Every year, on this day, Google puts out a whole bunch of April Fools’ Day jokes. It’s a tradition, and is completely expected by much of the Internet. This year is no different except that one of the company’s jokes has already backfired.
Google introduced the “Gmail Mic Drop” feature, which placed a new send button in Gmail when the user composed a message. Clicking this included in the email a GIF of a Minion dropping a mic.
“Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop,” Google software engineer Victor-bogdan Anchidin wrote on the Gmail blog. “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.”
Unfortunately, it appeared in users’ accounts and people were clicking it inadvertently. Some claimed to have lost jobs and others shared concerns for potential job loss. Matthew Alba wrote in the Gmail Help Forum:
SEND + MIC DROP!!?!?? So I’ve been going back with a potential employer all week and last night sent a critical follow up email and accidentally clicked “Send + Mic Drop” Not only am I mortified of the mistake, but this could potentially cost me my dream job. Who am Google may I speak to about this? This was a horrible, horrible idea with potentially irreparable damages for me. Please let me know what can be done. I’ll gladly show anyone the emails so you can see for yourself.
Abdus Salam wrote:
This mic drop is perhaps the most stupid thing you could possibly come up with. I have been interviewing with this company for 3 months now and mistakenly sent the email directly to guess who? The HR! Why would you do that? I so want this job; was due to start on Monday!
Allan Pashby wrote:
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.
There are plenty of additional complaints here.
It’s worth noting that any of these complaints could be made up, mini jokes as well, but Google has put a stop to the Mic Drop feature. In an update to its post, Google says, “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.”
Google does have some better April Fools’ announcements that are less likely to disrupt users’ jobs and businesses. These include a new “SnoopaVision” feature to let you watch 360-degree YouTube videos with Snoop Dogg…
…and a new Google Cardboard Plastic headset:
Have fun with the Internet today, folks.
UPDATE: Check out Google’s parachute delivery joke video.