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How the Internet killed April Fool (and why it must stop)



  Bad April Fool's Day
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

The April Fool was fun in the old days, but not anymore. It's a day of damnable jokes, fake press releases and bad jokes that break services like Gmail. Everyone should follow Microsoft's brave leadership and stop it.

How the April Fool got worse

The April Fools joke seems to be getting worse every year. And no, we do not think we're just getting old. The way the Internet works ̵

1; and how every one of tech companies goes to April news about news sites – is fundamentally different.

The BBC's famous dizziness of 1957 showed that spaghetti was harvested from trees. Sure, maybe that misled a few people, but it was funny. With a little knowledge or research, you could see that this was physically not possible.

The spaghetti piece aired on the BBC on April-April was not a segment that aired year round, unlike the Internet, where months later you stumble into fake articles misleading before they were released on the April-April day.

The Internet is different now. Tech companies often 'announce' products that may actually be real – but it's not like it's April Fool's joke!

Of course, crazy announcements on April Fool's Day can be real to make things even more confusing. Gmail became known on April-April 2004, and people thought it was fake because Google could not provide 1GB of email storage. Hotmail only offered 2 MB at that time (0.2% of Gmail storage). So, is it any surprise that people think that Google could announce a lawn plot with Google Assistant or a pet or even self-drive app store? People expect businesses to fool them with fake press releases, and it's easy to miss the date – especially if you find that story days or weeks later.

It's not just about misleading stories. Some pranks get in the way and cause problems. Google Mail 2016 "mic drop" Google has added a button to Gmail to archive the current email thread, mute it, and send an animated GIF to a Minion. Many people accidentally clicked on this button – and Gmail sometimes accidentally turned it on even if you did not click it! Suddenly, Gmail muted one of your email threads so that you no longer see any answers – what a funny joke, right?

The April Fools joke used to be fun, but when tech companies manipulate the tools we use to use them all and cause problems, it's time to draw the line – or, as Google might say, drop the microphone ,

  Google's Minions Microphone Prank in Gmail
Google

And let's be honest: Even if the jokes of April Fools are obviously fake and do not get in the way, they are often unbelievably grumpy and just not funny. We like Roku, but is "Roku SnackSuggest" a Roku channel that suggests snacks for TV shows, really a funny joke? We do not believe that.

Microsoft sets foot

Fortunately, at least one company has received the message. Microsoft made headlines when marketing boss Chris Capossela banned the pranks for April Fools & # 39; Day this year and called on all Microsoft employees to cancel all jokes of the April Fools Day public. "I appreciate that people spent time and resources on these activities, but I think we have more to lose than to win if we try to be funny that day," he wrote.

In the past, Microsoft used April Fools & # 39; Day jokes to insult Google on Bing.com. He points to Google's clean homepage as "more dial-in sensitivity for 1997," which "would look like our world if we had not evolved." As Matt McGee wrote at the Search Engine Land 2013, "So much for the light and humorous spirit of April Fools. Wow, Bing. "

Luckily, Microsoft is a trailblazer today – and has also dropped the common-sense Scroogled campaign years ago.

Of course, not all companies have shaken the jokes of April-Fools. As John Gruber notes, Apple has never done an April Fool's joke.

  Microsoft's 2014 strike included the return of Clippy to Microsoft Office web apps.
I have a list of geeky computer pranks that you can play with people but use your best judgment. Are you caressing your brother or a buddy with whom you have a constant fight? Sure, that could be funny. Playing with a computer with fewer tech-loving colleagues, if you do not have that kind of relationship? Do not do it.

That's the big problem the tech companies have encountered. It's fun to deal with people who play tricks – but to stroke the whole Internet and change how Gmail works for everyone. That's not cool.

RELATED: The 10 Most Lascivious Geeky Computer Pranks


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