Brexit Campaign Trolled With Fake Vote Leave Site

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

On June 23rd Britain will have a referendum on wheter to stay in or leave the European Union. Britons looking for more information on the arguments of the 'Vote Leave' camp might think they could find it at, or perhaps or even now that it has been designated as the official Brexit campaign.

But all they will find there is a redirect to this video of Rick Astley's 1987 hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up", often used when tricking people into clicking on a fake link (a.k.a. Rickrolling):

The reason? Check out this Facebook post by Mario Van Poppel, a Belgian expat living in the United Kingdom where he runs a site called Leftovercurrency together with his wife:


I registered the domain name a few months ago, because I guessed the Brexit campaign might be called ‪#‎VoteLeave‬. Today we learned that VoteLeave is the designated Brexit campaign. .com .org ... all redirect to Rick Astley

Never gonna give EU up!

This link documents how many people are being RickRolled (stats live from today - humble beginnings)

In a conversation with Lead Stories Van Poppel told us he received some very good feedback so far, including several suggestions to do something different with the domains. He was stil thinking about it and talking to a few people but Van Poppel said it is likely a real site or cartoon or list of arguments will appear in the future as the date of the referendum draws nearer.

In the mean time, people looking for the real 'Vote Leave' site can find it here:

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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