So it’s that time of the year when we all (or some of us) get a free license to prank others and make jokes on things we would otherwise end up suffering dire consequences for. Google has a long history of coming up with some top level pranks every other April 1st. This year, it went with a new feature to Gmail, its widely popular email service.
The feature, Mic Drop, turned off (muted) all alerts to responses in the particular email thread it was used on. Say you received an email from your boss with the usual work stuff and probably had one or two colleagues also copied to the communication. When replying to the email, right where the Send button is usually placed, you could opt to have the final “bossy” say in the conversation by dropping the mic using the Send+Mic Drop button. Doing so also adds a funny GIF, in most cases a minion, just for laughs. Only that not many people are usually that keen to notice the fine details.
Some users ended up sending what are otherwise very serious pieces of communication using the Send+Mic Drop button. I can’t imagine all those HR bosses who have to contend with little minions in their emails today.
This woman sent a prayer request to 50 friends and family. After realizing what she sent: "I was mortified." pic.twitter.com/ObyPMpJ94M
— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
Hey @gmail, I think you guys just ruined my chances at getting a job with your mic drop "prank." My fat fingers hit the button.
— Billy Brannum (@irresistibilly) April 1, 2016
Google’s product forums aren’t looking pretty at the moment.
This forced Google to pull the prank within the first hour of its rollout.
Here’s the updated statement that Google has since posted on the blog announcing Mic Drop:
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.