Basic Description Edit
Poe's Law is the statement that any serious parody of extremist beliefs will tend to be indistinguishable from one who sincerely holds those same beliefs. Poe's Law is named after Nathan Poe, a user on christianforums.com, whose original statement of Poe's Law in 2005 (in reference to creationism) reads as follows:
Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is uttrerly[sic] impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article.In the Great Debate Community community and beyond, the term Poe is typically used to refer to someone who is suspected to be faking (or greatly exaggerating) their beliefs for the lulz, or whose views are so outlandish that the chance of that person being a parodist is at least possible. Due to the very nature of Poe's Law, accurately distinguishing between a Poe and someone who sincerely holds the views they're promoting is impossible in practice, unless the person in question comes forward and admits to being fake. Types of people who tend to be frequently accused of being Poes include young-earth creationists, New Agers (a la Spirit Science), social justice warriors, race realists, and flat earthers.