Humour sometimes can go horribly wrong and when you are a top tech company whose service is used by a billion plus users, it could result in disastrous consequences for your users and ultimately for your organisation. Same thing happened with Google and some unfortunate Gmail users who reportedly even lost their jobs due to the April Fool prank by Google this year.
The prank was a new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button incorporated in Gmail which allows the users to have the last word in an email conversation- and that too in Minion style (those yellow creatures from Despicable Me movie series).
What this essentially means is that the receiver will see a mildly amusing GIF of minion dropping the mic along with the message. But the worse part was that in case the receiver wanted to reply to the message, it could not be received by the original sender.
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,
explained Google in its blog post while announcing the feature in the morning. The button was placed next to the Reply button in the place of Send And Archive option.
This caused the users who were habitual of archiving the conversation after sending, to unintentionally click on that button.
And since the conversation was irreversibly muted, it could cause (and it did for some people) horrible consequences particularly if you are sending a job application or sending an important mail to the HR manager of your company.
Soon the product forums on Google, Twitter feed, etc were flooded with the comments and angry voices of such users. “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,” posted one of the users who had sent a resume to his interviewer.
Another user by the name of Allan Pashby wrote in the product forum,
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.
Consequently, after realizing that its joke was not funny at all, Google pulled back the feature and wrote in an updated post,
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 had successfully pulled off many April Fool pranks in the past few years but perhaps this time, the company got bit carried away inviting the wrath of its loyal users.