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Teen Feels Really Bad About Rickrolling Vine

Photo: Twitter

Vine rolled out its Android version early yesterday, but the real Internet rite of passage didn’t occur until the afternoon, when an intrepid teen Rickroll’d the six-second-video-sharing app.

Developer Will Smidlein, 16, was messing around with the app yesterday when he decided to confuse his friends by hacking Vine and creating a post that lasted longer than six seconds, he wrote in a blog post. Once he figured out how, he used his powers for good and posted what any self-respecting Internet-loving teen would: Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Read More

Meme Studies

Meet Shawn Cotter, the Man Behind the Rickroll

(Photo: YouTube)

On May 15, 2007, a then-19-year-old YouTube user named Shawn Cotter–employing the handle “cotter548”–uploaded the music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up,” intending to troll some of his fellow gaming cohorts on 4chan. Mr. Cotter, who was serving in the Air Force in South Korea at the time, linked to the video under the pretense that it was a new trailer for Grand Theft Auto: IV. But as that now-familiar drum cadence faded in and the caption “You just got Rickroll’d” floated across the screen, users discovered they weren’t watching a video game trailer at all.

The digital bait-and-switch of Rickrolling was born, and 4chan was not amused.

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