Reddit conducted an interesting social experiment last weekend. It provided all of its users with a blank canvas, and the ability to color its pixels according to just three simple rules:
- You can place a pixel anywhere on the canvas
- The pixel color must be chosen from a limited palette (recalling the era of 16-bit gaming)
- After placing a pixel, you must wait 5 minutes to place another
The time restriction, and the need to defend your patch on the canvas from others who may want to use (or disrupt) it, meant that Redditors had to band together to collaboratively decorate the canvas. You can see the results of this collaborative process in the time-lapse video below. The first part shows the overall canvas, and then details of various sections.
Interestingly (as Ars Technica points out, and as anyone who's ever managed a comments section knows) while many were there to contribute, others came to cause grief. But unlike on a comments board, the power balance no longer favored the trolls and spammers: when you need to actively defend your "message", and there are more who oppose your message than support it, the trolls failed to dominate in this collaborative setting.
That's all from us for this week. Have a good weekend, and we'll be back on Monday.