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Reddit Threads: Hitler and Nazis Become Popular Comments Among Reddit Users

By | May 06, 2016 02:29 AM EDT
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78 percent of Reddit threads with over 1000 comments talk about Nazis and Hitler.

78 percent of Reddit threads with over 1000 comments talk about Nazis and Hitler.(Photo : Reuters)

An analysis shows that the most popular thread on social site Reddit talks about Hitler, showing that the comments from the users are alive and well.

Pseudonymous statistician Curious Gnu has compiled a database of Reddit threads covering some 4.6 million comments, and scanned them for mentions of the words "Hitler" or "Nazi." After removing history subreddits from the data, Gnu discovered that once a thread hit 101 comments there is approximately a 15 percent chance of a Hitler mention. However, the pseudonymous statistician said that more than 1000 comments contribute a 70 percent of Hitler comment. Gnu concludes that 78 percent of Reddit threads with over 1000 comments talk about Nazis.

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Some of the subreddits invite comments about Nazis, since they are focused on political and geographical discussions. The subreddit called "History" has by far the largest number of Nazi mentions, with 2.5 percent of all comments involving Hitler and related topics. It followed by "AskHistorians," "European," "Italy," and "De" (short for Deutschland).

The top non-history subreddit for Hitler references is "Forwards from Grandma," which catalogs emails that people's grandmothers send them. Also on the top list with Hitler or Nazis mention is the subreddit "GamerGhazi," a comment thread dedicated to the GamerGate controversy, with two percent of GamerGhazi comments mention Hitler or Nazis.

In addition, subreddits such as "Ask TrumpSupporters," "The_Donald," "CapitalismVSocialism," "ExMuslim" and "WorldNews" share one percent of comments that mentioned Nazi Germany.

However, Gnu noted that this is not a total vindication of Godwin's law. In its most common wording, the law specifies that there will be a comparison made to Hitler or the Nazis.

“Unsurprisingly, the probability of a Nazi reference increases as the threads get bigger. Due to entirely understandable time constraints, Gnu's data does not account for the context these words appear in — only that they appear at all,” Gnu added.

Reddit is a site with open forum where people can discuss or share just about anything. It used to allow people to discuss literally anything.

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