back to article Google tried to be funny, cocked it up, everyone thought it was a bug

In an attempt to meet its perceived reputation of rolling out interesting and creative April Fool's day pranks, Google has pulled a feature added to Gmail this year after it quickly backfired. The Chocolate Factory rapidly pulled the “Mic Drop” feature it rolled out to Gmail in the early hours of 1 April after it caused “more …

  1. Known Hero
    Thumb Up

    What a useful feature.

    Please could we have this implemented properly after April 1st !!!

    *wheres my Mic drop icon ?

    1. Graham 32

      Re: What a useful feature.

      In a business email environment an "auto-delete all future responses to this thread" would be very useful. It could nip in the bud all those spam inducing emails that say "well done" or "welcome a new member to the team". Or the very worst email of all "I'm taking a holiday doing what I enjoy and now I expect you to donate to my favourite charidee" and the 97 follow ups of "everyone look at me, I have donated."

      1. NightFox

        Re: What a useful feature.

        Outlook has a little-known "ignore" function that pretty much does this

        1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

          Re: What a useful feature.

          And don't forget the No-Reply-All add-on. One of my faves.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a useful feature.

        "Welcome to the team" is small potatoes. At my place of work, the real winners are when someone sends a "Please remove me from this distribution list". To the entire list, and it's untold thousands of members. Then half of them reply, to the entire list, of course, "Please don't reply to the list" or "Remove me too!". That in turn generates a second wave of replies, and so on.

    2. energystar

      What a useful day.

      Has this one become. Eagerly awaiting for the next.

  2. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Epic fail

    That's less funny than Windows 10 telemetry!

  3. Locky Silver badge

    Prior Art IP

    These guys have been dropping the mic for years

    Psyche

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Prior Art IP

      Here's a better quality version.

      1. Locky Silver badge

        Re: Prior Art IP

        I don't think the quality of the video is the problem here....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google is too corporate and creepy to be funny anymore.

    The same vibe you get watching 'The internship'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google is too corporate and creepy to be funny anymore.

      The same vibe you get watching 'The internship'.

      Well, it is a natural result of their attitude towards non-paying users (they didn't dare do this to the paying customers), a total and utter lack of respect for their lives. I'm positive they won't be "feeling lucky" so much now.

      It's also a logical progression of READING your email: starting to WRITE some of it. BTW, these are the same clowns that write the software for the self driving car, just in case you have managed to forget that.

      Will there be consequences? Oh yes, for the users who got f*cked over by this "funny" idea, examples aplenty. Not for Google, of course.

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        WTF?

        Well, it is a natural result of their attitude towards non-paying users (they didn't dare do this to the paying customers), a total and utter lack of respect for their lives.

        If the service is so poor to non-paying users, why don't the non-paying users take their lives elsewhere to consume a different free service?

        I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but it is galling to me how much people will complain about something that's FREE.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If the service is so poor to non-paying users, why don't the non-paying users take their lives elsewhere to consume a different free service?

          Because until now, Google had at least the decency to only READ the email, not to add things to it.

          BTW, don't mistake my critical comments for that of an upset user - I actually READ Terms & Conditions, and has as such always avoided getting any Google service that would require me to agree to such terms. I also did a check on that misleadingly blank front page of their search engine - the printout of the analytical, user details sucking source code hiding behind it runs to THIRTY FIVE pages of A4, and that's printing reduced size..

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Apparently, someone takes Google "very seriously" as rumor has it that a few Oompa Loompas lost their jobs over this. If it's true, I'd be willing to bet it wasn't anyone manglement.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another reason not to trust someone else to supply your mail client......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Huh? We should all write our own clients?

      1. energystar

        Iron 'Maden'?

        Hillary Servers?

      2. Midnight

        And only run them on hardware which is 100% free, naturally.

