Prank gone wrong
April Fool’s Day is the bane of every writer that covers technology. That’s because it’s not always easy separating the real stuff from fake news, though it was Google that ended up looking the fool when its Gmail prank backfired earlier today.
With humorous intentions, Google added a Mic Drop feature to Gmail. By hitting the “Send + Mic Drop” button, you’d get the last word in a long Gmail chain, complete with an animated GIF of a Minion from Despicable Me dropping a microphone.
“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 in a blog post.
Google didn’t mean any harm by it, but by placing the Mic Drop option close to the regular Send button, many Gmail users inadvertently pranked their contacts, including co-workers and bosses who may not have found the humor in it all.
“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 stated in an update to its blog post.
While most users who didn’t find the humor in Gmail’s prank were simply annoyed, one Gmail user claims to have been fired from his place of employment due to the Mic Drop feature.
“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,” the user wrote on Gmail’s help forum.
We’re not sure if that really happened or not, and even if it did, it seems like the boss in question would have a change in heart after learning about Google’s prank. Either way, this wasn’t Google’s finest moment.
Google has a long history of being playful on April Fool’s Day spanning all the way back to 2000, though this is the first one we can remember that prompted an apology.