From NPR

Mike Godwin first noticed the phenomenon in the 1980s: People on a message forum called Usenet really, really liked referencing Hitler. In 1994, in an essay for Wiredmagazine, he coined Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

A new study shows that the so-called law is, in fact, backed up by evidence. A data analyst who blogs under the name CuriousGnu has analyzed 4.6 million reddit comments to find that 78 percent of conversations that reach 1,000 or more comments mention Nazis or Hitler.

“I liked [CuriousGnu’s] statistical approach,” Godwin, director of innovation policy and general counsel for the R Street Institute, tells NPR. “I wish I’d thought of that.”


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