Reddit expanded the r/Place canvas, and users immediately wrote messages cursing the CEO

Reddit added more space to the r/Place collaborative canvas on Friday, giving users additional room to collaboratively draw pixelated art. Almost immediately after the space was added, users started to write in their protests against the site and CEO Steve Huffman.

The expanded canvas now stretches further in both directions. When I first wrote this, there was a massive land grab taking place, including a spot memorializing the YouTuber Technoblade, the continuation of the German flag at the top of the canvas, a vertical French flag on the right side, and many iterations of the phrase “fuck spez,” a reference to Huffman’s username.

After an expansion on Saturday morning, however, protest messages made their way back in, with new “fuck spez” messages incorporated in a few places, along with other protest messages.

You can see some of progression of the 2023 canvas for yourself in the below gallery.

r/Place works by letting users drop a pixel of one of eight colors wherever they want on the canvas, but they have to wait a few minutes to be able to drop another. Many groups work together to collectively make art or write messages, whether for fun in their own subreddits or in more protest-oriented communities. Reddit added to the canvas two times during the 2022 iteration of r/Place, so it’s not a huge surprise that it did so again this year.

Currently, protest imagery and language are generally harder to spot now that more art is packed into the canvas. But users have kept things like the phrase “u/spez ist ein hurensohn” on the German flag, which Google Translate says translates to “u/spez is a son of a bitch,” and a sign promoting the Save3rdPartyApps community that reads “never forget what was stolen from you!” According to r/Place’s canvas rules, “targeted hate or harassment of private individuals” will be removed, as will “posts, comments, and imagery that are hateful, graphic, sexually-explicit, and / or offensive are violations of our policy.”

Update Friday July 22nd, 10:50AM ET: Added another screenshot to the gallery, showing a newly-expanded canvas from sometime Friday morning. Also added that protest messages appear to have made a comeback.

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