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Google Removes April Fool Prank Feature which Backfired

It seems that some people just can’t take a joke. When it comes to the workings of email software, that includes people who work for a living, those who are dealing with a personal crisis, or anyone who just wants a tool to do its job and not try to be funny.

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(I make an exception for TARS, of course, the wisecracking robot in Interstellar, who’s comic relief amid the intensity of that story was – well – a relief.)

Google has rolled back a prank it included in Gmail earlier this morning which offered users a feature whereby they could ‘drop the mic’ and effectively ‘walk off’ from a discussion that they no longer wanted to participate in.

The new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button appended a GIF animation of a minion dropping the mic and leaving the stage. After sending it the user would no longer receive emails on that topic.

The problem was that many users clicked the mic drop button by accident. That was easy to do, because the joke button replaced a functional button which many users have enabled: ‘Send+Archive’.

Hilarity did not ensue:

One user claimed to have lost his job over inadvertently clicking ‘Send + Mic Drop’.

Thanks to Mic Drop I just lost my job. I am a writer and had a deadline to meet. I sent my articles to my boss and never heard back from her. I inadvertently sent the email using the “Mic Drop” send button.There were corrections that needed to be made on my articles and I never received her replies. My boss took offense to the Mic Drop animation and assumed that I didn’t reply to her because I thought her input was petty (hence the Mic Drop). I just woke up to a very angry voicemail from her which is how I found out about this “hilarious” prank.

Google updated the original post:

UPDATE: 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.

On the other hand, this Google April Fool video is funny – and nobody had to get hurt!

Google Cardboard Plastic! It’s VR taken to its ultimate conclusion: Actual Reality!

[youtube]https://youtu.be/VkOuShXpoKc[/youtube]

 

My favourite line? “I can hear you perfectly! (360° Audio)”

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