Gmail Users Furious Over Google April Fool’s Prank

An April Fool’s Day joke in Gmail prompts user backlash

By Dana Wilkie Apr 1, 2016

Google apologized to its Gmail users Friday after its annual April Fool's Day prank involving a microphone-dropping Minions character led to user complaints about accidental insults being sent in professional emails.

"Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year," Google wrote on its official Gmail blog. "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." 

Some users complained that the button that added a playful Minions character to emails was too close to the normal email "Send" button, creating confusion and accidental emails being sent to potential employers.

Gmail Users Claim an April Fool’s Feature Cost Them Jobs

Google wound up with egg on its face after this year’s April Fool’s joke caused some Gmail users to insult contacts and, some claimed, lose employment opportunities. The “joke” was a feature that Google added to Gmail called “Mic Drop.” An orange button next to the standard blue “send” button allowed people to send their email with an animated image of a Minions character dropping a microphone--a gesture that usually indicates, "My work here has been outstanding; nothing can top this performance."

No Matter How Well-Intentioned, Pranks at Work Can Have Repercussions
The sandwich makers in this YouTube video reportedly said it was a mirthful prank, but the leaders of Domino’s Pizza weren’t laughing. They clicked into crisis response mode after a video showed two North Carolina-based employees gleefully violating health code standards while handling food. The two workers lost their jobs.
(HR Magazine)

Jokes and Pranks Aren’t the Only ‘Youthful’ Behavior Getting Employees in Hot Water
Whining. Pouting. Tattling. Throwing tantrums. Refusing to share. Making a face behind someone’s back. Sound like preschool? It’s actually what CareerBuilder calls “adolescent” behaviors in the workplace, and according to a company survey, 3 in 4 workers report that they’ve witnessed such childishness among co-workers.
(SHRM Online)

Dana Wilkie is an online editor/manager for SHRM.


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