Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not Addicts

November 26, 2008 -

The recent, high-profile Brandon Crisp tragedy once again brought the debate over video game dependency to the forefront. But, does obsessive video game play necessarily equal addiction?

Not according to Keith Bakker (left), the founder of the Smith & Jones Centre in Amsterdam, Europe’s first and only clinic to treat game addiction. After running Smith & Jones for two years, Bakker has concluded that compulsive gaming is a social problem, not a psychological one.

Bakker told the BBC

These kids come in showing some kind of symptoms that are similar to other addictions and chemical dependencies.  But the more we work with these kids the less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers - this is a social problem.

Eighty per cent of the young people we see have been bullied at school and feel isolated. Many of the symptoms they have can be solved by going back to good old fashioned communication...

If I continue to call gaming an addiction it takes away the element of choice these people have.  It's a complete shift in my thinking and also a shift in the thinking of my clinic and the way it treats these people. 

In response to these observations, the clinic has altered its treatment program to help compulsive gamers develop “activity-based social and communications skills to help them rejoin society.”

Bakker feels that his clinic may no longer be needed if “parents and adults in the community took more responsibility for the habits of their children.”

Via: gamesindustry.biz

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics correspondent Andrew Eisen typed this story with his left hand while playing Wii Tennis with his right.


Comments

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Might be a little late to reply, but I wasn't saying anything about GP posters, just that I was referring to the article and not replying to anyone above. I just didn't want people to think I was talking about the guy who'd posted above me or something like that.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Can you say video games... The scapegoat to all our problems.

Rich guys in the back ground say with a snobby voice, "Here, here."

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I believe I've been making the same mistake as the guy in the article.  I've been calling this behavior "addiction," but I've also believed most of it was based on social issues the child/person was suffering.  After reading the article, I realize that "addiction" probably isn't the right diagnosis for obsessive gaming.

Still, there may be a few cases where it is genuine addiction.  We just can't use the term as a blanket excuse for all obsessive gamers.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

@ Jack,

I am not going to point at you and tell you that you are a bad person for not liking video games.  You shouldn't point at me and tell me I am a bad person for playing those games.  As the Bible reads, judge yeah not for God is the judge of you, and DON'T WORRY OF THINGS OF THIS WORLD.  I know you have your own values, but Jesus nor God would ever force you to not sin.  God gave of a free choice, not a choice to take from the free.  You said that you want to keep games that are unsuitable for children away from them, but the bible say that THE PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OWN CHILDREN.  Pride is an ugly thing.  Pride keeps us from listening.  Pride keeps us away from God.  I feel that your time spent on here harasing gamers could be spent better some place else.  IMO, THE WAY I SEE IT, VIOLENCE IN OUR NATION HAS DECREASED SINCE THE GAMING MARKET HAS BEEN GETTING BIGGER.  Did you read that report by the FBI?  Anyway, violence in people are caused more  by social, parent, and spouse problems than video games ever could.  People are screwed up in the head, but most gamers know where to take out there fustrations... VIDEO GAMES.  Video games did not cause the Nazi's to kill those Jews.  Video games did not cause America to use slaves for monitary gain.  Video games did not cause drunk drivers to run into other drivers.  Video games did not cause tabaccoo companies to sell all those products to kids.  But video games have caused kids to stay off the street, not do drugs, not rob people, and not go crazy.  If that's not good enough for you, what other means would you suggest kids do on the weekend when their friends are off getting high, drinking, and getting knocked up, while the "bad" kids are at home playing a video games where they are safe?

If you are not going to read this, thats your choice...  Just remember, "Thats PRIDE fucking with you... Fuck PRIDE." ...Pulp Fiction

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Finally, someone with a freaking brain around here.

(In response to the article itself, not anyone above)

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

What are you saying about GP posters?

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I'd just like to say that me being interested in Videogames has had nothing to do with anything wrong in my life.

In fact it was because I love to play videogames that has made my life better.

I have become more stronger and able enough to cope though hard times even when kids were picking on me in school I have become more stronger and still communicated with people because I love videogames so much I wanted to talk about them to people who are willing to listen to what I had to say about the good things about videogames.

No matter how bad the news is, or how much politicians and certain disbarred laywers try to destroy the industry or make me sad about being a gamer, it just makes me more stronger that I have to talk about videogames in the way I feel so people in my local community would get a feeling from someone who has played videogames and so they know that there is nothing wrong with them.

I am allot more stronger now because I am a gamer, and I don't give a stuff about what those anti-gamers say.

Besides, if you have not even played a single Videogame, then you don't know stuff all about videogames in the first place and not suitable to even show your face on TV pretending to be a videogame expert if you have never even played a single videogame.

TBoneTony

TBoneTony

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I see that Jacky Boy's crying like a baby again over somebody posting something about him.

Likes dishing out insults, yet can't take it when he gets insulted back.

If he'd practice what he preached about growing up and getting a life, he wouldn't have gotten disbarred. Cold Hard Fact.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I will write that down, thanks.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

an easy way to remove text formatting from copying stuff from the web is to paste it in Notepad and then copy what you just pasted. I do that whenever I quote news articles and the like

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

That also works.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

That's what default happened when I coppied text to and from a word file for an easy spell check.  It seemed like something that wasn't worth fixing.  Does it really bother you that the letters are slightly larger?

