Poe’s Law


Not to be confused with the law of poetry enshrined by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe’s Law states:

“Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

The core of Poe’s law is that a parody of something extreme, by nature, becomes impossible to differentiate from sincere extremism. A corollary of Poe’s law is the reverse phenomenon: sincere fundamentalist beliefs can be mistaken for a parody of those beliefs.