While I would hope that anyone reading this is familiar with Godwin’s Law, I’ve seen enough silliness over the years to convince me that belaboring the obvious is required.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, Godwin put forth the hyperbolic observation that, given enough time, in any
online discussion–regardless of topic or scope–someone inevitably
criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs
held by Hitler and the Nazis.
Godwin’s law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form. The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis
might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a
reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses.
It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be
appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.
Although in one of its early forms Godwin’s law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches.
The frequent enforcement corollary of Godwin’s Law is that once the Nazi comparison has been made the discussion is over and the party who made the comparison is deemed to have lost the debate or surrendered their point.
Graves’ law (also known as Graves’ Rule of Racist Attribution or Graves’ Law of Racist Analogies) is an observation made by Rodney Graves in 2011. It states: “As an online discussion of American Politics grows longer, the probability of an attribution of a position being racially motivated approaches unity [1 or 100%].” In other words, Graves put forth the observation that, given enough time, in any
online discussion of American Politics someone inevitably
criticizes some point made in the discussion by claiming or insinuating that their opponent’s point is a product of racial bias.
The same enforcement corollary pertains: Once the charge of “racism” or insinuation of “racist” motivation has been made the discussion is over and the
party who made the charge or insinuation is deemed to have lost the debate or
surrendered their point.