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Bother's a couple people, while I'm just saying it's a bad idea.

And a tip. The text here is normally 11-point Verdana. For your next copypasta from text.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Love the irony here.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I use copypasta when I do a 24-point FacePalm. Knowing the size of normal text on here helps me revert the font and size to normal.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

So... ignoring all the stuff posted below it that is completely off topic...

I like this article.  I think it shows someone who really wanted to help kids, came into it with a perception that gaming was the problem, and then realized that wasn't the case.  It takes a lot to admit you are wrong and it would probably be easy enough for this treatment center to just keep on doing what they had been doing.  Instead they realized that the problems these kids were having came from a different place and they admitted it and adjusted to it.  It shows a commitment to actually helping people with their problems.

Sure a lot of people here have been saying that it's not the games but the home and the world that are causing kids problems but that doesn't make a lot of headlines.  This doctor chose the less glamorous path that might actually make a difference for people and that's a nice thing to hear.

EDIT: alessandra, I just read your comment, that's a bit disturbing.  I'm going to choose to give the doctor the benefit of the doubt for now.  I guess time will tell if he's just another media whore or if he's actually in the business of helping people.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Keith Bakker is not a doctor, he is an ex heroin addict and former alcoholic who started a clinic for people with drugs and alcohol addictions, which in itself might have been a noble deed. However, him getting involved in what he calls game addiction feels a little bit like a publicity stunt.

PS: His views on how bad games are for kids/people have not made him particular popular within the Dutch games industry

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Your screen name also describes your posting big. To be honest, I don't see a point in posting that big.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Dude you have no room to talk. None what so ever. Next time I see a huge facepalm I'll copy and paste your own words as a quote.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Good luck. I don't post over 24-point anymore. Turns out EZK doesn't like text being over 36-point. (I use 24-point max to be safe.) In this guy's case, though, turns out it was a mess-up in the text.

In other news, I gave him a helpful tip to correct the problem that did it this time in future.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

What I can't believe that THE John Bruce "Jack" Thompson actually posts on this site...? Wow... the stuff he comes out with is... like...

See? I can't even find words to describe it either.

Hi, I'm Cutetei and this my first post (I think) about John Bruce "Jack" Thompson.

Hey Jack, can you sue the INTERNET!?

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

With all due respect, Keith Bakker tends to lean towards public opinion on this matter. When it is popular to call it an addiction he will (and will also claim that his extensive experience with treating addicts made him reach that opinion). Only about 8 months ago I heard him fiercely defend the opinion that it is indeed an addiction to a room full of people and now he claims otherwise. On the Dutch section of his website (I can read Dutch, otherwise I would have not found out) he still calls it an addiction (even though in the English version, the word 'game addiction' has been replaced by 'compulsive gaming').
I think what happened to Brandon Crisp is tragic, but Keith Bakker jumping in on this subject, to me, feels like a cheap shot at getting publicity.

STFU and GTFO, Jack!

Jack... *sigh* Just... Just shut up already. For one, you're not a lawyer anymore, so you can't sue anyone on your own behalf. Two, no one will sue us on your behalf as who in their right minds would want to represent YOU of all people?

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Collin Griffin, A.K.A. Shadow Darkman, Sane Human Church-Goer, And Jack Has Fallen From Grace.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Oh, please sue me too, Jack!   You've told me to get ahold of a lawyer for calling you a liar in the past...  but wait, you were disbarred in part because you lie!  I guess I've been vindicated.

 

Whats the matter, Jacky-boy?  Have you gone so far off the deep end that you actually believe your own (easily defeated) rhetoric?  How sad.  How predictable.

 

Grow up and get a life.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

http://www.myspace.com/hermoinefan_420 (and boom goes the dynamite)

 

so has he pulled out the whole..."if you post here you are required by law to give me your address and phone number and full name" Crap????

 

 

or the always entertaining..."i'm smarter then you"

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I already e-mailed you a long time ago, Mr. Thompson, and if you're looking to add people to your little list, i'll gladly add myself to it and make the financial adjustments to travel to wherever the trial would be heald.

That is, if it isn't simply tossed out like every other time you tried to sue this site...

David Gagnon.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Always good to see someone with their head screwed on straight.

(Obviously I'm not talking about Jack, who I'm done with providing attention to. He's officially run out of new material.)

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

http://www.myspace.com/hermoinefan_420 (and boom goes the dynamite)

 

 

Wow Seriously Jack??? thats the best that you can do wiht your insults..."playing games all day is stupid"  well i'll be damned i thought it was perfectly okay to play a Freaking game for 13 hours a day...Anyone who can game for 13 hours should be allowed to and if they wanna do that then hey more power to them....me personally if its on Lotr or guitar hero 3 on ps3 i only play for a few hours at the most...and on gta lcs and vcs i'll only put on maybe a hour or so at the most..

 

Enough of this "you people are being mean to me i'm gonna sue" crap...after all Jack remember that we are just "children" to you....In Fact havent we been 10 year old "children" for what 3 years now..If anyone needs to grow up its you so maybe you should try it sometime.....

