YouTube Blocks Original RickRoll Video

Rick Astley Billboard 2014
Bernd Muller/Redferns

Rick Astley

Rick Astley, you said you wouldn't desert us.

YouTube has restricted access to a seven-year-old video upload that spawned the still-popular RickRoll meme, in which people trick others into watching Astley shimmy in his cheesy "Never Gonna Give You Up" clip.

Simply titled "RickRoll'D," the video was uploaded by YouTube user cotter548 and has amassed nearly 71 million views. It has been blocked by YouTube in several countries, including the United States. 

The video-sharing giant did not immediately respond to request for comment on the takedown, which happened once before, albeit briefly, in 2012. Astley has not commented on YouTube's actions, though since he did not write the hit song, he likely would not have played a role in its removal. RCA released the track, co-written by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman.

"Never" spent 23 weeks on the Hot 100 in 1987 and 1988, hitting the top spot. Rickrolling the meme got its start ten years later when Internet users started pulling a bait and switch on friends by claiming to list a relevant link to something but instead it takes you to Astley.

It quickly went viral and recipients over the years have included the Church of Scientology, the MTV Europe Music Awards, the New York Mets, MIT, and countless radio listeners. Even the White House roll'd a bored town hall attendee in 2011, and Astley himself popped out of an obnoxious float to Rickroll the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade in 2008.