Google’s Gmail April Fools’ Day prank has earned the wrath of users after its new, jokey feature landed some people in hot water, some even losing jobs over it. This morning, Gmail introduced a secondary reply button, dubbed the ‘mic drop’. Replying to an e-mail with this button sent a gif of a Minion performing said task – a shorthand for a deliberate, abrupt end to a conversation – and hid any following replies.
“Email’s great, but sometimes you just wanna hit the eject button,” an announcement on the Gmail blog reads. “Like those heated threads at work, when everyone’s wrong except you (obviously). Or those times when someone’s seeking group approval, but your opinion is the only one that matters (amirite?). Or maybe you just nailed it, and there’s nothing more to say (bam).”
“Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop,” the post continues. “Simply reply to any email using the new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button. Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”
The ‘mic drop’ button, however, was placed right next to the regular ‘reply’ button, which meant that some unfortunate users – often using Gmail for professional means – accidentally pressed the gag button to send their replies. Some of the resulting horror stories – recounting tales of embarrassment, or even loss of jobs – are listed on the Google Gmail product forum:
“I had to write another email and apologize for Google’s jokes!!!!! Why should I? Sometimes I do feel those very intelligent people are living on an isolated island and don’t know what normal people need and want! They think they are genius when creating this but in normal people’s eyes, they are very idiotic!”
“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!”
“I just sent off an email with my resume to the first person who wanted to interview me in months. I clicked the wrong button and sent it with the mic drop. Well, I guess I’m not getting that job. Words cannot describe how pissed off I am right now. I’m actually shaking. One click, ONE CLICK and I lost the job. Goddamnit. Not funny, google. I’m going to go cry now.”
Now, whether the comments themselves are April Fools’ jokes is another matter. Google, though, took them seriously and pulled the ‘mic drop’ button early. “Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year,” an update to the blog post reads. “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.”