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Google’s hilarious April Fools joke backfires spectacularly

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:15PM EST
Google Gmail Drop Mic April Fool's
Image: Shutterstock

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Every year on April 1st, Google unveils several completely fake tech products to make us laugh on April Fools Day. This year, it introduced a hilarious “Mic Drop” feature in Gmail. Unfortunately, because the feature is built into Gmail and not all people pay attention to tiny user interface changes, this email addition actually cost some people their jobs. Consequently, Google pulled the prank to make sure other don’t suffer the same consequences.

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Google added a Mic drop button next to the Reply button in Gmail. Pressing it would have you reply to an incoming message, archive it and add a GIF of a minion dropping a microphone. Here’s one example of how the feature can backfire as highlighted by Business Insider.

That’s really not the sort of email you want to send to anyone. Ever.

On top of that, other people said that the apparently harmless joke cost people their jobs.

“This mic drop is perhaps the most stupid thing you could possibly come up with,” Gmail user Adbus Salam said. “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!”

“Thanks to Mic Drop I just lost my job,” Allan Pashby wrote. “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.”

For more Google and other 2016 April Fool’s pranks from around the web, check out this roundup.

“I just sent off an email with my resume to the first person who wanted to interview me in months…” said one user said, according to The Telegraph. “I clicked the wrong button and sent it with the mic drop. Well, I guess I’m not getting that job. Words cannot describe how pissed off I am right now. I’m actually shaking. One click, ONE CLICK and I lost the job. Goddamnit. Not funny, Google. I’m going to go cry now.”

Some of these reactions might be jokes in response to Google’s prank. But that still doesn’t change the fact that Google had the feature up for 12 hours on a service that has 1 billion users. Chances are some folks, unaware of the Mic Drop gag, used it in potentially serious conversations.

The feature was taken down at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the site notes.

“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,” Google said in an update on its blog post.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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