Spend any amount of time on the internet and you will likely eventually be referred to at least one Reddit thread. Reddit users, of course, are discussing hundreds of topics at any given time. But while it may be hard to predict what any one thread might be about at any given time, there is, apparently, one thing you can count on with Reddit.
You will probably see at least one mention of Hitler in most threads.
Yes, THAT Hitler.
A recent compilation of Reddit threads—from a “statistician” who goes by Curious Gnu”–scanned 4.6 million comments to find that once a thread hits 101 comments there is a 15 percent chance someone will mention Hitler. However, once a thread reaches more than 1,000 comments, the probability that someone will mention Hitler shoots up to more than 70 percent. Examining all 4.6 million comments, Curious Gnu estimates that “78 percent of Reddit Threads with 1,000+ comments mention Nazis.”
Breaking this down further, the subreddit called “History,” of course, has the most mentions of Nazi—with 2.5 percent of all comments involving Hitler and/or a related topic. Similarly, a subreddits “AskHistorians,” “Europeans,” “Italy,” and “De” (which is shorthand for Deutschland, the native name of Germany) all contain mentions of Nazis (or Hitler).
Now, it is to be expected that you might find such mentions in historical threads. But the study found that this Hitler mention appears to be consistent across most of the rest of the Reddit universe. Actually, the number one subreddit populated by Hitler references is one called “Forwards from Grandma.” This is basically a catalog posts people share of emails sent by their gradmother.
Another subreddit seemingly unrelated to World War II or “History” or Germany is one titled “GamerGhazi.” This is a thread dedicated to the recent GamerGate controversy; and in about 2 percent of posts you could find either Nazis or Hitler.
Not surprisingly, “Ask TrumpSupporters,” “CapitalismVSocialism,” “ExMuslim,” “The_Donald,” and “WorldNews” all had about 1 percent Hitler/Nazi Germany density.
Of course, identifying this trend does not necessarily have any practical use. Still, it is an interesting discovery that might have implications, particularly considering the controversies facing Reddit (at any given time).