/r/place / Place (Reddit)
Part of a series on Reddit. [View Related Entries]
[View Related Sub-entries]
PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
/r/place or Place is an interactive forum hosted on the social networking site Reddit that allows its users to draw on a blank white canvas by placing a square tile, available in 16 available colors and dispensed every five minutes, on its surface. Launched as an April Fools' Day event in 2017, the novelty subreddit quickly grew into a social experiment involving tens of thousands of members on the site over the course of its 64-hour run. On April Fools' Day 2022, /r/place was brought back for a second time on Reddit.
On April 1st, 2017, at 00:54 UTC, Reddit introduced /r/place, an experimental subreddit comprised of an HTML5-based 1000 × 1000 white canvas on which any member of the site who registered before March 31st, 2017 could "draw" by placing a colored tile square in a 10-minute interval, in the similar vein of the long-running online canvas community Drawball. By 3 p.m. in the afternoon, the subreddit had garnered nearly 86,000 subscribers. By the end of the event, the subreddit had more than 220,000 subscribers.
Flags of nations were among the earliest recurring motifs to appear on the canvas, which soon set off a series of competitive drawing in group efforts from different countries across the world. The first known flag war was between Denmark and Sweden. The similarity of Denmark's flag to Sweden's attracted /r/sweden's attention, and their attempt to overwrite it, which they called "Operation Lilla Bält," proved to be successful. Another notable flag war erupted between France and Germany. Before the war, France's vertical flag was located beside Germany's horizontal flag, which became the deciding factor for Germany's success in "Operation Annexion." The battle between the two camps ended after they agreed to make a flag of the European Union over their former battleground. In addition, a number of other smaller-scale flag wars also erupted in other areas of the canvas, including the longtime rival nations, India and Pakistan, which ultimately ended with Belgium prevailing over the Pakistani flag; and Norway and Texas, which ended with Texas' relocation to a spot below Norway.
Flags have also been targeted by non-flag factions. The OSU! logo's expansion pressured the Philippine flag into relocating to another spot and switching into a vertical position with its wartime version. The Estonian flag's proximity to the League of Legends logo made it a target of followers of League of Legends streamer Tyler "Tyler1" Steinkamp, who momentarily installed an image of his face on the right side. The American flag also fell victim to the Black Void's assault, but ultimately recovered.
The Argentine national flag was among the first national flags that appeared on the canvas. In an effort to protect the flag from getting overdrawn, Redditor Zequez wrote a script that automatically reverted alteration attempts. The use of the script and variations of it eventually became widespread, and it was later suspected as the leading factor in the shutdown.
Red vs. Blue
The Red Corner and Blue Corner (/r/RedCorner and /r/BlueCorner respectively) were two of the earliest groups that engaged in competitive drawing. Heavily outnumbered from the start, the Red Corner soon faded as the Blue Corner took over and became the largest contiguous pixel space at the time of writing.
Trans Flag & 4chan Raid
The Trans Flag (/r/TransFlagPlace) was another large-scale group effort to create a 'blue-pink-white-pink-blue'-patterned stripe, spanning the entirety of the canvas both horizontally and vertically.
Upon taking notice of the LGBTQ campaign, 4chan's /pol/, /b/ and /v/ boards devised several plans to hijack the stripe by overwriting their existing artwork and projects, including a false flag campaign directed at inciting conflict between the Trans Flag group and others (shown below, top-left corner).
The Black Void
The Black Void was a group dedicated to expanding a contiguous black "void" across the entire canvas. Early on, there was a small black demon representing the group, but it was later swallowed as the Void expanded, as well as a large portion controlled by the Trans Flag.
Unlike other groups, the Black Void never stayed in a fixed place and moved around. After their original spot was displaced by the American flag, they tried to establish their presence in the paintings of the Mona Lisa and Starry Night, as well as the OSU! logo.
Fans of the rhythm video game OSU! established a stronghold by the bottom-most part of the canvas by repurposing a previously-existing pink triangle and overwriting with the game's logo previous artworks like the D. Va bunny from Overwatch, the Philippine flag, and characters from Five Nights at Freddy's and Adventure Time. After extracting concessions from their neighbors and establishing control of their area, they experienced attacks from fans of Steinkamp, the Black Void, and the Rainbow Road. They also had to cede the bottom-most part of their area to a group dedicated to building Windows 95's start menu. Their rebuilding efforts were underway when the canvas was frozen.
