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Gmail April Fools' Prank Backfires

  • VOA News

Google was widely criticized for an April Fools' prank the company made to its popular Gmail application.

Google was widely criticized for an April Fools' prank the company made to its popular Gmail application.

An April Fools' joke that backfired has caused search giant Google to issue an apology.

The prank allowed users of Gmail to send a “Mic Drop” reply to email threads, causing Gmail to send an animated gif of a minion character from “Despicable Me” dropping a microphone. The feature then muted the sender’s thread, leading many to think the threads had been deleted.

"Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop. Simply reply to any email using the new 'Send + Mic Drop' button. 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," read a post on the Official Gmail Blog.

Many users were upset and voiced their concerns in the Gmail Help Forum.

"Dear Google, please remove that stupid drop mic video button from my Gmail account. It is not welcome not useful. Tempted to go to Outlook just for that," wrote one user.

Another user claimed to have been fired for sending an unprofessional email.

"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," wrote the user.

In the wake of the firestorm of criticism, Google took down the feature and apologized.

"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," read the post from Google.

Gmail itself was once seen as a possible April Fools' joke as it was launched on April 1, 2004.

This year’s Gmail prank was not the only April Fools' joke Google had up its sleeve. The company also released mock videos announcing a parachute delivery service and an “actual reality” headset.