April Fools’ Day was actually invented by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934 to raise morale during the Great Depression. Well no, it actually wasn’t as explained in John Oliver’s No-Prank Pledge (may not be office approved).
For today, several big technology players have posted pranks:
- Google has Pacman on Google Maps, #ChromeSelfie, and a dyslexic version of their site.
- Microsoft announces MS-DOS Mobile and Office 2016 for Cats Preview.
- Amazon is flashing back to 1999 on the homepage.
To some people, these displays are harmless pranks. We all need a moment of fun and distraction, but how much productivity is lost and who is hurt or offended? Someone with dyslexia would be angry about Google’s joke. Haters will simply waste time thinking of negative comments to bash Microsoft. Hundreds of unknowing shoppers will likely think Amazon got hacked.
The best April Fools’ pranks are those where you poke fun at yourself like in Defiance Social Advisor or post something so outlandish it can’t possibly be true like Matrixforce Moonshot. In any event, you should always make it obvious like listing the category for the posting as April Fools.
As for technology pranks, Oliver is right. Pledge not to do technology pranks any time and not just on April Fools’:
- Businesses should review disaster and security incident response and remind employees to be vigilant on April 1st.
- Don’t mistake e-mail or phishing scams for April Fools’ pranks.
- Report that funny App everyone is trying that likely is eating their hard drives or stealing data.
- Avoid the urge to tamper with cabling or software settings, as such acts are definitely not funny and may lead to data loss.
- Ignore shocking headlines or viral posts on social media.
April 1 is the 91st day of the year with 274 days remaining. Take 15 minutes and tell a joke or laugh at the crazy articles, but generally move on and focus on your job.