- T.I. publicly apologizes to daughters after Kobe Bryant’s death Tuesday 8:46 PM
- ‘Squash the boss’: Labor union seemingly unknowingly posted furry fetish art Tuesday 8:04 PM
- TikTok user pretending to be lab technician who has contracted coronavirus Tuesday 7:08 PM
- Caroline Calloway says she plans to campaign for Bernie Sanders Tuesday 6:23 PM
- Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, millions of others sign petition to make Kobe Bryant new NBA logo Tuesday 5:39 PM
- No, Lana Del Rey did not cry because Billie Eilish won album of the year Tuesday 4:48 PM
- People are exposing their eyeballs to phone flash for this TikTok challenge Tuesday 3:55 PM
- Watch Mike Bloomberg try to shake a dog’s mouth Tuesday 3:41 PM
- ‘Rey who?’ is the funniest meme to emerge from ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Tuesday 3:30 PM
- AI beat the CDC to the punch on coronavirus warnings Tuesday 3:21 PM
- What exactly is a ‘large boulder the size of a small boulder’? Tuesday 2:49 PM
- Mom of ‘Success Kid’ says Steve King can’t use her son’s meme for ‘repulsive’ campaign Tuesday 2:00 PM
- Jake Paul can’t escape Logan Paul’s shadow—even if that loyalty has hurt his career Tuesday 1:13 PM
- Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning ‘Dear Basketball’ is now available to stream for free (updated) Tuesday 12:21 PM
- ‘Joker’ ad compares Todd Phillips to Gandhi Tuesday 12:10 PM
In 2008, YouTube trolled all of us when it changed every video on its homepage into a Rickroll. Ten years later, Rickrolling is a productive display of citizen activism as users are being redirected to Vote.org, where they can register to vote.
This time around, have been “Rickrolling for a purpose” in recent days. Using the allure of celebrity, folks are posting clickbait headlines like “Wow I can’t believe this is why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson split up,” and embedding registration links instead.
“Like any good Twitter meme, I stole it,” he wrote. He posted a link to the post that got him the first time, a fake news tweet about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian having a divorce.
Welp...it’s official...Kim Kardashian finally decided to divorce Kanye West... https://t.co/C2p25mxWJO— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) October 12, 2018
Charmed by the unique approach to voter engagement, he seized the opportunity for productive trolling when he saw the Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson story taking over Twitter. He carefully crafted his tweet to pop up when people searched their breakup, and it quickly gained momentum. Within hours it was all over Twitter, with people like Ashton Kutcher and Bill Simmons jumping on board, and retweeting it.
Clever punk— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) October 16, 2018
Incredible https://t.co/2InT0Bq5NB— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 16, 2018
They aren’t the only ones. Hundreds of people followed Cigelske’s example, tweeting links with enticing headlines to draw people in.
holy shit— Seinfeld Current Day (@Seinfeld2000) October 17, 2018
NBC is actualy bringing seinfeld backhttps://t.co/1afm0s6UpU
According to his Medium post, Cigelske’s link now has over 2 million clicks. He claims that if only 1 percent of the people clicking on the story actually registered, that is still 20,500 new voters.
If this act of humanitarian Rickrolling gets more people registered and ready to head to the polls, we should all be grateful for the meme.
- Democratic senator apologizes for ad that misidentified, outed sexual assault victims
- Why the Election Day bomber wanted America to adopt sortition
- Tech companies disclose ad spending, but it’s still a nightmare to track
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.