Original ‘Rickroll’ video removal a mistake, Google says


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The Internet was a scary place for a few hours Wednesday. The original video of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was inadvertently removed from YouTube, ‘due to terms of use violation.’ And both the blogosphere and Twitter were up in arms.

Typically, when an awful song from the 1980s containing ridiculous dance moves gets taken down from YouTube, it wouldn’t matter. But Rick Astley’s now-famous tune was the subject of an Internet ‘meme’ (a viral sharing of Web content from one person to another) last year, called ‘Rickrolling.’


The idea behind Rickrolling is simple: Pretend to send someone to an interesting website, only to direct them to Rick Astley’s video. It’s a fun gag that swept across the Web in 2009 and attracted major media attention.

Prior to the takedown, the video was viewed more than 30 million times, making it one of the most popular videos on YouTube.

Once folks started noticing that the video had been removed from YouTube, they responded with mixed reactions. Twitter exploded with angry messages from users wondering why YouTube would take the video down now, months after the Rickrolling craze lost steam. Others were happy to see it go, unwittingly telling the world that they were probably victims of the gag on more than one occasion.

But just when many of us lost hope that Rickrolling would ever return, Google issued a statement saying that it had mistakenly removed the video after some YouTube users flagged it as spam. The company immediately placed the video back on its site, which means Rickrolling lives on -- both in the hearts of Web users and on YouTube. Phew.

Oh, and check out this really cool site I found while searching around. Click on it. Go ahead. You’ll like it.

--Don Reisinger