MEL Magazine: An Oral History of Rickrolling. “Rickrolling is a bait-and-switch prank where someone posts a link that seems relevant to whatever discussion they’re having, but then the link redirects to Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’ The prank of doing a bait-and-switch on 4chan is one of the oldest pastimes of the site.”
MakeUseOf: How to Grab Someone’s Attention by Sending Full Screen Messages. “Ever needed to send a message to someone online and really wanted to get your point across? They might ignore a simple direct message on Slack, and an email might sit in their inbox for days. You need another way. If you’re looking for an alternative to get someone’s attention, why not try a full screen message? Through a simple service called BigAssMessage, you can easily make this a reality. Let’s take a look at it.” Simple and LOUD. Might use this to remind my husband when it’s time to roll the garbage cans out.
New York Times: Filling Oreo With Toothpaste Earns YouTube Prankster a Jail Sentence. “It was a humiliating video that fueled outrage on social media. A YouTube prankster filmed himself offering a homeless man in Barcelona an Oreo cookie filled with toothpaste rather than cream. Now, the prankster, known as ReSet to his followers on YouTube but whose real name is Kanghua Ren, has been handed a 15-month prison sentence and must pay 20,000 euros, or about $22,300, compensation to his victim.”
CNET: YouTube updates guidelines to address dangerous pranks, challenges. “The Google-owned video-sharing site said Tuesday it had updated its community guidelines to clarify that content containing pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury violate YouTube policy prohibiting content that encourages violence or dangerous activities. The updated policy comes amid a spate of Bird Box challenges, in which participants go around wearing blindfolds.”
Vox: Inside Venezuela’s YouTube prank economy. “Venezuela makes sense as the epicenter for paid pranks. The country is in shambles — saddled with a rapidly atrophying economy and a penniless government. Inflation has risen by an incomprehensible 833,997 percent in the past 12 months, and the commercial consequences are outright dystopian. For instance, the Guardian reports that a chicken in the country currently costs about 14 million bolívares. Naturally, some Venezuelans have turned elsewhere — like the loose pockets of bored American teenagers — to make ends meet. Slime stunts and pie stunts don’t require a ton of overhead, and Betsy doesn’t hold back when I ask her how Fiverr contributes to her overall livelihood.”
Tubefilter: Barcelona-Based YouTuber Faces Prison For Pranking Homeless Man With Doctored Oreos. “If you thought YouTube pranks had already revealed the lowest levels of human decency, prepare to be stunned: a Barcelona-based YouTuber named Kanghua Ren is in serious trouble with the law after carrying out a prank in which he filled Oreo cookies with toothpaste and fed them to an unsuspecting homeless man on camera.”
CNET: April Fools’ Day 2018: Web pranks already off and running. “Are you on your toes? You need to be. With April Fools’ Day almost here, plenty of companies are trying to pull fast ones on us all. The April Fools’ Day timing is particularly weird this year since it falls on Easter Sunday. Companies looking to make a splash before everybody is distracted by Easter egg hunts and chocolate are rolling out their hijinks on the early side.” I loathe early April Fool jokes.