Rickrolling is a prank and Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up" written and produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman known as Stock Aitken Waterman. The meme is a classic bait and switch: a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but the link actually takes the user to the Astley video. The URL can be masked or obfuscated in some manner so that the user cannot determine the true source of the link without clicking (and thus satisfying their curiosity). By extension, it can also mean playing the song loudly in public in order to be disruptive. A person who falls for the prank is said to be "rickrolled".
The practice began as a variant of an earlier prank originating from the imageboard 4chan called duckrolling, in which a link to a popular celebrity or news item would instead lead to a photoshopped picture of a duck with wheels.
By May 2007, the practice had become widespread, and it eventually began to garner some coverage in the mainstream media. An April 2008 poll by SurveyUSA estimated that at least 18 million American adults have been rickrolled. Partly fueled by the Rickroll phenomenon, Astley's former record company RCA Records is now planning to release a Greatest Hits album.
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