Godwin’s Law

What Does Godwin’s Law Mean?

Godwin’s Law asserts that the probability of Hitler or Nazi references in conversation grows according to the length of a dialogue or debate. This sort of social rule theory can be part of an analysis of new technology venues for discussion, such as messaging platforms, forums and other digital spaces.


Techopedia Explains Godwin’s Law

Godwin’s Law is attributed to an American lawyer named Mike Godwin, who first stated the “law” in 1990. It originally referred to USENET newsgroup discussions, but it can now be applied to any type of chat or forum setup, or any other kind of collaborative conversation. It has often been applied to the cable news cycle, where top-level issues tend to be dissected at length to fill broadcasting time. Though it is really tongue-in-cheek in some ways, Godwin’s Law can be seen as a kind of theoretical marker for phenomena that might occur in AI that mimics human thought and discussion.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…