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Google sorry for the April Fools' Gmail gag that went horribly wrong

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Gmail Mic Drop

Google has apologised for an April Fools joke, which saw many Gmail users accidentally send emails ending with a Minion gif that muted all replies.

The Mic Drop joke, built into Gmail, allowed users to leave a conversation without seeing any additional replies, while leaving an animated gif from the film Minions as an emphatic, ‘I’m done here’ to the final reply.

However, Google erred in placing the Mic Drop button directly next to the standard send button, meaning many users activated it by accident.

Google pulled the joke, but not before many users complained they’d used it for professional purposes.

In a post on the Gmail blog, Google has wolfed down a whopping great slice of humble pie and apologised for the backfiring joke.

We realize many of you use Gmail for very important messages, and we are sorry if Mic Drop was in any way harmful to you,” a blog post read.

See also: What is Google DeepMind?

So why did it backfire so spectacularly? Well, Google says it should never have turned on the feature without asking first, and also realised it should have asked for confirmation before sending.

The firm added that it “didn't anticipate accidental clicks: "Send + Mic Drop" was too close to other send buttons ("Send" as well as "Send & Archive"), which caused confusion.”

To add insult to injury for some Gmail users, there was a rare bug that caused the mic to drop even if users pressed the regular send button.

Google says it is working to return any subsequent replies back to users' inboxes.

Yesterday’s issue is a shame for Google, which takes so much pride in its April Fools’ jokes, it actually builds them as features, rather than sending out kooky, embargoed press releases.

Let’s hope lessons have been learned from the 2016 edition and the firm can return for form when April 1 rolls around next year.

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