 

 

oh wait your too immature for that..My mistake

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Oh and Jack, please sue me too. I haven't really said anything that is either libelous or which violates the policies here, but c'mon, you can just make it up! It's not as if that'd be a new trick for you...

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I wouldn't grounded michelleobamarama but that would be gettin' old now.

I agree in this one. You'd have to be like, say... my ex boyfriend to be considered a true addict. I played video games a lot when I was younger, sometimes, all day but I'd still go play outside and did other neat things. Of course, the only reason why I was inside a lot was I was teased a lot too so it was video games, or have that witch trying to show off my training bra. :( You can guess what I chose then.

Again, it is also the parents that got to teach their kids responsibility and watch what games they give their kids. This is what no one understands half the time. We got to teach our kids the difference between fantasy and reality. We love the fantasy, but we must always stick to what's real.

Amy Levandoski

Amy Levandoski

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I think that for good or ill videogames, and every other form of enertainment, are here to stay and that the world would be an even more depressing place without them.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Jack, I think you'd find that the majority of people on this site would agree that playing a game all day is stupid. However, just like anything else gaming can be fine in moderation. Wouldn't you agree? I'd assume so, as you claim to be "reasonable" and that you don't just have a silly vendetta against the videogame industry.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Regardless, kids with social disorders need help.  Spending too much time doing anything is a bad thing.  Can parents be charged with endangerment if they fail to reign in the bad habits or address issues their kids are having?

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

So has Amen4U changed their ID again or did they pull up stakes?

And I wonder what ole Lizzy is burbbling about at this point.

And of course, we John Bruce has pulled up stakes and taken a trip to Egypt.

"I love it when a plan comes together."  - Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith, A-Team.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Woah, havn't i been saying THIS EXACT THING for a while now?

Guess i'm not an expert, even though this guys argument is exactly what i came up with.

When you call something an addiction, when it's not, it's just like mis-diagnosing a disease. The person gets the wrong help, and will never get over the problems that ACTUALLY EXIST.

Compulsion != Addiction

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Of course there IS a chance it's a real addiction due to other causes or whatnot. =)

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not


Where is Amen4u at?  I am waiting for *** while trying to say this is totally wrong, and it really is an addiction...

---
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How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

AE: Let's not go there.  Thanks.

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

I already made some bitter shouts about her and this but I don't think she still follows GP now that there's no coverage on Brandon anymore.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

BBC link is broken by the way.

That said, This makes total sense. 10% of their patience can be treated as addicts because they show other addictive behaviors such as drugs and drinking. The otehr 90% just had social problems that drove them to gaming and they liked the way gaming makes them feel.

Sounds about like what I was saying during the Crisp ordeal.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

BBC link is fixed.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Furthermore, we need to be aware that there is physical addicition (which can do direct harm to your body) and mental addiction (which only makes you react on an emotional level). While drugs and drinking can be physically addictive, most activities can only be considered mentally addictive.

Things like video games can be managed to pick up and drop without your body actually becoming physically dependant on it. Rehabilitation is required for both kinds of addictions, but they need different approaches to treatment. You will not put people with gambling problems in the same facility as heroin addicts.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Rodrigo... let's not post in that fashion.

Thx

GP

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

GP - That was a modified movie quote. IMHO, you should've kept it.

 

 

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

DeepThorn, let's not post in that fashion.

Thx,

GP


Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Dennis, my lawsuit against GamePolitics is made a whole lot easier to win by your posting the above obscenity and person attack despite your posting policies against both.  Shame on you.  The jury will love it, though.

Jack Thompson 

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

You have broken posting policies repeatedly, therefore any lawsuit against GP you would attempt would end in failure.  I wonder what a court would say about your cyberstalking of Dennis by repeatedly worming your way around bans hmmm?  Govern yourself accordingly loser.

Also, whining about someone defaming you when you have done the exact same thing to Strauss Zelnick in this thread?  I really hope now that you are no longer a lawyer that T2 chews you up and spits you out, legaly speaking that is.  Maybe then the ECA will have a go with what remains for what you have said about its employees.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Ah, Jack? You have no case.

In 2003, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Web loggers, website operators and e-mail list editors can't be held responsible for libel for information they republish, extending crucial First Amendment protections to do-it-yourself online publishers.This was later upheld by the Supreme Court

 

Link: www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/AE0A858C82A2EA8F88256D4E007A736C/$file/0156380.pdf

 

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Yes, I am a liberal. I also believe in a strong military, less government, and the right to bear arms. 

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

the jury will also love the defamation of character posts you submitted as well. Shame on you, Jack

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

The Jury will love that fact that you said all gamers should legally be put to death.

You know.. when you posted that obscenity?

Y'know.. the one that was far worse than anything anyone has ever said on here, but that you like to ignore when you want to cry that people are insulting you? *waah* give it a rest disbarredGuy, the act is getting old and rather childish.

Re: Addiction Specialist: 90% of Compulsive Gamers Are Not

Dennis didn't post them, Sherlock. Someone else did. Duh.

 
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