Ten Internet Laws

You’ve definitely heard of at least one of them and maybe even laughed, groaned or plain ignored a few others. To help along that process Tom Chivers presents ten laws of the Internet:

  • Godwin’s Law “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” […] It is closely related to the logical fallacy reductio ad Hitlerum, which says “Hitler (or the Nazis) liked X, so X is bad”.
  • Poe’s Law “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.” inverse meaning, stating that non-fundamentalists will often mistake sincere expressions of fundamentalist beliefs for parody.
  • Rule 34 “If it exists, there is porn of it.” See also Rule 35: “If no such porn exists, it will be made.”
  • Skitt’s Law “Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself” or “the likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster.”
  • Scopie’s Law “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to [a conspiracy theory site] as a credible source loses the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the room.”
  • Danth’s Law (also known as Parker’s Law) “If you have to insist that you’ve won an internet argument, you’ve probably lost badly.”
  • Pommer’s Law “A person’s mind can be changed by reading information on the internet. The nature of this change will be from having no opinion to having a wrong opinion.”
  • DeMyer’s Zeroth, First, Second and Third Laws: “Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.” (Second Law)
  • Cohen’s Law “Whoever resorts to the argument that ‘whoever resorts to the argument that… has automatically lost the debate’ has automatically lost the debate.”
  • The Law of Exclamation “The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.”

2 thoughts on “Ten Internet Laws

  1. Paul

    Paul’s Law: Anyone who lists lists of top ten things is …. ummm … ooh … errr …. I’ll have to think of something …

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