Rickrolling, the popular bait-and-switch internet meme where users are tricked into clicking on hyperlinks that promise to lead to the topic at hand, but instead take the victim to a music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up, has typically been practiced by the more jovial members of the internet community.
Sure, Astley himself performed a live version of a Rickroll at the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but that was still very much in keeping with the spirit of the event.
So when the official Whitehouse Twitter account performs a Rickroll of its own, just how seriously are we meant to take it?
The prank took place while the @WhiteHouse profile was conducting an online debate about the decidedly-unfunny US debt and budget negotiations. The chat was grouped around the #WHchat hashtag, and @WhiteHouse noticed a message from one David Wiggs.
And responded accordingly:
The shortened Tinyurl link sent David – and everyone else who clicked on it – to the Never Gonna Give You Up video on YouTube.
David took the joke in good spirits as did most of Twitter, although some did question whether it was an appropriate response from the White House, which has over 2.3 million followers.
Rickrolling dates back to May 2007, and Astley’s video has now clocked up over 35 million views on YouTube, almost entirely because of the meme.