Prosecutor to 4Chan Founder: Please Explain the Meaning of "Rickroll"

By Joseph Calamia | August 11, 2010 2:48 pm

pooleWhen a Tennessee man hacked Sarah Palin’s e-mail account and wrote of his exploits on the forum 4chan, federal investigators asked the site’s founder Christopher “Moot” Poole for server logs. Court testimony from April and published yesterday shows that federal prosecutors had other pressing questions for Poole: for example, the meaning of “peeps” and “rickroll.”

Assistant to the U.S. Attorney Mark Krotoski questions Poole:

Q. Certain terms, have a meaning unique to 4chan?
A. Yes.

Q. Like “OP,” what is “OP”?
A. OP means original poster.

Q. Are you familiar these terms, having been the founder and administrator of the 4chan site?
A. Yes.

Q. What would “lurker” mean?
A. Somebody who browses but does not post, does not contribute.

Q. What do the words “caps” mean?
A. Screenshots.

Q. And is there any significance to “new fags”?
A. That is the term used to describe new users to the site.

Q. What about “b tard”?
A. It’s a term that users of the /b/- Random board use for themselves.

Q. What about “troll”?
A. Troublemaker.

Q. “404”?
A. 404 is the status code for not found. It means essentially gone or not found.

Q. Not found on where, the 4chan site?
A. 404 is the http status code for not found, a page not found by the Web server.

Q. In what about “peeps”?
A. People.

Q. “Rickroll”?
A. Rickroll is a mean [sic] or Internet kind of trend that started on 4chan where users — it basically a bait and switch. Users link you to a video of Rick Astley performing Never Gonna Give You Up.

Bonus humor points for the fact that the court reporter had apparently never heard the word “meme” before. The story went viral yesterday; we found it on Gawker’s Valleywag and the complete testimony on The Smoking Gun. Apologies to those hoping to find a reference to LOLcats: relevancy?

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Image: flickr /Andrew Dupont

  • Rhacodactylus

    Thanks god he just had to explain “Rick-Roll” and not “Meat-Spin”

  • pinkocommie

    Q. Can you please explain ‘goatse’?
    A. Ummm…no.

  • Yllaria

    Just a quibble – most of those aren’t “unique to 4chan”, they’re used in any number of forums.

    • Phucka PhaceBuuk

      although they were “started” there.. so in a way, yes

  • Niger Negro

    Q. I don’t know how to tri-force. Can you tell me how?
    A. THE GAME. You newfag!

  • DarthClam

    Q. How do I triforce?
    A. Delete system 32…

  • pheldespat

    Q. What about “CP”?
    A. Captain Pickard, a very famous meme due to his epic facepalms

    Q. “Pedobear”?
    A. A lovely Mexican bear who loves little children. His original name was “Pedrobear”.

    Q. “Over 9000”?
    A. The number of irrelevant questions you have asked me.

  • Richard

    That could’ve gone much worse if they tried some other common memes. For example some of the above…

  • Star Carlton

    Sometimes a lurker becomes an op but becomes a troll among the /b/ peeps – an we ain’t 404ing that crap.

  • Hefty zinklewobler

    Q.How do you make a post using an iPod touch?
    A.uhh… Anyone?

  • Nigeraid

    do you know how to lock the more controversial threads?


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