1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Google April Fool prank backfires

Elizabeth SchumacherApril 2, 2016

Google has apologized for a new feature that interrupted many users as they used the search engine at work. The button sent images of "Despicable Me" characters to recipients.

Film: Ich-einfach unverbesserlich 2
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Google landed itself in hot water with some users on Friday after its attempt at an April Fool's Day prank went awry. The company unveiled the "MicDrop" feature on its Gmail service that irked many who use Google's e-mail service for work.

The new button added an animated image of one of the minion characters from the film "Despicable Me," dropping a microphone and preventing recipients from responding to the message. The company quickly turned off the new addition after an avalanche of complaints from users angry that it had caused embarrassment in work communications.

"It looks like we pranked ourselves this year," read a statement from Google.

"Due to a bug, the MicDrop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We're truly sorry," the company statement added.

Many users took to Google's forums to bemoan inappropriate messages sent to clients, superiors, and would-be employers because of the function. There was a warning message from Google when the feature first appeared about what clicking the button would mean.

es/jm (AP, Reuters)