April Fool’s Day fell this Friday with many brands, media outlets, institutions and members of the public for that matter, playing tricks on family, friends, colleagues and the wider community. These pranks and tricks are often initially odd and surprising, more so when people haven’t realised what day it is.
Spanish sports paper AS for instance put out a news report that footballing supergiants Real Madrid and Barcelona for instance put out that they were going to embark on an ‘El Cricketo’ with the teams playing a cricket match against one another.
Such pranks gather amusement and a good media following for the day but, quite surprisingly it seems that Google’s Minion-themed April Fools prank did not have the intended results.
Frustrations and Job Losses
Google’s prank seemed harmless enough with e-mail users given the option on Friday to send or reply to messages regularly or to ‘Send + Drop the Mic’. In other words it meant that “Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”
Those who received the ‘Drop the Mic’ messages would see a Minion gif but would not be able to reply to the sender’s message. That isn’t quite strictly true as sent messages would still appear in the ‘all messages’ tab but just not in the regular inbox meaning that messages could and were easily missed.
Moreover the option to choose ‘Drop the Mic’ was placed right next to the regular ‘Send’ button meaning many messages were sent by mistake.
It was not long before the tirade of complaints flowed in with one writer complaining that: “Thanks to ‘mic drop’ I just lost my job,” and one business owner stating: “This is horrible – just sent an email to a client with this stupid icon on it. I can’t afford these stupid pranks!”
Down by 12
There were many more expletive laden comments with some ‘pranked’ users demanding compensation from the tech giant.
Traditionally April Fools jokes need to be played before noon or else the ‘fool’ is the one who played the prank. Google, in the wake of so many complaints eventually took the ‘Drop the Mic’ button down after less than three hours of going live.
They issued a statement of apology which read: “Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry.”
While the ‘bug’ is hard to believe they were right that the prank was indeed on them.
Hopefully many of those mishaps were resolved.
It goes to show businesses that pranks should be planned out well, but at least Google saw sense and removed it before even more damage was done.