Confusions and Connections

Poe, Hitler and boobies

This post had it’s origins in the below image and someone mentioning the first law on the list, Poe’s Law. That was one that I hadn’t heard of at the time so had a look at it and it did sum up the parody. There are other ones that I’m still not sure if it’s parody or Christian fundamentalism propaganda. You can make up your mind if they are parody or the truth.

Not even once - Poe's law in action Mile Cyrus urges Scots to vote 'No'

There are two laws that are integral to the internet. More specifically for forums, newsgroups and suchlike.

These two being Poe’s and Godwin’s Law. Well three if you include Rule 34.

Poe’s Law

Without a blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.

The first law on the list can be for both posts or images. Originally aimed at creationism when coined in 2005 but has been widened over the years.

You could say that it’s just a re-working of older, similar, “laws” aimed at the pre-cursor of the web. Newsgroups. This one has just simplified that.

To simply sum up the law – If you’re going to parody extrminism or fundamentalism end the piece with a smilie.

Godwin’s Law

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1

The only one on this list that has made it, officially, into the English language. It completed this task in 2012 with its insertion into the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Not only that, it’s the oldest on the list. It was coined in 1990 when “The Internet” was just being born.

Originally aimed at Usenet newsgroups but now has expanded on all internet based discussion forums. From blog post comments to newsgroups via chat rooms.

Be careful as if you invoke the law you will have lost the argument. That’s the law!

Rule 34

If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions

The best know “law” of the Web. Just try it. You will fail in not getting pornographic results.

It can be a self perpetuating law if you include Rule 35 in. It’s the pornographic version of Moore’s Law. If pornography cannot be found, it will be made and put onto the internet. It’ll probably end up on 4Chan and then explode from there.

The way this law becomes self-perpulating can be summed up in this XKCD strip.  The website does exist and it’s NSFW

Rule 34 from XKCDThe second oldest on the list being coined in 2003.

There is a companion rule, Rule 35, that states simply:

If no porn is found at the moment, it will be made.

Two of the three are not as well known as Rule 34 but Godwin’s law runs a close second with Poe’s being quite a way behind in the knowledge stakes.

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