The nickname for a method of pranking whereby people will post a link to something but the link actually goes to a You Tube video of Rick Astley's song "I'm Never Gonna Give You Up." Also known as an Internet meme, "Rickrolling" is a bait-and-switch because the URL can be masked so that the user cannot determine the true source of the link without first clicking on it. Once a person clicks on the link and is led to the web page, he or she is said to have been "Rickrolled".
This term can also refer to playing the song loudly in public in order to be disruptive.
The practice is said to have begun as an earlier prank originating from the imageboard 4chan and was called duckrolling. A user was "duckrolled" once he or she clicked on a link (such as a picture or news item) and would instead be taken to a thread or a website containing an edited picture of a duck on wheels. The first instance of Rickroll occurred on the site's video game board, where a link to the Rick Astley video was claimed to be a mirror of the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV (which was unavailable due to heavy traffic). The joke was confined to 4chan for a very brief period and then spread virally, becoming an Internet phenomenon. An April 2008 poll by SurveyUSA estimated that at least 18 million American adults have been Rickrolled.
For more examples, including the classic April Fools' Day 2008 Rickroll pranks, search for this term on Wikipedia below!
NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon
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