Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Joke’s on Google as its April Fools’ Day prank backfires

(Photo: Google)

Much like how American retailers just can’t seem to help themselves from pushing their made-up orgies of unbridled consumerism (Black Friday) ever closer to our official orgy of unbridled gluttony (Thanksgiving), April Fools’ Day seems to come earlier every year. The “festivities” began yesterday with a Yahoo! article claiming Trader Joe’s would close its doors in 2017, sending social-media users into a panic wondering where they would get their borderline offensively named salsas at reasonable prices. That, of course, was a “prank” (lie), as anyone who’s ever gone to Trader Joe’s on a Saturday afternoon already knows. It’s madness.

Anyway, next up was Google, which has been amusing itself—and only itself—with Gmail-based April Fools’ Day pranks for a few years now. This year’s new joke feature was the “Mic Drop,” which allows users to “Get the last word on any email—just send your message with the new Mic Drop button. Everyone will see your response and this GIF, but you’ll never see the conversation again. ‘Nuff said.” (What GIF? A Minions one, of course, which would be enough for this writer to never respond to an email from that person ever again, regardless of the blocking function.)


The problem, according to Gizmodo, is that Google put the fully functional joke “Send and Mic Drop” button right next to the regular “Send” button, resulting in a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. And even among the more precise clickers, a bug was causing Minions GIFs to randomly attach themselves to unrelated emails, which brings its own set of issues. Apparently, one user’s editor even hates Minions enough to fire them for failing to respond to an email requesting changes to an article—this didn’t happen at The A.V. Club, by the way, if that’s what you’re thinking—after the writer used the “Mic Drop” button instead of regular “Send.” Unless that person is just “pranking” (lying) about that, too, and everything is fine. Then we’ll all just get together and have a big old laugh. Har har.

Google isn’t laughing, though. It’s already pulled the “Mic Drop” feature, and has released a statement apologizing for being so hilarious and sneaky, saying:

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. The feature has been turned off. If you are still seeing it, please reload your Gmail page.

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