Rules of the Internet

From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

As you are no doubt aware, there are exactly one hundred Rules of the Internet. The Rules of the Internet were inscribed on ten stone tablets by Al Gore when he came to the U.S. Capitol with President Clinton's approval to give the Internet backbone federal support. Unfortunately, the Rules were left to decay in the House of Representatives, and were soon forgotten.

What rules survive on this page are those known to us from ancient sources quoting the original text. There is some disagreement over the numbering of these rules, since most texts did not include the number and one made up its own numbering system for plebian-invented rules.


Rule 0 (There Is No Cabal)

"There Is No Cabal"

"There Is No Cabal" is frequently quoted in early texts and is most likely the rule at the top of the first tablet, that is, Rule #0 (assuming C-style numeration). One early source, although corrupt in several places and including known non-rules and improper numbers, also numbers it 0. Its common abbreviation, TINC, is used to indicate that people should lighten up and not see a conspiracy around every corner, or alternatively as an ironic statement, indicating that everyone who knows "the cabal" will deny its own existence.

Rule 1

"Rule 1: There are no women on the Internet."

This rule has been known since the dawn of Internets due to the abnormally high ratio of men to women on these websites. It is often cited in order to doubt the gender of a forum poster.

Rule 2 (Gilmore's Law)

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."

This rule was first noted in print by John Gilmore, an online activist who works with the EFF. The print source is a 1993 Time Magazine article--since then, it has held steadfast and so is likely one of the original 100 rules. A corollary, known in popular culture, is "information wants to be free".

Rule 4 (Godwin's Law)

Mike Godwin said in 1990:

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Frequently, a reference to Hitler is used as an evocation of evil. Thus a discussion proceeding on a positivist examination of facts is considered terminated when this objective consideration is transformed into a normative discussion of subjective right and wrong.

Rule 34

"Rule #34: There is porn of it. No exceptions."

Rule #34 is first known to us from a comic made by Zoom-Out Productions in response to when the original writer of the comic ("Mr. Yokai") saw an image of Calvin and Hobbes having sexual relations with Calvin's mother, which provoked him to produce the comic.

The one-panel comic depicts the webcomic's author at a computer with a stunned look upon his face, saying, "Calvin and Hobbes?". The comic was popularized by the /b/ board of 4chan.

When invoked, users of the forum in question usually see this as a challenge to either locate the hard-to-find image, or in some cases, draw or Photoshop it themselves. This can cause some rather nasty pictures to surface, as the law is applied more often to children's TV shows and movies (or other generally "clean" or "innocent" things) in an attempt to shock and disgust users rather than to prove a point about porn.

Rule 35

"If porn cannot be provided, then porn will be created."

A necessary supplement to Rule 34, causing some people to call this 34(b), although this is an anachronism--there was no such thing as a subheading when the Internet was created. Some disagreeing sources claim the true text of Rule 35 is "find your own porn, asshat" but they are lying.

Rule 41

"It needs more desu. No exceptions."

Although this rule is heavily documented (in fact, there are texts which simply repeat it over and over) its meaning is unclear. Desu may be some kind of mantra, chanted to invoke the blessings of an Internet goddess.

Things that are not rules of the Internet

Etiquette of the Internet's Victorian Period

References and external links

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