People giving a Nazi salute. Godwin’s Law

Photo via Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway)/Wikimedia (Public Domain)

Godwin’s Law creator says it’s OK to call Charlottesville white nationalists Nazis

The law says any internet argument will eventually come back to Nazis.

Aug 14, 2017, 3:25 pm*

Internet Culture

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

Anyone who has ever gotten into an argument online probably knows of Godwin’s Law, or the idea that as any online discussion progressions, it becomes inevitable that someone will compare something to Nazis or Adolf Hitler.

But in light of the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, Godwin’s Law became much more literal—and appropriate.

In fact, Mike Godwin–an attorney who created the famous internet law–thinks his namesake law doesn’t apply when talking about the white supremacists who were at the center of the violence and subsequent death of one counterprotester.

“By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I’m with you,” Godwin wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

As Gizmodo reports, Godwin posted the tweet, as well as a longer message on Facebook, in response to a follower who asked him to issue a statement given that many neo-Nazi sympathizers used Godwin’s law to brush off criticisms of the Charlottesville demonstrators.

Godwin’s Law became popular in the 1990s and was eventually added to the Oxford English Dictionary. The law does not apply only to the internet. A 2015 Daily Dot analysis found that members of Congress say “Hitler” an average of 7.7 times per month.

President Donald Trump finally made a strong denouement of neo-Nazis and white nationalists during prepared remarks on Monday afternoon—two days after he said that he condemned the violence at in Charlottesville on “many sides.”

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*First Published: Aug 14, 2017, 2:50 pm