Throughout the event, dozens of iconic logos, memes, artworks and pop culture references were drawn in the form of pixel art and overdrawn.
On April 3rd, 2017 at 16:59 (UTC), Reddit admin Josh "powerlanguage" Wardle announced the closure of the canvas to further edits, leading to the rise of several spinoff sites intended for those who wanted to continue their creations. Versions of the feature by Plasteur and Pxls.space included CAPTCHAs to prevent the use of scripts, while ColorThisSpace aims to continue from /r/place's final state. Several artworks on the canvas were left with varying states of damage, and /r/thefinalclean was set up to fix the damage and remove stray pixels. The black void, a target of extermination efforts by some members of the group, was assigned a spot near Runescape's error message.
Shortly after the closure of /r/place, many Redditors began analyzing and visualizing the data of /r/place over the course of its three-day existence, including heat maps and height maps revealing various insights on the level and depth of participation.
The earlier visualizations were based on incomplete user-compiled data. On April 18th, 2017, a complete dataset was released.
Following the closure of /r/place, the subreddit continued to remain active as many users began commemorating the event by sharing photographs of custom-designed souvenirs featuring the final version of the canvas, including jigsaw puzzles, photoshopped parodies and memory drawings of the final version.
Soon, a bamboozling scheme emerged on /r/place as dozens of Redditors vowed to celebrate /r/canvas in an extreme manner, such as getting a tattoo of the final illustration, should their posts receive at least 5,000 upvotes.
On March 28th, 2022, Reddit announced the return of /r/place from April 1st to 4th. Within the first day, many competing fandoms vied for control of /r/place, with a large German coalition trying to make a large version of their flag that stretched across the space but getting repeatedly taken over by other flags and fandom groups.
Several Twitch streamers used their large audiences of tens of thousands to directly impact the r/place board, causing quite the stir within those communities. Over the course of the weekend, smaller communities began to get eroded or outright destroyed by bigger twitch streamers with larger audiences, which is what some theorize led to increased bot usage to counteract the larger fanbases trying to take over. A .gif representation of this was tweeted on April 3rd, 2022, by the Twitter user @Shyguymask99, showing how smaller communities can spend a long time building something that a streamer takes down in a minute (shown below).
Small indie communities when the big streamer opens r/place pic.twitter.com/Ca9fdvEGoY
— Shyguymask (@Shyguymask99) April 3, 2022
Although he participated in the original iteration, Steinkamp refused to join in the 2022 iteration, 
Out of all the streamers, who mostly set up Discords in an effort to coordinate having their logo put somewhere on the board, XQC was more focused on absolute chaos, and over the course of multiple days was telling his chat of over 100,000 people minute by minute what things to try and destroy, causing him to come under fire by multiple places. He became the main antagonist of r/place, and that became more solidified in the last day, as seen in the video posted to the YouTube channel XqC Clips on April 3rd, 2022 (shown below).
 Reddit Announcement – Place
 Reddit – /r/RedCorner
 Reddit – /r/BlueCorner
 Reddit – Place has ended
 Github – reddit-placebot by Zequez
 Reddit – They ended /r/place because reddit servers couldn't handle the increased volume of traffic (from bots!), not because 72 hours went by
 Reddit – Come aid the second coming of the Osu! logo on r/place at (500, 950)
 Reddit – Please…A moment of silence for this bunny that osu decided to ruin
 Reddit – /r/TheFinalClean
 Reddit – OPERATION LILLA BÄLT – VI SLÅR TILL KLOCKAN 16
 Reddit – Operation Annexion
 Reddit – Some additional Statistics
 Reddit – /r/place has ended
 Reddit – Timelapse of /r/place
 Reddit – Search Results for '5000 upvotes and…'
 YouTube – Search Results for /rplace'
 Reddit – Community-cleaned and repaired version of the final /r/place canvas, by r/TheFinalClean [OFFICIAL] (x-post from /r/place)
 Reddit Blog – April Fools’ on Reddit is No Joke: Bringing Back r/place
 Reddit – Place Datasets
 Sportskeeda – “I do not care about your virtual online Reddit fantasies”: Tyler1 provides his take on r/place Twitch meta
Apr 01, 2017 at 04:22PM EDT
Jack the Dipper
Apr 01, 2017 at 05:58PM EDT in reply to
+ Add a Comment
Add a Comment