Place (Reddit)

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Image of the Place canvas at the instant the experiment was ended
A resized image of the final Place canvas
UsersOver 1 million
Launched1 April 2017; 2 years ago (2017-04-01)
Current statusEnded 3 April 2017

Place was a collaborative project and social experiment hosted on the social networking site Reddit that began on April Fools' Day 2017. The experiment involved an online canvas of one million (1000x1000) pixel squares, located at a subreddit called /r/place, which registered users could edit by changing the color of a single pixel from a 16-colour palette. After each pixel was placed, a timer prevented the user from placing any pixels for a period of time varying from 5 to 20 minutes.[1]

The experiment was ended by Reddit administrators around 72 hours after its creation, on 3 April 2017.[2] Over 1 million unique users edited the canvas, placing a total of approximately 16 million tiles, and, at the time the experiment was ended, had over 90,000 users viewing or editing it.[3] The Place subreddit was archived on 19 April 2017.


The experiment was based in a subreddit, called /r/place, in which the user would be greeted by a screen displaying a section of the canvas with posts showing below. Registered users could place a pixel (or "tile") on an empty canvas, but had to wait before placing another.[3] The waiting time varied from 5 to 20 minutes throughout the experiment. The choice of color for a user's pixel was between white, light gray, gray, black, pink, red, orange, brown, yellow, light green, green, aqua-blue, green-blue, blue, violet and purple.[4]

The early hours of the canvas were characterized by random pixel placement and chaotic attempts at image creation. Among the first distinct sections of the canvas to emerge were a corner of entirely blue pixels (named "Blue Corner") and a homage to Pokémon. As the canvas developed, some established subreddit communities, such as those for video games, sports teams and individual countries, coordinated user efforts to claim and decorate particular sections.[5] Other sections of the canvas were developed by specially created communities and coordination efforts, such as reproductions of the Mona Lisa and The Starry Night.[6]

Several works of pixel art were created as a result of the experiment, varying from fictional characters and internet memes to patriotic flags and recreations of famous pieces of artwork.[7][8][9] Several "cults" also formed to create and maintain various emblematic features such as a black void, green lattice, and a multi-colored "rainbow road".[1]


The idea of "place" was commended for its unique take on representing the Reddit online community. The A.V. Club called it "a benign, colorful way for Redditors to do what they do best: argue among each other about the things that they love".[10] described it as a "microcosm of the emergent, spontaneous order that characterize society",[11] with Gizmodo labelling it as a "testament to the internet's ability to collaborate".[12] A number of commentators described Place as a representation of internet culture.[6] Some also commented on the apparent relationship between the makeup of the final canvas and the individual communities within Reddit, which exist independently but cooperate as part of a larger community.[13] Newsweek called it "the internet's best experiment yet".[14] One writer at Ars Technica suggested that the cooperative spirit of Place represented a model for fighting extremism in internet communities.[1] The experiment did receive some criticism for the lack of protection from bot usage and the automated placing of pixels.[15] After ending, many clones of /r/place sparked, such as,,,, and

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  1. ^ a b c Machkovech, Sam. "Did Reddit's April Fool's gag solve the issue of online hate speech?". Ars Technica. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. ^ powerlanguage. "Place has ended • r/place". reddit. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b Weinberger, Matt (4 April 2017). "Over 1 million Reddit users waged a virtual war to create this bizarre work of art with 16 million pixels". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  4. ^ Weinberger, Matt (1 April 2017). "Reddit's new 'Place' is forcing millions of users to work together to make something great". Business Insider. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  5. ^ Tindale, James (4 April 2017). "Reddit Place: April Fool's experiment reveals how the internet sees Australia". The Australian. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b Rhode, Jason. "Redditors Collaborate to Create the Iconic Picture of Our Time". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Reddit's Bizarre Social Experiment: 5 Weirdest Things Created On r/place". International Business Times. 1 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Eagles, Flyers represented in final version of Reddit's 'Place' social experiment". PhillyVoice. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  9. ^ Oxford, Nadia. "Here's the Best Game Fan Art from Reddit's r/place Canvas". USgamer. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Reddit gave its users something to fight over besides anime and cucks". 3 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Reddit "Place" Project, Order Emerges One Pixel at a Time". ValueWalk. 1 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  12. ^ Serrels, Mark. "Place Was The Internet, In All Its Glory". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  13. ^ Purdom, Clayton (3 April 2017). "Reddit gave its users something to fight over besides anime and cucks". A.V. Club. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  14. ^ "From Van Gogh to a marriage proposal, Reddit Place was the internet's best experiment yet". Newsweek. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Reddit's April Fools' Joke Spawned a Surprisingly Awesome Social Experiment | Nerdist". Nerdist. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.

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