The song's campy music video became the basis of an Internet phenomenon known as "rickrolling". It took its name from a 4chan meme known as "duckrolling", a prank in which someone would post a blind link to a post, allegedly relevant to the discussion, that upon viewing would prove to be a non sequitur - specifically, an image of a duck on wheels. Similarly, in a rickroll a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand which actually takes the user to the Rick Astley video. By May 2007 the practice had become widespread, and it eventually began to receive some coverage in the mainstream media.
"Never Gonna Give You Up" has been used as a theme in the protests against Scientology. In connection with the online phenomenon, "Never Gonna Give You Up" was played and performed at some of the Project Chanology February 2008 protests against the Church of Scientology. At February 10, 2008 protests in New York City, Washington, D.C., London, Edinburgh and Seattle, protesters played the song through boomboxes and shouted the phrase "Never gonna let you down!", in what The Guardian called "a live rick-rolling of the Church of Scientology". In response to a website created by Scientologists showing an anti-Anonymous video, Project Chanology participants created a website with a similar domain name with a video displaying the music video to "Never Gonna Give You Up".
On March 15, 2008, a womens basketball game at Eastern Washington University was rickrolled. At a women’s basketball game at Eastern Washington University on March 8, 2008, student Pawl Fisher organized a rickroll of the game. "Never Gonna Give You Up" was blasted through the gym, while actor Davin Perry danced dressed in the attire worn by Astley from the music video to the song. Fisher told The New York Times: "I want people to rickroll even bigger events, like the Super Bowl I hope people do it better than I did."
weekly internet phenomenoms explained!