Graph Of The Day: Would You Kill Baby Hitler? New York Times Readers Respond

Published October 23, 2015
Updated October 31, 2019
Published October 23, 2015
Updated October 31, 2019

The New York Times Magazine asked their readers if they would kill baby Hitler. Here are the results of the heated exchange on Twitter.

Baby Hitler Poll

The New York Times Magazine caused an uproar on Twitter after posting the results of a “Could you kill a baby Hitler?” poll. Image Source: NYT Magazine Twitter

Whenever questions of time travel arise, talk inevitably drifts toward killing Hitler and stopping the Holocaust. The New York Times Magazine ran with a twist on this popular hypothetical on a slow Friday news day in the form of a Twitter poll: Could you kill a baby Hitler?

Naturally, Twitter users were quick to put in their 140 characters. MSNBC host Chris Hayes wrote “Was baby Hitler the inventor of peas in guacamole?” in a reference to a New York Times Twitter post earlier this year that lit up the internet. Former Gakwer editor-in-chief Max Read read into the question a little more deeply, tweeting, “the nyt magazine literally keeps an ethicist on retainer and its asking *twitter* about killing baby hitler. no wonder print is dying.”

“The magazine publishes the results of a study conducted online in July and August by The New York Times’s research-and-analytics department, reflecting the opinions of 2,987 subscribers who chose to participate,” a spokesperson for the magazine told The Wrap. “The feature only runs in print and the magazine usually tweets it out on Friday.”

There wasn’t a larger story behind the poll, but the tweet has sprouted a forest of stories and Google searches.

Google Trends Baby Hitler

The number of Google searches rose in the hours following the baby Hitler tweet. Image Source: Google Trends

The answers were mixed, with 42 percent saying yes, 30 percent saying no and 28 percent saying they are not sure if they would kill baby Hitler.

The New York Times Magazine, meanwhile, has found humor in the energetic response.

Nickolaus Hines
Nickolaus Hines is a freelance writer in New York City. He graduated from Auburn University, and his recent bylines can be found at Men's Journal, Inverse, and Grape Collective.