UPDATED: Today, the Internet felt a great disturbance in the Force. As if hundreds of Internet n00bs suddenly were told “hah, have you seen this awesome link, you gotta click here!” — but were suddenly silenced.
The blog Neowin.com was one of the first to catch that the original “Rick Roll” video (to which unsuspecting web users would be sent as a joke by so-called “friends”) has been removed from YouTube (s GOOG).
As uploaded by YouTube user YouGotRickRolled, this version of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up video had been online, per our 2008 History of Rick Rolling, since May 28, 2007, racking up 30 million views over its merry years of pranking. Even the disabling of embedding — a common move to keep copyright holders happy — couldn’t stop its popularity.
Given the fact that there are still tons of versions of the video on the site (none of which are making the songwriters any money), it’s more likely that a choice made by the user infringed upon YouTube’s TOS. In the meantime, if you have an urge to do some vintage web pranking, Vevo is here to help you out.
The death of the Rick Roll has been declared several times over — in fact, one of those times was even the work of YouTube, when an April Fools’ 2008 prank replaced every video on the front page with a link to Mr. Astley’s crooning. But whether you mislead a friend with Mr. Astley’s soulful voice or some other random video amusement, the web is still a relatively safe place for pranking.
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