Google’s E-Mail Stunt Flops, Even Costs People Jobs!
Google hastily disabled an April Fools e-mail prank after discovering thousands of people mistakenly used it, some of them in what were supposed to be serious emails! There are even reports of people losing their jobs!
Google has been known for creating clever e-mail or other digital pranks for April 1st, but this one went very wrong. Google would usually introduce "new products" that were often outlandish, on April 1st, but they would only last 24 hours before they went away. This time, they pushed the envelope.
The Google folks created a "Gmail Mic Drop" that used one of the wildly famous Minion characters from the recent Minion Move. It was a gif, or brief 2-3 second 'movie' clip that was taken from the movie, showing one of the minions, dressed as a queen, dropping a microphone. The mid drop is where a speaker finishes what they are saying, then simply drops the microphone on the ground and struts off, as if to punctuate their point. Once you sent the gif, it didn't generate a "delivery" or "read" response, so you wouldn't necessarily hear feedback from the recipient.
Well, Google made the mistake of placing the actuate, or 'fire' button that generates AND send the gif to a recipient right on the user's compose window, making it all to easy to click by accident.
Befuddled consumers soon found this gif was being sent with emails they were trying to send for business or other purposes, and without their realizing it! Many Google users found that serious or important emails were being sent including the Mic Drop Gif, and some bosses found it to be inappropriate.
One woman even reported she sent it by accident, in replying to a note from her boss. She had some VERY important copy notes for a 'must-finish-by-tomorrow' report. Instead, her boss also received the Mic Drop Gif, which the boss interpreted as the worker blowing off her ideas. She got fired, but was able to explain what happen with the prank.
Google quickly disabled the gif, and it will go down in tech history as one of their few pranks that was not well received. The gif is pictured below, we took it off our email before it went away.