare those who argue with, to Nazis or Adolf Hitler. Seeing this, he developed the Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies: The more an online discussion grows, the more the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler. (the article continues after the ad)
From that point on, any time he saw a Nazi or Hitler reference in a discussion, Godwin would quote his law. Soon, other users started quoting it and the Godwin’s law was “officially” an internet rule.
Today, this law is more relevant than ever: From Facebook threads to news-article comment sections, the Hitler analogies are today a part of our online society. After all, as Godwin wrote in an article in the Washington Post: “It’s still true, of course, that the worst thing you can say about your opponents, in our culture, is that they’re like Hitler or the Nazis”.