Google’s typical April Fool’s Day antics will be put on hold this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Business Insider obtained an internal email that explained the move. The email said that Google will “take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one.”
The search giant has become infamous for its April Fool’s Day pranks, which typically impact almost all of its services. Love or hate the jokes, this is probably the right call to make. In the midst of a serious public health crisis like this, it’s not wise to dedicate a day to mess with critical products like search, Gmail or Maps.
Google’s head of marketing, Lorraine Twohill, sent the email. It goes on to say:
“We’ve already stopped any centralized April Fool’s efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about. Please suss out those efforts and make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned — internally or externally.”
While Google may be one of the worst offenders when it comes to virtual April Fool’s Day jokes, it’s far from the only prankster out there. Hopefully other companies assess the situation and decide to skip April Fool’s Day this year.