Google removes April Fools' day prank that goes so badly wrong it allegedly lost people their jobs

By midian182 ยท 16 replies
Apr 1, 2016
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  1. There are some April Fools’ day pranks that aren’t appreciated by those on the receiving end of one - just ask anyone who’s ever fell victim to a plastic wrap over a toilet bowl. But it’s not just people who pull ill-advised jokes on April 1; big corporations can make the same mistake too, as Google discovered when the company was forced to pull its ‘mic drop’ option from Gmail following a series of complaints from users.

    Google added the joke feature to its Gmail service last night. Anyone who clicked the ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button had a GIF of a minion dropping a microphone attached to their emails.

    While this may seem pretty harmless, the problems arose from the fact that the option was inserted directly next to Gmail's 'Reply' button – replacing the 'send and archive' button. This placement resulted in some people selecting the Send + Mic option, either by accident or because they just didn’t understand what it was.

    Additionally, as a Mic Drop is supposed to show that someone has walked away from a conversation, using the feature irreversibly muted all replies to the email.

    “Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop. Simply reply to any email using the new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button. 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,” Google explained.

    It seems quite a few of Gmail’s one billion users didn’t think the joke was very funny, especially those who accidently mic dropped work and professional contacts.

    While the feature was only available in the desktop consumer version of Gmail, Google’s product forums and Twitter quickly started filling up with users complaining that they had accidently hit the Mic Drop button when sending important business emails. One person even claimed it had cost them their writing job.

    To make matters worse for Google, a small number of users found that a bug in the feature caused the standard ‘Send’ button to have the same effect as the Mic Drop option.

    Google has now removed the button and issued the following statement:

    Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. 😟 Due to a bug, the MicDrop 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.

    Image Credit: s_bukley / shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,947   +1,256

    Google clearly has too much time on their hands.
  3. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    Supposed this story itself is the prank.
  4. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Addict Posts: 115   +84

    I hate April Fool's Day....nothing funny anymore about it.
    BSim500, ikesmasher and EClyde like this.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,047   +1,361

    Everyone takes it too far now.
    It used to be harmless and now everyone wants to troll people and actually cause them harm or embarassment...
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,064   +1,531

    Its not even a proper April Fool's prank!! This button was REAL and had a REAL function - and a fairly stupid one at that.
  7. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 351   +194

    Everyone takes these April Fools jokes too seriously these days.

    [With the exception of the 'send' bug] Apparently users have lost the ability to pay attention to what is on their screen before clicking. Particularly when sending work emails. New icon, a nice little pop up on what it is, it's April Fools Day, and an important work email.

    I see no one to blame but their own lack of attention to detail - with the exception of the bug prior mentioned.
    dms96960, wastedkill and Panda218 like this.
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,436   +988

    I liked the button, although it would've been in their best interest to make it more clear as to what it was doing, specially with the placement like "you selected send and drop the mic, are you sure?"... I know it was supposed to be a prank, but daaamn they made it so people would mess up.
    dms96960 likes this.
  9. MarcBaaaaa

    MarcBaaaaa TS Rookie

  10. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 157   +59

    This was genius. Love it. Ya gotta be weary what ya clicking anyways.

    It's still funny. It just wasn't funny this time.
  11. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,372   +70

    I noticed it too and didn't know what it was. Wonder what the city of la did. They have gmail almost exclusively.
  12. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 517   +244

    They say they've removed it, but it has been active on Gmail all day for me!
  13. Thomas Goodrich

    Thomas Goodrich TS Rookie

    The joke is on the Gmail account holder, not Google. It's generally not a good idea to run a business on a free email service.
  14. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,436   +988

    Hi Thomas, welcome to the internet, I'll be your guide, let me introduce you google apps... go google it.
  15. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,948   +2,432

    In the early days Google was certainly all the rage and produced so many really cool and useful products and applications .... this was obviously not one of them!
  16. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,436   +988

    This is not an application nor product, it was an aprils fool prank, so... I don't know what is your point.
  17. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,948   +2,432

    Probably the point at the top of your head!

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