Colin Delany January 29, 2013

Elected Official + Hitler + Facebook = Godwin’s Law in Action

The internet may be powered by cute kittens, but it definitely has a dark side — it’s haunted by the ghost of Adolf Hitler. For one recent example, let’s go to the great state of Ohio, where:

“Ohio school board President Debe Terhar…faces continued calls for her resignation after posting a picture of Adolf Hitler on her Facebook page in connection with the Obama administration’s attempt to rein in guns”

Yes, its all fun and games on the internet, until someone fulfills Godwin’s Law. As per usual, dropping the H-bomb pretty much destroys the intellectual credibility of the dropper:

“As soon as you invoke Hitler, you’ve pretty much lost the argument,” Delany said.

Columbus Dispatch reporter Catherine Candisky picked up a couple of other e.politics quotes in her piece on social media antics in Ohio government, including a point that reflects plenty of hard political experience:

“You used to be able to give one speech to the chamber of commerce and another to the teachers union, but the Internet makes that impossible now. Everything is out there.”

47%, anyone? Also note the importance of the “New York Times rule” (i.e., don’t put anything in writing you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times), and the article’s exploration of a need for social media guidelines for state officials and state employees. Evidently, common sense isn’t as common as it should be. Personally, I blame Hitler.

cpd

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