The White House Was Feeling Playful Wednesday

A merry prankster tricked a complainer with an old internet joke.

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Today the White House's twitter account held a chat with the 2.3 million people who follow it. Anyone could ask questions about the debt ceiling filed under the #WHchat hashtag, and the person behind the White House account would answer them. The whole chat can be read here. At the end, a man named David Wiggs tweeted, "This WH correspondence briefing isn't nearly as entertaining as yesterday's." The White House retweeted it, and then responded. "Fiscal policy is important, but can be dry sometimes," they explained. They then offered something "more fun."

They rickrolled the guy.

For the uninitiated, rickrolling is one of the oldest pranks on the internet. You send someone a link and tell them it's a youtube video of, say, a Battleship trailer. When they click through, it's actually a music video for Rick Astley's one hit wonder "Never Gonna Give You Up." The link is usually masked or shortened, so it's impossible to tell what it actually is.

As The Guardian explains:

"Rickrolling" is a prank that began on the 4chan message board (originally called duckrolling, as the link would lead to a picture of a duck on wheels); the first use to link to the Astley video came under the guise of being a secret trailer for the then-unreleased Grand Theft Auto IV. It then spread from 4chan and took off with Twitter in 2008 as huge numbers of people joined the service: the necessity of using shortened links for the 140-character service meant you could obscure their destination - and so hold out a tantalising treat that instead turned out to be Rick Astley singing.

The British newspaper even got in on the fun. After framing their story around the White House finding time to have some fun amidst the debt ceiling disaster, they reported at the bottom that, "the deadline for the debt ceiling inched closer on Wednesday night - leading to a dramatic intervention."

Click on the link. We dare you.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.