  6. Insane Reindeer
    FAIL

    I am angry

    On this April Fools day I hoped to find some truly wonderful jokes and what have you floating around on the internet (I *really* need cheering up...). Instead what did I find? This! A glowing testament to just how stupid some people actually are. To every single person who claims that this button ruined their life, I hope you spend the rest of your time on this planet with a permanent, 12 pints of Guinness and 3 double shots of whisky all drank in three hours sized, hangover. It is the least you deserve for depriving those of us with (1) working eyes (2) hand eye co-ordination and (3) and sense of bloody humour a great April Fools day joke. Morons.

    P.S. I do not have a hangover.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I am angry

      It sometimes sent this even if you used the normal send button. Probably brought to you by the same people who did Android's UI.

      Myself, I think I'll stick with Thunderbird and K9 Mail.

    2. FredBloggs61

      Re: I am angry

      12 pints of Guinness and 3 double shots of whisky all drank in three hours sized, hangover

      Fail, where's the hangover. Slightly extended Friday lunchbreak I agree, but hangover from that tipple?

      1. Spacedinvader
        Thumb Up

        Re: I am angry

        Exactly what I was thinking! Have an upvote :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am angry

        @Mr Bloggs

        I suppose for big nosed alcoholics like yourself that's just a starter but my belly isn't big enough to even fit that in and my head certainly wouldn't cope without exploding

        1. The Islander

          Re: I am angry

          You get a hangover from Guinness, seriously? I've found it does that (to me) far far less than the ales & lagers out there.

          Maybe it's just that marketing has sold me on the "purity" thing.

          (Joke alert icon sorely lacking on mobile)

  7. Lusty
    Facepalm

    SaaS

    So they want to be a trusted SaaS provider while occasionally putting buggy joke features in? Sounds perfect for corporate environments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SaaS

      Ah no, the paying customers were spared this "amusement", probably because payment begets better Terms & Conditions which would have allowed them to sue the idiots for a painful amount of money and produce an even more painful amount of unfriendly "we DO harm" type publicity.

      It demonstrates with clarity what Google thinks of its non-paying customers, and it's not anything positive.

  8. NightFox

    MIssing the Point?

    Even if this hadn't backfired, where's the April Fool prank? Surely the whole point of April Fools is FOOLING people into believing something that isn't true... how does this even meet that criteria since they actually did it?

    1. captain veg

      Re: MIssing the Point?

      Sorry to be a pedant, but "criteria" is plural. You meant "criterium".

      -A.

      1. kryptonaut
        Headmaster

        Re: MIssing the Point?

        Or more likely, "criterion."

        1. captain veg

          Re: MIssing the Point?

          Whoooshhhh!

          -A.

        2. energystar

          Diskette?

          Disquette? One of those %$&# floppy things! Who cares, anyway.

      2. PNGuinn
        Headmaster

        Re: MIssing the Point?

        Criterion?

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: MIssing the Point?

          "Criterion?"

          A little known Japanese Anime from the fifties, wasn't it?

      3. cd

        Re: MIssing the Point?

        I used to drive a Criterium. Then something went wrong and it wouldn't start, seemed to be missing something.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Mark Simon
          Joke

          Re: MIssing the Point?

          Probably a set of points.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may have dropped the mic but I bet it was still recording.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Especially the black hole where the replies go.

  10. TheOtherHobbes

    Google is not having a good year. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, no, Goodyear makes tyres. Do keep up.

      :)

      1. MrDamage
        Coat

        Goodyear makes tyres.

        Yet they were offended and refused to recycle perfectly good materials when I sent them 365 used condoms.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Goodyear makes tyres.

          Yet they were offended and refused to recycle perfectly good materials when I sent them 365 used condoms.

          That was just jealousy..

    2. zarvus

      They can weep into their big bag of money.

  11. Rob Crawford

    <sigh>

    Would be more mortified about somebody I know sending me prayers than receiving an embedded gif of a minion

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: <sigh>

      You say that, but people who habitually send + archive through muscle memory appear to have had a rather poor day. Seen reports of one person who responded to a request for a job interview acci-clicking the mic drop (previously send and archive) button, and one from a funeral director to a client who had just had a bereavement, too, earlier in the twitter chain thing (there's a link to the product forums with more)

      I'd imagine whatever 'zany' wonk came up with this idea isn't terribly experienced in how users work.

