On April 1st, 2014, most rules on /r/polandball were lifted. Out of all temporary events, this one can be considered to have had the largest and most notorious impact on the subreddit. It was partially designed by DickRhino to cement the rules as a critical part of the subreddit. The event was an [Fool's joke].
Course of the joke
Early on April 1st, /u/polandballmod posted 'an important announcement', saying that 'the original creator of Polandball (Falco)' had returned to /r/polandball. In honour of this, they would remove several (important) rules and restrictions of the subreddit, most notably removing 'approved submitters'.
The announcement (which has been removed) read as follows:
Hello all /r/polandball subscribers, your mod team has a very important announcement to make. We are pleased to announce that the original founder of polandball, the legendary falco has showed up in /r/polandball. Falco, if you haven't heard of him before is the creator of polandball, he created polandball back in 2009 on the site krautchan. Falco has been invited as a an honourary moderator, because of his great contributions in creating polandball.
Everyone please give a warm welcome to /u/FALCOLAD!
Now to business. In honour of falco coming to /r/polandball we will be changing the rules. These changes will happen effective immediately.
No more approved submitters, there wasn't any on krautchan and there won't be herre. This means that anyone is allowed to post their polandball comics!
A decrease on the rules, the following are effectively allowed again
Lines Between Flags
Saying the world "le"
Posting comics saved as a .jpg
Copying pictures off the internet and adding them to your comic, this doesn't include doing this to flags.
The Following are banned
Comics that portray poland in a positive light
Countries speaking perfect English
Comics containing a background
From now on this will be the official polandball tutorial
The comment section will no longer be moderated, feel free to post whatever you would like in the comments section. These changes are final. Thank you for your time and don't forget to go vote in the contest thread.
And the flair will be reduced. All non-country flair will be removed. Please use the flair selector to get a country.
After the announcement
Opinions on this first serious-appealing announcement were mixed. The logo of polandball was also changed (lines added, flashy red color) and the red color on the layout was brighter (#FF00).
The comment section was intentionally spammed with comments that would have otherwise not been allowed, such as huge text walls, spamming the word "le", and other ironic posts. The same things and similiar could be found in most comment sections during that time.
Since comment sections were no longer going to be moderated, memes, image macros, reaction gifs, shibe/dolan talk and others could be posted, which would otherwise be removed on sight.
During the 24h rule break
Soon after the announcement was posted, /r/polandball was spammed with (often ironically) bad comics and other shitposting, immediately decreasing overall quality of the subreddit. Common topics/themes of these comics were:
- Allahu Ackbörk/ Muslim/Jihad Sweden, possibly in reference to admin DickRhino (example)
- Comics overusing and applying forced memes like doge (example)
- Comics with overly amounts of "le" (example)
- Nazi comics (example)
- Comics that force everything that was then allowed that normally isn't (example)
- Generally very poorly drawn and low effort comics with not much plotline at all (example)
This caused utter chaos and confusion among many users of /r/polandball, it is said that many users also unsubscribed the subreddit that day.
Some high quality comics were reposted but adapted to the new 'rules' in protest.
On April 2nd, all changes made the day before were removed without further notice, and the original 'Import Announcement' was deleted. /u/FALCOLAD was a fake account created by mods in an effort to imitate the legitimate "Falco". It was given moderator permissions (for more realistic appeal) for a day, but is now unused and no longer a moderator.
The logo and layout of the subreddit were restored, as were the polandball tutorial and comment policy. All non-country flairs were added again.
All posts made related to the April Fools Joke were put on a special page (found here) in the wiki and removed from the front page.