Everyone who disagrees with me is literally Hitler.

Social media in a nutshell: 

Person: I love Butter 🙂

Idiot one: Oh really? Are you saying Jam is bad?

Idiot two: Wow it is really something that she’s saying she loves butter even though margarine is more sustainable and directly helps bald babies but I guess your privilege means you can ignore the plight of hairless infants!

Idiot three: Your silence regarding cheese is really telling

Idiot four: Butter consumption is a byproduct of a racist capitalist system and people who encourage it must be cancelled. In this thread I will show you why.  Tweet 1/100…

Idiot five: How interesting that two years ago she tweeted that “Nutella is yum” and now she loves butter?????? Wow okay.

Idiot six: Everyone knows that on the morning of 1941 when Hitler signed the treaty to invade Poland, he and Himmler had butter with their toast so for you to come here and say you love butter is really triggering and harmful.

Meanwhile Butter is the name of the person’s dog.

*************************************************************************************

I was recently going through  my old phone and I came across a meme I had completely forgotten about (don’t even remember ever seeing). “Everyone I don’t like is Hitler. A child’s guide to online political discussion.”  I chuckled. It was funny and true.

The word Nazi has been used for literally anything since before social media as we know it. People called themselves grammar Nazis, called others feminazis etc. But with twitter, every argument will almost inevitably end in one party calling the other a Nazi. Apparently this is something so widespread that there are even phrases used to describe this phenomenon. While searching for the meme, I came across two things;

Reductio ad Hitlerum: aka playing the Nazi card is an attempt to invalidate someone else’s position on the basis that the same view was held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party.- Wikipedia

Godwin’s Law is an Internet adage asserting that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”.- Wikipedia.

Even more interesting is that these terms were coined before the age of the internet. Godwin’s law was introduced in 1990 while Reductio ad Hilterum was coined in the 1950s when Hitler was still quite fresh in people’s minds. This shows that people were employing these tactics way before the internet. Of course as a silly millennial I assumed everything started with us.

It is indeed a tactic and a really useful one because how do you continue an argument/discussion when you have just been called a Nazi? You don’t. Instead you are distracted from the actual topic and are now debating your alleged Nazi identity. Derailing an argument is a quite commonplace and a really handy tool for when things are not going one’s way. For example:

Person 1: Homosexuality is not natural because animals are not gay
Person 2: Actually there are some animals that display homosexual behaviour
Person 1: Oh so you are saying we are animals who should live like animals. Animals also eat their young should we do that too?

Now person 2 is flustered and annoyed, trying to get the discussion back on track while defending herself  against these accusations.

This is what people do with these Nazi comparisons. There is also an element of self righteousness in which one person believes they are the morally superior good guys and everyone with a dissenting opinion is not just wrong but evil.

Of course there are lots of fascists and Nazi-like people on social media (and who would probably be proud of being called that) but even within valid things are exaggerations and logical fallacies.  I do dislike the flippancy with which some people throw the word around. Sometimes I see these silly arguments and just shake my head. Even stranger is that everyone seems to be a Nazi- today you are casually referring to someone as a Nazi and tomorrow you are the one being called a Nazi.

Let’s save the word Nazi for those who actually have fascist views (and there are a lot of them). While we are on it, let’s save the word porn for actual porn. Everything after food porn was an overkill. Goodness, I won’t be surprised to wake up one day and see “Bible porn“. Just stop it.

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