Have you ever been writing an email to a potential new employer, an estranged lover, or a grieving parent and thought, "you know what, this email could really be spiced up with a stupid GIF from a kids' movie, and then it would be extra awesome if any responses to my dumb email are automatically muted"? Well then, Google has your back. Late last night Pacific Standard Time (so, not even April 1 for us West Coasters) Google released an April Fools' Day prank on its many, many users. The company's bright idea involved replacing the "send and archive" button with a new button that included an image of a microphone. When clicked, a GIF from the movie Minions was inserted into your email as it was sent, and then any response from the recipient would be muted — meaning it would not appear in your inbox.
You, apparently unlike every Google engineer that worked on this project, can already see where this is going.
With the prank button so close to the actual "send" one, and with Google's habit of changing features/graphics frequently and without warning, it is no surprise that many people accidentally pressed the mic button — with some rather awful results, such as one writer who claims he lost his job as a result.
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.
Or how about reaching out to someone about the loss of a child, only to have your words mic-dropkicked right into that parent's gut?
WHAT A HARMLESS APRIL FOOL'S JOKE, WHAT COULD GO WRONG pic.twitter.com/Maw8a6VUSA— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
You, being a normal person and not a Google engineer, get the idea. Google, on the other hand, being the giant monolith of non-feeling that it is decided to pull the feature but not admit any human lapses in judgement. Rather, the company just blamed it all on a mistake in the code.
"Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year," wrote Google software engineer Victor-bogdan Anchidin in an update to the company's March 31 post announcing the so-called feature. "😟 Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry."
Apology accepted, Google. April Fools! — it isn't.