Wednesday , March 29 2023

What is Poe's law and other curious rules of our BBC Internet behavior


Judge hammer with binary system

sad and funny

While the authorities of the planet are breaking their heads trying to find a way to control the Internet through laws that are likely to be accepted and serve for something, there are other laws that have arisen with use and very few arguments.

The latter, however, are fundamentally different from the former. Although they are called laws, they are just the same as Murphy's Law. Do you remember?

It is the one that after many transformations remained in: "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong"And we remember when, for example, I threw a slice of bread spread with jam on the floor.

These are the laws of the Internet that we are going to talk about.

In fact, one of the laws of the law is Skitt's law, which is Murphy's web-adapted law, and reads: "Any publication that corrects an error in another publication will contain at least one error."

A cake falling on the jammed face

which will fall on the side that causes the most discomfort … it's Murphy's law!

As you will see, they are informal laws and are not official. They are the result of observation and although they are not always fulfilled, they appear quite often, so academics, lawyers, historians, writers, and others have formulated them.

They are generally used to describe content or behavior without the need to discuss or debate, sometimes even with a sense of humor. You say, for example, "This comment respects Skitt's Law."

Let's start with one of the most famous:

1. Godwin's Law

"As an online discussion prolongs, the likelihood of a comparison occurring in which Hitler or the Nazis are mentioned tends to 1".


be discussed, closer to the Nazis or Hitler.

It is closely related to the logical error "reductio ad Hitlerum"who says" Hitler (or the Nazis) liked X, so X is bad. "

It was formulated by lawyer Mike Godwin in 1990. Originally he did not say "internet", but "usenet" – a global Internet chat system – but it was expanded.

Godwin was the one who invented the idea of ​​Internet memory, and its law belongs to this category, as explained in an article in the 1994 Wired Magazine.

"A meme, of course, is an idea that works in the mind the same way a gene or a virus works in the body and a contagious idea (to call it" viral ") can jump from one mind to another, the same how viruses jump from one body to another, "he said.

"When a meme succeeds, she can crystallize the entire school of thought," he wrote.

Godwin used the meme as an example "black hole", quoting physicist Brandon Carter, who wrote:" Things changed dramatically when John Wheeler invented the term [agujero negro]. Everyone has adopted it and since then people around the world (…) knew they were talking about the same thing. "

"Once the" black hole "has become commonplace, it has become a useful source of metaphor for everything from illiteracy to deficiency," Godwin explained.

For him, his law was a contrameme, designed to counteract the memory of the comparison with the Nazis, which was strong because it was inflammatory but negative because it cut the thread of interesting debates.

That is why he dedicated himself to planting him in all the discussions in which he found a free reference to the Nazis. He soon realized that the other people did it and that the mem has begun to reproduce itself.

Not only that: its countermeasure, like a virus, has begun to change …

  • Sircar's corolary: If the Usenet discussion touches homosexuality or Heinlein, the Nazis or Hitler are mentioned in 3 days.
  • Van der Leun's corollary: As global connectivity improves, the likelihood of the Nazis being in the network tends to 1.

Your article ends by calling "engaging in memetic engineering: creating good memos to drive out bad boys."

2. Poe's Law

"Without of emoticons or another sample obvious of humor is absolutely impossible parody a idea without being there someone who confuses him with a real opinion. "

Emoticon with the eye

Sometimes emoticons are essential.

Effectively and unfortunately, It is difficult to distinguish the extremism of satire of extremism on the internet unless the author clearly indicates their intention, given the extremes that extremism can achieve.

As the Urban Dictionary explained in 2006: "No matter how bizarre, scandalous or simply a partisan of a fundamentalist, there will always be someone who will not understand what a parody is, seeing similar ideas seriously expressed by true religious / politics fundamentalists ".

The main corollary of Poe's law refers to the opposite phenomenon, according to which what a fundamentalist says sounds so incredible that People suppose it's a joke.

According to the urban dictionary: "It is impossible to make an act of fundamentalism that someone does not get confused with a parody."

3. Cunningham's Law

"ITthe best way to get an answer right in the network, it is not putting the question, but publishing a wrong answer".


Getty Images
If you post an error, many users are willing to correct you.

The law was named in honor of Ward Cunningham, the father of his name and his the wiki concept, which he described as "the simplest online database that can work."

The term comes from Hawaiian and means "fast" and refers to the name given to a virtual community, whose pages are edited directly from the browser and where same users create, modify, correct, or delete content that generally shares (as explained by the Wiki entry in Wikipedia's largest wiki).

But the lawmaker was Cunningham's colleague from Intel Steven McGeady, who pointed out that the best and most known demonstration of the fact that this law is true is Wikipedia.

More …

4. The exclamation law: "Most exclamation marks used in an e-mail (or other publication), the more likely it is to be a complete lie. It's also true for excessive use of large letters".

5. The law of Danth: "If a person has to insist on the network that has won an argument, it is likely that the person lost the debate".

Rule 34: "If there is, there is pornography"See also Rule 35: "If there is no such pornography, it will be".

7. Pommer's Law: "A person's opinion may change based on the information he reads on the internet. The nature of change will be: not to have the opinion of having the wrong opinion".

8. Haig's Law: "Ignorance of an internet page design is directly proportional to the dementia of its content and its creator".

9. Streisand effect: "Anyone trying to censor or hide information on the network gets to spread even more"

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