It lives! It lives! Original 'Rickroll' video returns to YouTube!

Source of one of the Internet’s most famous memes had gone missing, but …

It was almost as though someone had stolen the Mona Lisa from Graceland: Grim reports dotted the Internet this morning with news that the original "Rickroll" video clip on YouTube - viewed more than 30 million times and source of almost that many instances of gotcha hilarity - had been removed, presumably by the money-grubbing music barons at Sony/BMG.

And it was indeed gone: Pop singer Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" had been replaced by a notice reading: "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation."

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The disappearance was first reported in this blog post:

The Interwebs came together in a collective gasp on Wednesday as it was discovered that YouTube removed the original "Rickroll" video that has clocked up 30 million views to date.

For those not familiar with the term "Rickroll" or "Rickrolling", it's a famous Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up". The phenomenon began at Internet image board 4chan and soon spread more widely. Internet users typically send the URL of the video to another user and the practice results in the person being "Rickrolled."

While the clip was MIA, I had contacted the public relations departments of YouTube and its owner Google in an effort to get an explanation. Here is Google's reply, which made precious little sense to me before discovering the video was back ... and to be truthful, still doesn't.

With 20 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube, we count on our community members to know our Community Guidelines and to flag content they believe violates them. We review all flagged content quickly, and if we find that a video does violate the guidelines, we remove it, on average in under an hour. We also have a team that is dedicated to identifying and removing spam from YouTube.  Occasionally, a video flagged by users or identified by our spam team is mistakenly taken down. When this is brought to our attention, we review the content and take appropriate action, including restoring video or videos that had been removed.

I asked for a clarification, but was told they couldn't get more specific, and to make of the statement what I will. So I'm thinking that's Google's way of saying it was a mistake of some kind.

Didn't matter much anyway, because between e-mails I noticed that the clip had been restored to its rightful place on YouTube.

Whatever the explanation, the Internet is rejoicing, witness these comment on the now restored YouTube clip:

"It's back! YAY!"

"There was an empty void in my life while this video was gone."

And, naturally:

"Oh well, It's about time I got rick rolled this month."

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