Users complain of work conflicts and even job losses due to the quickly-abandoned joke feature...
Google may have gone too far in its effort to make it an April Fools' Day to remember, as its Gmail prank angers users and causes chaos across the world.
To mark the date, the company announced a new "Mic Drop" feature for Gmail, alongside a handful of other pranks.
This additional "send button" would attach a gif of a royally-attired Despicable Me minion dropping a microphone dismissively at the end of your email. It would also archive the conversation, meaning no replies to the message would reach the user.
Rather than a mere joke announcement, the company actually rolled out the function. Unfortunately, the button's proximity to the standard "send" led to many people accidentally hitting it on serious emails. Worse again, a bug meant many hitting the actual "send" button instead got the hilarious "Mic Drop" option.
Designer Andy Baio took umbrage at the jape and began cataloguing the chaos that ensued:
Changing sent email like that without confirmation is an incredible betrayal of trust. The damage from this prank is just getting started.— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
This woman sent a prayer request to 50 friends and family. After realizing what she sent: "I was mortified." pic.twitter.com/ObyPMpJ94M— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
Just confirmed this bug. Gmail adds the GIF even when clicking the normal "Send" button. https://t.co/tSS2gdo0iQ— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
Google keeps the laughs coming! 24 more hours to go! pic.twitter.com/6WOjjGiZS4— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) April 1, 2016
Following the public outcry, Google quickly announced that it was removing the "Mic Drop" feature.
The company issued an apology in a blog post:
"Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. 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".