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Godwin’s law is wrong (on Reddit): Not every long internet discussion turns to Nazis, Hitler or Holocaust

That law states that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison with the Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, the longer a discussion lasts, the more likely a comparison with the Third Reich becomes, and if the discussion drags on long enough, the chance of such a comparison becomes 100 percent, so that becomes a certainty.

Even today, now that we no longer discuss via mailing lists or newsgroups, such comparisons still occur often, said computer scientist and podcaster on Nerdland Jeroen Baert in ‘New facts’ on Radio 1. Incidentally, not only in discussion on the internet, also in discussions about the corona vaccinations, up to parliament, such comparisons often come into play.

A number of American scientists were sitting in a garden talking about the law and some of them sighing that they would like to have a large enough corpus to test the law, Baert said. To which one of them said, “Wait a minute, we have Reddit after all.”

Reddit is a very large messaging and discussion forum, where the various forums are categorized by topic, called subreddits, and the researchers have downloaded the 12 largest subreddits in the last 2 years.

That includes the politics subreddit, the Donald Trump subreddit and the news subreddit, so you might think that some Nazi terms have been thrown around there in the last 2 years, Baert said, given what has happened in the world. For example, Dr Fauci was compared to a Nazi doctor and the Covid Safe Ticket is said to be a Nazi practice.

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