Google have apologized for their April fool prank and have removed the “MicDrop” Gmail button. The prank sent comical images to recipients without the sender’s knowledge. Reportedly many people got into trouble at work due to this.
Only a couple of days ago, Microsoft embarrassed themselves with their Tay chatbot stunt (again) and now Google!
Google didn’t act like world’s largest tech company on Friday. Whoever was planning the April fool day prank didn’t think it through, it was destined to fail.
The prank button appeared right next to Gmail’s standard send button. When users unsuspectedly clicked on the “Prank Send” button to send an email, comical image of a Minion dropping a microphone (in GIF format) was instead sent to receivers.
The original email would automatically save in sender’s drafts.
Only couple of hours after the button was added, Google forums were flooded with complains. The company immediately took down the button and apologized.
Google said in a statement,
“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.”
Micdrop is a popular meme. It is applied in a context when someone makes a decisive speech. The minion sternly says some words, drops the mic and walks off.
The bug that Google mentioned in its statement seemed like a work of fiction. The whole program was designed to fail. And the feature worked perfectly fine, seemingly, the aim was for people to send funny GIF and they did – how did a bug enable or alter it? In fact how did a bug play any part in it?
Google further added that anyone who might still be seeing the MicDrop button should logout and login again.
“I lost my job”
One user on the Google’s product forum said that he had lost his job due to MicDrop. He explained he was a freelancer writer and had to send work to her boss. Which he did but he never heard from her. When he checked he saw he had unintentionally sent the email using MicDrop send button.
Another user was skeptical about his chances at recruitment after he send the MicDrop picture. He said he has been in touch with a company for three months for a job opportunity and today he sent MicDrop picture to their HR department.
It is worth mentioning that Google announced Gmail on April 1st 2004. Since Hotmail and Yahoo dominated email proceedings in that era, many thought it was an April fool prank.