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The duckroll originated in the mid-2000s on 4chan as a response to a world filter moot had put on the site. In an interview with TechCrunch, he explained that he set up a filter to change the word “egg” to “duck.” Whenever someone posted the word “eggroll,” it was changed to “duckroll.” After seeing the filter in action, users started posting links to an image of a duck with wooden wheels as a bait and switch, advertising the link to be to an exciting post.
Duckroll was added to Urban Dictionary on January 4th, 2007. The first duckroll video was posted to YouTube on the same day by shinigamiwolfen. It is four and a half minutes of a still image of a mallard duck with truck tires instead of feet while DarkMateria’s “The Picard Song” plays in the background.
Users would then post bait and switch links to the video. This was the antecedent to users linking to Rick Astley’s video for Never Gonna Give You Up.
Search for “duckroll” peaked in April 2008, due to YouTube’s April Fools Day Rickroll prank executed that month.