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.
This woman sent a prayer request to 50 friends and family. After realizing what she sent: "I was mortified." pic.twitter.com/ObyPMpJ94M— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
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.