Google pulls plug on April Fools’ mic drop after prank backfires

Screenshot taken of Google's mic drop April Fools' prank, April 1, 2016 | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Google’s attempt to prank its Gmail users for April Fools’ Day backfired this year when the joke seemed to have “caused more headaches than laughs,” prompting Google to pull the plug on the mic drop.

On Thursday, a new “send + mic drop” button appeared next to the “send” button in Gmail. The feature allowed Gmail users to insert a GIF of a minion dropping a microphone to emails, which signaled that a user was exiting a conversation.

Google's Mic DropThe feature also muted subsequent replies in an email chain after a mic drop.

“Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it,” according to Google’s Official Gmail Blog. “Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”

Not everyone found Google’s mic drop April Fools’ Day prank funny.

The feature was pulled Friday morning after users complained that they had inadvertently used the feature on bosses, clients and people who didn’t appreciate the joke.

People also struggled to find a way to undo the mic drop and turn off the feature. Threads in the Gmail help forum were created by users struggling to find a way to undo the mic drop, turn off the feature and solve the mistake they made. One Gmail user posted:

SEND + MIC DROP!!?!?? So I’ve been going back with a potential employer all week and last night sent a critical follow up email and accidentally clicked “Send + Mic Drop.” Not only am I mortified of the mistake, but this could potentially cost me my dream job. Who am Google may I speak to about this? This was a horrible, horrible idea with potentially irreparable damages for me.

“DROP THE MIC DROP GOOGLE. IT’S RIGHT NEXT TO THE SEND BUTTON!” another user wrote. “I accidentally just hit it on an important work email. NOT COOL!!!!”

“Interviewing for 3 months – gone with a click!” one user wrote. “This mic drop is perhaps the most stupid thing you could possibly come up with. I have been interviewing with this company for 3 months now and mistakenly sent the email directly to guess who? The HR! Why would you do that? I so want this job; was due to start on Monday!”

“HOW DO I REMOVE NEW “drop mic” BUTTON – I Really dont want it next to my main send button……   really don’t want it!!!!! PLEASE HELP!!” another posted.

The backlash prompted Google to remove the button and offer an apology.

“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,” a Google representative said in a statement. “The feature has been turned off. If you are still seeing it, please reload your Gmail page.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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