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Internet Memes: Get Rickroll’d
I performed a mass rickroll for the first time sometime in early February 2009. I was on facebook and I had just been tagged by a ton of those “25 things about yourself things” in a row. You know that chain letter that’s going around. If you get tagged, you must write 25 random things about yourself then tag 25 people with it. Well, I got tired of it and decided to turn the chain letter on its head. I rickroll'd those suckers.
But before I can begin explaining the rickroll, you must
for necessary background information on the meme or else you wont understand my explanation.
Have you heard of rickrolling before?
The song that means so much to everybody
Did you click the link? Congratulations! You just got rickroll’d.
That is the essence of the joke. Someone gives you a link and instead of sending you where you’re supposed to go, it sends you to a video of Rick Astley’s 80’s pop hit, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
The origins of the meme go back to the early days of the internet, people would prank each other by sending misleading links to shocking pornographic images. At some point, the shocking ceased to shock and the tactics were shifting into nonsequitor territory. A few years ago, it was the height of cool to trick people into going to a link that was simply a picture of a duck with wheels and calling it duckrolling. As in,” man, I thought I was about to see some really sexy girls but instead, I got duckroll’d.”
It’s not clear who first evolved the duckroll into the rickroll. Various internet forums from Gamefaqs to 4chan all claim responsibility. What matters is that by March, 2008, the meme was so popular that Sony had taken notice and sent a letter to Youtube requesting the takedown of all Rick Astley material.
What followed on April 1, 2008 is known as the April Fools Day Rickroll. Youtube, Livejournal and even Digg all jumped in and sent rickroll links to their viewers. This catapulted Rickrolling to popularity.
The meme is said to have peaked during the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. Rick Astley himself, on that day, appeared on an unrelated float and began singing his song, essentially rickrolling the entire parade and everyone watching it. These days, rickrolling has fallen in vogue. There still exist, however, large portions of the population who have never heard of rickrolling or been rickrolled. When I rickroll’d my 25 friends, only three had even heard of it before.
How to Rickroll
Should you exist in a population of freshly unrickrolled people and wish to try your hand at the internet’s most famous prank, here’s how you do it.
Go to a site called tinyurl.com (or any web redirector for that matter. Tinyurl is easiest though). Type in: http://www. (your name) .rickrolld.me/ into the subject field. Then choose what you want the URL to be converted to.
So if your name is John Smith, convert http://www.johnsmith.rickrolld.me/ into www.tinyurl/secretsoftheacaiberry.com. Now you’re set. Give the new link to your friends and watch them scratch their heads in bafflement over your apparent computer wizardry.
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