Google's Latest April Fools Joke Was a Complete Disaster
Google introduced a "Mic Drop" button in Gmail that let users block all replies to an email. It did not go well.
Every year on April Fools' Day, Google rolls out a slew of gags. There was the robot hand that swipes your phone for you, Google Fiber's new dial-up mode, and some Pokemon thing on Google Maps. This year, though, Google's latest gag wound up doing some damage for unsuspecting Gmail users.
The joke feature, called "Send and Mic Drop," is supposed to be a kind of digital way to have the last word. When clicked, it sends the email and hides further replies from the sender. It also adds a .GIF of a Minion wearing a crown dropping the mic for good measure. That Minion thing aside, it wasn't very clear for users what the new joke button did, so things got pretty bad, pretty fast.
One user wrote in a Google forum post about sending an article he had been assigned to write to his editor while accidentally hitting Mic Drop, resulting in them getting an angry voicemail and losing their job. Other people reported similar stories of professional and important email chains shot to hell thanks to the button. (You could apparently find replies to Mic Drop'd messages in the "all mail" folder, but that wasn't clear to everyone.)
"Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year," Google wrote in an apologetic statement after pulling the feature. "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."
It's also entirely possible that people didn't actually lose their jobs, and the whole thing is actually a glorious prank on Google—the company deserves it, too, after making a Minions joke this far into 2016.