      Or that adding 'hilarious' features to core functionality of a platform that is expected to work day in, day out by business and private users alike probably isn't the finest of ideas.

      Steven R

      1. Argh

        Re: <sigh>

        > and one from a funeral director to a client who had just had a bereavement

        That was a made-up example by the twitter poster, not a real example. He even clarified it later in the thread:

        >> I thought it was super apparent, but just in case—I made this GIF as a cautionary tale/worst-case example. Not real.

        > Or that adding 'hilarious' features to core functionality of a platform that is expected to work day in, day out by business and private users alike probably isn't the finest of ideas.

        Google do things like this fairly often, but this one is particularly suspect as it has some pretty big non-cosmetic effects and has replaced an existing button rather than adding a new one. If, as reported, it also affected users that did not press the "drop the mic" button, it was terrible.

        For what it's worth, Google Apps accounts for businesses (i.e. paying customers) did not have this feature added.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: <sigh>

          Gah, well, that's what I get for scrolling up the thread, and not too far down.

          Still, quite a few other examples of it causing problems, and yeah, I saw reports of it going on just plain 'send', not just 'send and mic drop' emails too.

          Cheers for clarifying. Upvote :-)

          Steven R

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google april fools fail

    Their last april fools fail was when they offered the 100-year old mode in Youtube, which rendered a video in sepia tones, with a jaunty piano soundtrack.

    Amusing enough when the video was lighthearted, you can imagine how disrespectful it looked when a tragic or otherwise sad video was used as the source.

    The filter was soon withdrawn, though there are still some "Internet of 1911" videos that they left on, things like keyboard cat etc. popular memes at the time...

  13. John Lilburne

    What do you mean buggy?

    I programmed that for them and it does exactly what I hoped it would do.

  14. David Paul Morgan
    FAIL

    I don't get it.

    what does it mean?

    the phrase 'mic drop' I mean.

    1. waldo kitty
      Boffin

      Re: I don't get it.

      "what does it mean?

      the phrase 'mic drop' I mean."

      when someone is on stage and they have their say, if they do not want any come back on what they said, they physically hold the mic at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it on the floor... if the mic doesn't get broken so no one else can go ripping back at the dropper, then they're already generally gone so that it doesn't matter anyway...

      "drop the mic" is a rough equivalent of the 80s "talk to the hand"... in other words, i've said my say now you can shut up because i don't want to hear your's... i've got the last word in...

      does that help?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I don't get it.

        Some also use it to mean "there is no comeback/I am right/I know I am right". But while that's a subtle difference, it does silence any possible response. So unless using it as a joke, probably best not to end conversations that way. :P

    2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: I don't get it.

      yes, what Waldo Kitty said. For example...

  15. Mike Shepherd

    "We're a couple of intelligent, caring guys, who'd you probably like if you met us socially"

    Why do companies like Microsoft, Google feel they must prove that they're "real kool"? I don't want to meet you socially. In fact, I don't much care if you live or die. I just use your stuff. I don't want an email service that corrupts messages when you feel like it, because "Hey, it's fun!". I don't want you to entertain me by changing the login screen image every time I turn on the PC. I don't need a new set of images, conventions and sounds on every issue of your OS. I have work to do.

    What's next? Might a Google car say "Hey, I know you wanted to go to Seattle, but we thought the Everglades are so nice this time of year. Hehe!". It's not cool: it's just stupid.

    1. waldo kitty
      Windows

      Re: "We're a couple of intelligent, caring guys, who'd you probably like if you met us socially"

      it is the kids playing around and doing easter egg stuff rather than properly developing and testing their code...

      old man 'cause i've been around the block a few times...

