“As an online discussion grows longer, The probability of comparison involving Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches the probability of 1”
Although Godwin’s Law is framed as a probability statement, its purpose is to make people think twice before following the rhetorical line of least resistance and escalating their arguments to comparisons that trivialize the impact of the Nazis and the Holocaust. In short, its purpose is to trigger (insistently) a reader’s historical awareness and perspective, especially in contexts where perspective has otherwise been lost. So why frame it as a kind of statistical or natural law? Because the kinds of people who reflexively bring up Hitler or Nazis in order to trash the argument or opponent du jour hate to discover that they’re merely instantiating a lazy intellectual tendency so common that it seems like a natural law — they would rather think of themselves as free-willed, independent thinkers.
Below is a a chart which shows the probability of using a Hitler reference increases as the number of comments increases on any sub-reddit.