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Google’s Gmail prank went horribly wrong and might have ruined a few jobs
It wasn’t funny.
Google is known for its generally harmless and sometimes clever pranks on April Fool’s Day, the worst holiday to be a person on the Internet. This year, Google punked itself when a buggy joke pissed off a lot of people.
Google added a “Send + Mic Drop” button to Gmail, changing the “Send + Archive” button to a button that would automatically attach a Minions GIF to your email and delete the thread when it was sent. Replies to the email would also be muted. The orange button appeared with a popup notification alerting users to the new feature.
Unfortunately, people were inadvertently attaching the Minions GIF to important emails. Even worse, a bug was discovered that would send the GIF even if you hit the proper send button.
Google pulled the plug on the “Send + Mic Drop” feature after it was live for 12 hours. In a blog post, the company said it deleted the busted feature because of a bug, but didn’t elaborate on what the bug was.
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.
Over on the Gmail Help Forum, there are a number of people complaining about the mic drop feature, some claiming an accidental Minions mic drop cost them a job. Others are frustrated after accidentally clicking the button, and some seem to be confused as to why it exists in the first place.
Gmail Help Forum
Usually Google’s pranks are harmless—like adding Pac-Man to Maps and debuting an AI panda bear—but this year, the company modified something people use everyday. And considering a bug was found, Google apparently didn’t test the feature enough to consider the potential harm it could cause its users.
Photo via Frederic Guillory/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.