Why the Internet Needs Rick Astley

"Rickroll'd" joke refuses to die

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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Why the Internet Needs Rick Astley

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Don't worry, everybody, Rick Astley isn't dead yet. If anything, the Rick Roll meme has made him more popular than ever.

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This morning, the Internet exploded in surprise and concern when a popular video on YouTube momentarily disappeared Wednesday morning.

The video in question is titled "RickRoll'D" and has received over 30 million views.

Why?

Because a while back it became a popular joke to pretend to link to one thing, but instead link to a video of Rick Astley's hoary hit "Never Gonna Give You Up."


Internet conspiracy theorists blamed everyone from Sony, who own the rights to the recording and video, to Google, YouTube's parent company with an unfortunate amount of power over the Web.

Instead, we had no one to blame but ourselves.

According to Google, users had flagged the video as potentially inappropriate.While Astley's '80s-era fashion choices and spastic dance moves could be considered offensive, YouTube determined the video wasn't an infringement of the site's terms of service and restored the video Wednesday afternoon.

But for a second there, untold millions of bogus links meant to "rickroll" the unsuspecting were dead. Though an enterprising (if dated) prankster could have found plenty of other copies on YouTube -- even on YouTube's new music video site Vevo.

So don't worry, Astley's never gonna give you up, Internet. Though YouTube may let you down from time to time.

Jackson West suggests you click on his name to visit his website.

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