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Reddit Brings Back its r/place Communal Digital Art Project in April

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Reddit Brings Back its r/place Communal Digital Art Project in April


In the time of NFTs and emerging digital art, this seems like the perfect project for the online community.

This year, marking April Fool’s Day (4/1), Reddit is bringing back its popular r/place project, which enables Reddit users to each control a digital pixel on a larger, community-built digital canvas.

As you can see here, on April 1st, a new place icon will appear alongside the search bar at the top of the app. Tapping on that will enable the user to control a single spot on the broader image.

As explained by Reddit:

Once people navigate to r/place, they’ll see a communal 1000×1000 tile canvas where (logged in) redditors can place a tile or pixel of their color choice (once every 5 minutes by tapping or clicking anywhere on the canvas). People who are logged out of Reddit can view the canvas unfolding in real-time, but can’t place a tile.”

In order to make the larger image into anything legible, Redditors will need to work together, which they’ve done in the past to create complex collages of varying icons, flags and other works.

Reddit r/place example

Reddit initially ran its r/place initiative back in 2017 (the above image being the final result), and users have been calling for its return ever since.

When we first ran r/place in 2017, more than one million redditors placed approximately 16 million tiles on a blank communal digital canvas – resulting in a collective digital art piece. Every year since then, users have asked us to bring it back. It was hands down one of our most popular April Fools’ Day experiences.”

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And as noted, given the renewed focus on digital art, with the rise of NFTs and other projects, like Beeple’s ‘First 5000 Days’, now seems like the perfect time to bring it back.

Beeple's 'First 5,000 Days'

This image, a collection of Beeple’s daily digital artworks, sold for $69.3 million at auction last year, and really legitimized the digital art movement, which sparked the current NFT trend.

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Since, of course, NFTs have become a hive of speculation and scams, with everyone that can put together a few basic images seeking to cash in however they can, with ‘rug pulls’ now so common that it’s almost not worth buying into a new project.

And really, the idea that any of these digital images are going to be worth significant money in future seems spurious at best – but even so, there’s huge interest in digital art, which could make Reddit’s r/place project even more popular this time around.

Or it could be a total mess. But that’s part of the beauty of it – and while the end result might not end up in a million dollar art sale, it’ll still be interesting to see what the modern Reddit community ends up reflecting, and which themes and topics shine through in the millions of edited pixels.

You can watch it unfold for yourself in the app, with r/place going live later this week.



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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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