Godwin's Law


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Godwin's Law

(usenet, humour)
"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely recognised codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful.

[Jargon].
References in periodicals archive ?
Godwin's Law states the longer an online conversation grows, the greater the chances of someone mentioning Hitler becomes.
Increasingly, in a modern twist on Godwin's Law, each side is comparing the other to Daesh (ISIS).
In 1990 an American lawyer called Mike Godwin produced a maxim that is now contained in the Oxford English Dictionary, appearing as Godwin's Law.
The real life version of Godwin's law was confirmed so long ago in this election cycle that it might as well have included a Godse corollary.
Coun Mullaney may not be aware of a tradition among internet-users known as Godwin's Law - the first person to mention the Nazis in an argument is automatically deemed to have lost it.
A corollary to Godwin's Law is the well-known tradition in the Internet's Usenet newsgroups that once a person in a discussion thread invokes the comparison to Hitler or the Nazis, the thread is ended and the person who made the comparison has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.
Jokers will appreciate such entries as HTCPCP, a joke format dreamt up as an April Fools Day joke, while historians will appreciate learning about Godwin's Law.
But those familiar with Godwin's Law ("as an on-line discussion grows larger, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one") might rather see this laughable exchange more as a product of Internet anthropology than of Afghan anthropology Again, Edwards's argument is neither profound nor explicit enough to be conclusively proven.