You either love it or hate it.
Either way, it’s a day where you’d better be careful in what you do and even more in what you believe.
I love great April Fools pranks. One of my favorites was this Donald Trump themed Kids’ Curriculum:
Aside from the perfect layout, name, and price, the description was epic as well:
We’ve had some great ones here at ChurchMag as well, including our CatMag theme this year. I mean, every church could use more cats, right?
Google’s Gmail April Fool’s #FAIL
But there’s a line you don’t cross when doing a prank, as Google/Gmail discovered this year. They though it would be funny to add a Minions ‘mic dropped’ animated GIF to emails with a simple button. They announced it in a rather veiled way though:
There were two problems. The first was that the button replaced a normal button (the send+archive button) and wasn’t ‘different’ enough for users to distinguish (it was labeled ‘send+mic dropped’ instead of ‘send+archive’). Too many people inadvertently added this in itself awesome GIF to serious emails. The second problem was a bug that made it really hard to get rid of the thing, even when trying.
It didn’t take long for some serious backlash to happen. One of the first to tweet about it was Twitter user Andy Baio.
He followed up with an example of what could go wrong, attaching the GIF to a condolences email. It wasn’t real, but not everyone knew that, and it spread like wildfire. He also reported the bug:
Then people started reporting actual problems they had run into with this supposed prank. One woman sent a prayer request and unknowingly attached the mic dropped Minion. Not really the right sentiment for a serieus request.
Others reported even worse results, like losing a job…
Many more posted examples of what went wrong on social media:
It didn’t take long for Google/Gmail to pull the plug on this fail and issue a more or less formal apology:
We’ve talked about social media fails before. This, of course, wasn’t a social media fail so much as a big fail in general. Pranks are supposed to be funny, not cause people major headaches, time, and energy. Even if some of the reports are exaggerated or flat out made up (of course people take advantage of this), one can easily imagine possible outcomes had Gmail continued with it all day. Not everyone who uses Gmail is tech savvy enough to see this on time. The example with the condolences email was a fake, but it could have easily happened. This is a serious mistake for a company the size of Google and it shows you that you have to think your pranks through before executing them.