Last week Bumble was “RickRolled” by someone. First and foremost this isn’t the first time it’s happened to Bumble. Secondly, it occurred to Bumble that millions of innocent people are still vulnerable to this horrible internet phenomenon. Most of you don’t even know what it is, let alone how to prevent yourself from being victimized.
Some of us might not even know if we have been RickRolled. So we’ll start with an explanation.
What is RickRolling?
RickRolling is a classic bait and switch prank where you are sent an innocent looking link expecting to visit a harmless website. Instead, you end up with the 23 year old Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up” blasting from your speakers. Really Bumble cannot make this stuff up!
Was I RickRolled?
If you have ever clicked on a link that looked legit and instead been taken to watch Rick Astley sing and dance, then yes you have been RickRolled!
Side Effects Of Being RickRolled
Side effects may include:
- Having “Never Gonna Give You Up” stuck on repeat in your brain’s me-pod for days.
- A sense of shame or feeling of betrayal for having been tricked.
- A loss of self esteem and possibly guilt for having enjoyed the tune.
Consequences to Uber Geeks and Internet Savvy People
The repercussions are even more severe and devastating to people that are familiar with the phenomenon. In the world of geeks, fooling someone into a good RickRoll is the equivalent of “made ya look”, “two for flinching”, or counting coup on a bear. It can escalate between colleagues and lead to hurt feelings and slap fights where both pasty nerds are winded but otherwise unhurt. Since most geeks are already pretty low on the social hierarchy, many take great pride in NOT being RickRolled. Bumble was going on two months of avoiding being RickRolled until the other day when he was fooled by someone he previously trusted. Bumble will not mention Joel’s name here to protect Joel’s anonymity. But if it is the last thing Bumble does in his ninth life he will humble you! Death to you! ahem… You see how it can get.
How did this insanity start?
Unbelievably Rick Astley didn’t start it. Though he has become somewhat of an icon from it. Rick has been very cool about it and in fact participated in some live RickRolls! Way to have a sense of humor about yourself buddy!
The prank most likely originated in 2007 when as a mutated form of “duckrolling”. Duckrolling was an earlier prank in which you sent a random link to a video that had something to do with ducks. The first instance of RickRolling seems to be in 2007, when someone posted a link on a video game discussion board which claimed to be the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV. Obviously, since the target was uber geeks looking to see the trailer for a 4th edition stupid video game, one can see how this spread so quickly on the interwebs. Uber geeks are notorious for their lack of immunity to “going viral”.
How do I prevent myself from becoming a victim?
Sadly, it is very difficult. Most “rollers” will mask the link they send you so that it looks like something else altogether. For instance, the YouTube link itself to the Astley video looks like this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ. So there isn’t much of a give away there. It looks harmless enough. Maybe it’s just some kittens falling down a sliding board.
Please tell Bumble you did not just RickRoll yourself? Oh lord we have a lot of work to do.
To compound the deception, the link can be inserted into a web page in disguise like this. Click here, Bumble swears it is not a RickRoll.
Come on really? Some of you fell for that too? Bumble is trying to help you here! Help Bumble help you!
Finally since the uber geeks know better than to click on any YouTube link, and know the secret of hovering over a link to see where it leads, a more dastardly deception was cultivated.
The third and most evil trick is the short link or masked URL. This can be accomplished with a mod rewrite (only uber geeks should attempt this). However, it can also be accomplished by pasting any link into a web page like TinyURL.com. TinyURL will create a “shortlink” redirect for you that you can use to hide the true address. For example, the Astley YouTube link when pasted into TinyURL looks like this… http://tinyurl.com/y8ufsnp
You can also enter an alias at TinyURL and get something like this… http://tinyurl.com/HarmlessKittens.
So as you can see, it is virtually impossible to prevent yourself from being RickRolled. Which brings Bumble to the healing process.
The Two Steps to Recovering from a RickRoll
It can be quite embarrassing to be a victim. Here are some things to remember as you try to recover from being RickRolled.
Step One: You are not alone!
Over 25,000,000 people have visited the Astley video on YouTube. Almost none were voluntary! Some very famous and supposedly smart people are also in recovery. A partial list is below.
- Protestors of the Church of Scientology
- Eastern Washington University was RickRolled prior to game in 2008.
- The New York Mets!
- Customers of ThinkGeek.com (one of Bumble’s favorite places to shop). ThinkGeek actually put an ad on their home page for a “Betamax to HD DVD converter” which was instead a RickRoll. Ha! Love those guys.
The list goes on and on. Below is Bumble’s favorite RickRoll of all time! A wise-cracker at Fox News got Big Poppa Bill O’Reilly! It’s even funnier because poor Bill O’Reilly has no idea what is going on.
Step Two: Seek Revenge…
No self respecting recovery program would be complete without advising vengeance. Remember, revenge is best served cold. So be patient my minions. When the time is right, there is only one proper retaliation to being RickRolled.
Introducing the Bumble Roll! Are you ready Joel? Like El Chupacabra in the night, it is coming for you!!!
To Bumble Roll someone, send them this link:
If you or someone you love suffers from having been RickRolled, please join SERRF (Society to End Rick Rolling Forever). A portion of the proceeds goes to those suffering from Post Traumatic Rick Roll Syndrome.