Nobody seems to fully understand the reason why Reddit — and through Reddit, the Internet more broadly — suddenly became obsessed with a Dutch roundabout yesterday. But what we do know is this: The once tranquil intersection was subsequently used as the canvas for an artist bent on the creation of a giant chalk dickbutt.
The mess started when a live feed of the loop shot to the top of reddit/r/videos, which funneled 4,000 concurrent viewers to the feed. What started ironically got that extra boost into liftoff when Dutch redditors started showing up in the feed, turning the scene into a game of one-upsmanship. Much of it was captured for posterity by Damindenie, who liveblogged the action.
At first it was just a few guys waving at the cameras. Then someone in a wizard costume started doing jumping jacks. Then the graffiti started, and that’s when the dickbutt made an appearance, along with a reference to recently resigned Reddit CEO Ellen Pao and the URL to a Dutch website. The good samaritans who showed up to scrub the graffiti were unfortunately the ones caught by police, and here we lament the lack of audio as law enforcement tried to wrap their heads around thousands of people starring at a roundabout for hours on their computers.
A police presence stayed on the scene for most of the evening after that, discouraging further escalation.
And people don’t always know when to stop. As of an hour prior to this writing, someone was sitting over a /B/ on the outer circle, so this siege of the Netherlands might not have run its course just yet.