Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”
That definition likely doesn’t shock you, given the feverish mania you’ve witnessed with your own eyes in just about any comments section. What may surprise you, however, is that attorney and author Mike Godwin put that down in 1990. That’s how long the internet has been obsessed with Hitler. And with Reddit, now we can prove it.
The author behind CuriousGnu.com recently analyzed Reddit data pulled from Google BigQuery to sort 4.6 million comments featuring Hitler or Nazis in subreddits. Most mentions were found in history-oriented subreddits.
And yet, when the writer excluded history subreddits and looked at Hitler and Nazi mentions again, it was revealed that any thread on Reddit with 1,000 comments or more has a 78 percent chance of mentioning Hitler or Nazis.
In other words, Hitler and Nazis are an inevitable presence in long Reddit threads, and–Dear God–digital Hitler will outlive us all.