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A mysterious blue button is driving Reddit insane

Is this the cruelest joke Reddit has ever played?


Mike Wehner


Presenting a person with a button and then asking them not to press it is a classic gag from cartoons and movies, and now Reddit is using this cruel trick to bring its entire userbase to its knees. On April 1, a new subreddit was born called simply The Button, and in just one day it’s obtained over 50,000 subscribers and the button that graces the top of the page has endured nearly half a million taps already.

The Button

The Button


Here’s how it works: The button is attached to a 60-second timer that counts down every moment the button remains unpressed. Once a user presses the button, the timer immediately resets to 60 seconds and begins its downward journey once more. Each Reddit account is only allowed to press the button once, and only accounts created before 4/1/2015 are allowed to press the button. This means that the timer will eventually run out, as there is a finite number of possible presses available, but nobody knows what will happen once it reaches zero.

“We can’t tell you what to do from here on out,” the subreddit’s description reads, adding “the choice is yours.”

The subreddit dedicated to this mysterious button is already extremely active and class warfare is beginning to break out between those who have pressed the button (identifiable by a colored dot with the number of seconds that were left on the timer when they pressed the button) and those who have remained “pure,” and refused to succumb to the button’s will. Clubs devoted to users who pressed the button with the same second reading are also beginning to form, and those with a lower number are rare and generally considered to be superior. 

There’s absolutely no way to tell what, if anything, will happen when the timer attached to the button reaches zero, and it’s equally impossible to predict when that might occur. For the moment, we’ll all just have to wait and wonder. 

Photo via Phoenix2k/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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