- CNN commenters respond to our story on the Rules of the Internet
- Said one: "The only rule of the Internet is that there are absolutely no rules"
- Others mentioned Godwin's Law, about commenters calling each other Nazis
Does the Internet need more rules? Does it need any rules at all?
Based on the comments to our story "Meet the Rules of the Internet," the judgment is decidedly mixed.
The story explained the origin of the Internet's "rules," originally a set of guidelines/inside jokes spawned by a variety of sources, including the Internet collective Anonymous, the site Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4chan's Christopher Poole.
As with many Internet memes, however, the concept quickly spread to the mainstream to the point where it's now fairly routine to run across references to "Rule 34" in blog posts and comment strings.
Some CNN commenters, however, weren't going to have any rules under any circumstances.
"The only rule of the Internet is that there are absolutely no rules," said Sal, among others.
Other commenters mentioned one of the best-known Internet observations, Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." Some wondered why it wasn't included.
We agree: Godwin's Law should definitely be a part of any set of Internet rules. (Personally, I blame my editor for its exclusion: Frankly, the guy is a ...)
With that out of the way, here are 10 more nominations for the list of Internet rules. Ignore them at your peril.
• As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1. (Godwin's Law)
• You cannot unsee anything Rules 34-36 apply to. (suggested by Josh Weikel)
• The cake is a lie. (suggested by DragonWife; originated in the video game "Portal")
• Comment boards tend not to extend the discussion in a productive manner. (suggested by Simps0n)
• If a new version of anything comes out, half the Internet will hate it because they changed it too much, and the other half will hate it because they didn't change it enough. (suggested by chewie402)
• For trolls: When in doubt -- or when you just don't know -- go hostile. (suggested by Matt in KY)
• Don't be a d**k. (Wheaton's Law, suggested by freddosaurusRex)
• The girl you met online may actually be a guy. (suggested by Krehator; this is a variation of the classic New Yorker cartoon caption "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.")
• If anything you see upsets you, it is your problem, not the poster's. (suggested by readerman)
• Keep it simple. Odds are, most people reading this are stoned. (suggested by Jeffrey John Albrecht)
Thanks for playing. You can have your Internet back now.