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Random Acts of Pizza (RAOP) is a community on the social news website Reddit where users can ask to receive free pizza or volunteer to donate pizza to others in need. The community’s slogan is “Restoring Faith in Humanity, One Slice at a Time.”
On December 8th, 2010, Redditor Gadianton created the /r/Random_Acts_Of_Pizza subreddit, which gained over 24,600 subscribers in the following three years. On June 18th, 2011, the site RandomActsOfPizza.com was launched with a description of how the subreddit works, instructions on sending or receiving pizza and a verification system. On July 2nd, a Facebook page titled “Random Acts of Pizza” was launched. On October 4th, the @random_pizza Twitter account was created, which reposted many of the submissions to the subreddit. On October 12th, 2012, RAOP creator Gadianton posted a photograph of a document (shown below) revealing that Random Acts of Pizza, Inc. had been formed as part of a step towards becoming a tax free charity. Prior to being archived, the post accumulated more than 250 up votes and 30 comments.
Related: Usage on 4chan
Users of the imageboard 4chan have been known to send pizzas to people’s homes as an ongoing prank. On October 16th, 2009, BuzzFeed published a post featuring a screenshot of a pizza order being sent to the house of the Balloon Boy family, along with a photograph of a television news segment in which the delivery vehicle can be seen near the home (shown below, left). During the police standoff with Chris Dorner at Big Bear National Park in February of 2013, an image of an Domino’s pizza delivered to a Big Bear Lake address began circulating online (shown below, right).
On October 12th, 2012, /r/RAOP creator Gadianton revealed his intention to incorporate the community into a nonprofit charity organization, along with a scanned image of a certificate document (shown below) confirming that the application has been filed. Prior to being archived, the post accumulated more than 250 up votes and 30 comments.
The subreddit has been lauded as example of Reddit’s potential to encourage and foster altruism and generosity. On June 27th, 2011, CNN reported that the subreddit had become increasingly popular with a recent influx of 226,000 visitors in one week. On the following day, ABC News published an article with several accounts of people who received donations from strangers on the subreddit. On August 5th, 2011, The Daily Dot reported that a con-artist had threatened to send several users genital crabs after obtaining their personal information.
Similar subreddits are listed on the sidebar on /r/Random_Acts_Of_Pizza for other types of donations, including /r/RandomActs, /r/RandomActsOfCoffee, /r/RandomActsOfCookies, /r/RandomKindess, /r/RandomActsOfChristMas and /r/RandomActsOfCards.
Austin’s Pizza Donation
On August 21st, 2011, Redditor luckykobold submitted a post to the RAOP subreddit thanking the the pizza restaurant Austin’s Pizza for donating nine pies for his sons birthday party. Prior to being archived, the post received over 830 up votes and 120 comments.
2011 Holiday Pizza Giveaway
On August 21st, 2012, Redditor IdTugYourBoat submitted a post to the RAOP subreddit, which announced that he was holding a giveaway where he would be donating pizzas to those who requested them in the comments with the only requirement that they wear a “ridiculous holiday sweater” for the delivery man upon arrival. After closing the offer, IdTugYourBoat replied to over 20 commenters that they could send him a private message to received a free pizza. Prior to being archived, the post accumulated upwards of 740 up votes and 340 comments.
Following the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts on April 15th, 2013, hundreds of users donated over 1,500 pizzas to the emergency centers and hospitals in the area. Many of the pizza orders were organized in Google Doc spreadsheets and made through Anytime Pizza, who called in their entire staff to make and deliver pizzas.
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