Rickroll prank featuring Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry goes viral overnight

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On April 1st, we published our annual April Fools’ article, in which we claimed that Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry had come together to form a new supergroup called Steel Harmony. We announced that their debut single, “Metal Lullabies,” was now available. The article quickly gained traction, and as of today, it has received over 81,000 visits. More than 61,000 people clicked on the video link, which led them directly to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by English singer Rick Astley.

In short, thousands upon thousands of people were (intentionally) rickrolled. We use the term “intentionally” because many readers checked out the article knowing it was a joke of course.

We’re sorry

However, we received a single email from a fan of all three bands who was extremely disappointed that the news was an April Fools’ prank. This individual sent us a very, very angry email. We sincerely apologize, Scott, for the distress we caused.

For the sake of transparency, we’ve included the anonymized email below, with spelling and grammar errors corrected: “As a fan of Ministry, Nails, and Rammstein, your article about the groups’ merger, which linked to the Rick Astley video, was the most ridiculous prank idea—if that’s what you’d call it. If this is your standard of musical value to the world, you should hire karaoke DJs to write your articles. While you’re engaging in such nonsense, why not write and post an exposé arguing that Miley Cyrus had her song ‘Jolene’ stolen from her by Dolly Parton? At least now everyone knows that you’re nothing more than a colossal jerk, and like Biden, nobody should take anything you say seriously.”

Once again, we apologize.

What is Rickrolling exactly?

Rickrolling, or a Rickroll, is an internet meme that involves the surprise appearance of the music video for the 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up” by English singer Rick Astley. This video has amassed over 1 billion views on YouTube. The meme functions as a bait-and-switch tactic, typically employing a disguised hyperlink redirecting users to the music video. When individuals click on an apparently unrelated link, they are taken to the video instead of the expected content, and in doing so, they are “Rickrolled.”

The phenomenon of Rickrolling began to gain mainstream attention in 2008. A SurveyUSA poll from April 2008 estimated that at least 18 million US adults had been rickrolled that year alone. Since then, the number of ‘victims’ has only continued to grow, reaching hundreds of millions.

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