    2. PNGuinn
      Black Helicopters

      Re: "We're a couple of intelligent, caring guys, who'd you probably like if you met us socially"

      More likely a google car would say" I know you wanted to go to Aldi where the food's cheaper / better but Tesco pay for the ads so sod off and get that 2 for 1 offer I've been pestering you with the whole way. AND I've just spaffed your details AND this journey to Tesco, so expect to be getting lots of coupons for nothing you want, even if you pay cash. Punk"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We're a couple of intelligent, caring guys, who'd you probably like if you met us socially"

        ".. and I just locked the doors and I'll play their ads for the entire journey there, at full volume because I know you were looking at hearing aids earlier this week. I've added a detour to the route because I know how long the ads are and we're paid to play them in full.

        In case traffic isn't as bad as usual I'll just circle the block a few times until the ads have finished after which I'll park and unlock. Enjoy your journey."

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. sandman

      "At least this foul up didn't introduce any security issues like the "backwards text" one did". That's what they want you to think.... ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Those Google workers are currently sat in an office (orifice) on bean bags eating quinoa (kinuwa) and drinking soya milk giving high fives to each other. How could you ever dismiss their abilities given the environment they are forced to work in?

      1. Code For Broke

        Please don't neglect to mention the enormous beards they are forced to wear. It's sooo ironic to work in tech and yet maintian a look like you've been panning for gold, alone, in Alaska for the previous three years.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Natalie Gritpants

    Beware your pranks getting used against you

    I once replaced the PASS and FAIL banners on a production line tester with YIPPEE and WHOOPS thinking that everyone would be mightily amused. I got in at 10am on the 1st to find that the operators had taken one look at it and had sat in the coffee area pretending to not understand what was going on - from 6am.

    After that spanking I restricted myself to remotely switching on the vacuum solenoids as they were walking by, much less traceable.

  18. Florida1920
    FAIL

    Do no evil?

    Ooops.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Do no evil?

      To be fair, this is the day on which Alphabet should issue a statement saying that they still stand by the pledge to "do no evil"...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do no evil?

        To be fair, this is the day on which Alphabet should issue a statement saying that they still stand by the pledge to "do no evil"...

        .. only, they have now completed the sentence with ".. to our shareholders".

      2. Gannon (J.) Dick

        Re: Do no evil?

        Apparently it slips their minds when they are inexplicably sober early on Beer Friday. The wages of virtue, or something like that.

  19. A. Coatsworth
    Facepalm

    Just tangentially related...

    What's up with the Nutella jar images?

    I saw one in an VMware article, now this one has one for Google... any idea of the meaning?

    1. Alumoi

      Re: Just tangentially related...

      "What's up with the Nutella jar images?"

      A pile of s... brown stuff would have been non-PC.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Just tangentially related...

        Oh I don't know. One of the emoticons looks suspiciously like a smiling poo.

        I can't post it, forum rejects Unicode. However you'll find it in both Android and iOS. It's brown, curled, and has eyes. What more needs said?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Just tangentially related...

          Oh I don't know. One of the emoticons looks suspiciously like a smiling poo.

          It does bear some resemblance to Mr Hankey.

  20. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Now you all know...

    how some of use who have GUI preferences (either taste/ease/requirement) felt when Google decided to move and change buttons to the whole Android OS.

    Yes Google, I'm still bitter for Lollipop.

  21. Breen Whitman

    A few years ago google could we wild and quirky. Their older April fools were hilarious.

    These days they are about as hilarious as a concentration camp.

  22. ShadowDragon8685

    Wow, everybody's just hating on the chocolate factory.

    I mean, there are legitimate reasons, sure, but bitching and moaning over this?

    Okay, they royally cocked-up an April Fools' jape, but if it had worked properly - say, being an added button instead of replacing one some users habitually used, forcing a pop-up that wouldn't go away for like, 10-15 seconds to ensure the user had read it when it was pushed and told what the "feature" did and made them confirm they REALLY WANTED TO DROP THE MICROPHONE, then it would've been okay. Also, you know, not sending the mic-drop to regular reply/reply+archive recipients.

    [e] By the way, the very best mic-drop I've seen in recent memory? The President had a good one, but Neal DeGrasse Tyson shining the light on B.o.B.'s assholery takes the cake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHBZkek8OSU

  23. Ripper38

    BOSS!!!

    Title says it all!

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