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Gmail's Mic Drop April Fool Backfires Horribly Costing People Their Jobs (telegraph.co.uk) 252

An anonymous reader quotes a report on The Telegraph: Google is facing a fierce backlash after introducing a new tool for April Fools' Day that has cost some people potential jobs. The new Gmail Mic Drop button, which sits next to the normal send button, ends an email thread forever by muting all future replies to the sender, and firing off a gif of a minion 'mic dropping' at the same time. After an immediate backlash the feature was taken down early on Friday morning. Some people using it had failed to see the funny side, saying that by accidentally pressing the button instead of simply sending the email, they have appeared rude or unprofessional, in some cases costing them jobs.
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Gmail's Mic Drop April Fool Backfires Horribly Costing People Their Jobs

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  • Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:02AM (#51822421) Homepage

    this is how we weed out the dumb people at the office.

    • "Score: 10"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think anyone who uses gmail or Yahoo mail for their business is an idiot.

      • Re:Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:57AM (#51822809) Journal
        Not particularly politely put, but that's exactly the core issue. If email is so important to you that you can lose your job if it does the wrong thing, then you should be using an email service with an SLA (or hosting your own in-house). If you're using email for business, then don't use a provider whose business model involves scanning your email.
        • Re:Good! (Score:4, Informative)

          by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @11:05AM (#51823801) Homepage

          I really don't agree. Gmail is stable and just works all the time. If your goal is to always have access to your email, rolling your own email server will be many times worse at accomplishing that. If your goal is security, you are probably 100% right.

          • One of Gmail's biggest strengths in an office environment is its search tools. I've asked repeatedly around here what you should do to get your own Google-quality search capabilities with an in-house server (or client on gmail's server) and so-far haven't gotten an answer that meets enough criteria. (Google's speed being the big one...). I'm still looking for this, suggestions much appreciated.

            So, yeah, I think Gmail, even in it's web form (as opposed to using an email client) is pretty slick in an offic

      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        Absolutely right and include hotmail and live mail to this short-list of unprofessionalism.
        If your customers or employers are sensitive to the kind of prank of the article you have every reason to use a professional mail service.
      • by kruug ( 4451395 )
        > I just sent off an email with my resume to the first person who wanted to interview me in months," one user posted in a Google Help forum. " I clicked the wrong button and sent it with the mic drop. This isn't about people getting fired over sending out a "mic-drop", this is about people who don't have jobs or don't use their current employers e-mail service as their personal e-mail service missing out on potential employment because of a joke.
      • by Krojack ( 575051 )

        A lot of small businesses use Google Apps as it's a good price for the service and easy to manage. This includes hosting the email for the company on their own personal domain name.

    • Re:Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:23AM (#51822575)
      Falling victim to a bad user interface does not mean someone is dumb.
      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Carl, we talked to you about missing the point.... Come to my office and bring everything in your desk with you.. Stan from security will be assisting you.

        • Carl, we talked to you about missing the point.... Come to my office and bring everything in your desk with you.. Stan from security will be assisting you.

          One week later: "I'm sorry, I never saw that email"

          • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

            Sometimes the mail servers are slow.

            For a while I had a 4pm meeting, nearly every day it would be cancelled at 3:45 and I would get the email notice sometime after 6pm....every....fucking....day....

      • Falling victim to a bad user interface does not mean someone is dumb.

        In this case it does.

        • I saw the "mic drop" feature last night before it was pulled. It was a button right next to the Send button and the same size as the Send button. It said Send plus an outline image of a hand dropping a mic but that could be easily missed. The color was different than the normal buttons, but, again, this could easily be missed in the rush to click Send. The difference between the two buttons wasn't stark enough and confusion was going to happen. The joke wasn't horrible, but they could have made it the

    • Absolutely. I saw it last night, and it was clear that clicking it would send all replies to /dev/null. I thought it was a great way to deal with online harassment. If you're too stupid to read, maybe you need to stick to phone calls.
    • Not really. Google even admitted that there was a bug that, after sending the image, any subsequent emails could have the image attached to those even without pressing the button. It could be that many of these people who reported the issue sent the funny email once, intentionally, and then all subsequent emails got it too. They shouldn't be considered "dumb" when it was the stupid engineer and QA teams who were too stupid to see a simple bug. For once, it was the stupidity of the "computer people" and not
      • Not really. Google even admitted that there was a bug that, after sending the image, any subsequent emails could have the image attached to those even without pressing the button. It could be that many of these people who reported the issue sent the funny email once, intentionally, and then all subsequent emails got it too. They shouldn't be considered "dumb" when it was the stupid engineer and QA teams who were too stupid to see a simple bug. For once, it was the stupidity of the "computer people" and not of the "luser".

        They were dumb to press it the first time. Really dumb. It made it clear that any future replies would be rejected. So if you don't want them to send a reply, just don't send them one.

        • I think you misunderstand. If I had clicked to add that graphic to one email, there was a bug that would have that happening in future emails, including those not going to the same contacts. It impacted ALL outgoing emails, for SOME people.
    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      I dunno.... not being hired by people who would hold being the victim of a april fools joke against you seems like no great loss. Who wants to work for dumb pricks?

  • META-April Fools! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CajunArson ( 465943 )

    The story about the backlash is the meta-April Fools about the Mic Drop feature.

  • Google hates employees anyway and wants to replace them all with their own version of Skynet
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:08AM (#51822469)

    I don't need Google's help; I never get a second interview in any case, because I ask the hard questions!

    Are you interviewing applicants just to make yourself look important?
    Are you seriously planning to hire anyone?
    What exactly is it that you think you do here?

  • I don't get it. I was thinking it might have been 20160401 in decimal, or it was something Bender said in Futurama.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:28AM (#51822603) Journal

    You might argue that "oh noes, the button was too close to the send button, and I accidentally clicked it", however....

    It didn't cost you the job because you mic-dropped the target, but it may have cost you the job because you demonstrated a disregard for/sloppiness with details. (In exactly the same way even trivial misspellings in resumes or cover letters can cost you a job: not because they don't think you can spell, but because you didn't care enough to double check something important thoroughly.)
    It may seem trivial, but when I get 00's of resumes for a position, honestly the first cull is going to be the obvious misfits and barring really eye-grabbing qualifications, trivialities such as misspellings (or mic-drop emails) for that very reason.

    So did the mic drop actually cost you the job, or reveal that they really probably shouldn't have hired you?

    • by Kythe ( 4779 )
      I think that's reaching. According to images of the interface, the "Send Mic Drop" button was right next to the correct one, it was orange (so more noticeable, and one might logically think it's the "send" button) and until one read the story, it wasn't even clear that it did something different than a regular "send".

      I think you might be getting a little twitchy on the "roundfile" button yourself if you would treat something like this as disqualifying. Just my $0.02.
      • There are a LOT more job candidates than there are jobs for them these days. That sort of sloppiness DOES send a message to a potential employer...

      • by asavage ( 548758 )
        It actually replaced the reply and archive button so people who usually press reply and archive inserted the mic drop gif instead.
    • it may have cost you the job because you demonstrated a disregard for/sloppiness with details

      It probably did both sides a favour. The employer now knows not to call that individual for interview and the applicant won't have to travel to an interview they are (highly) likely to fail.

    • It will cost you the job when someone replies to your job application, congratulating you on sense of humour (who doesn't love minions?), telling you you're just the person they've been looking for, and offering you double the salary.

      Because you won't get the reply. The feature mutes any replies.

    • It may seem trivial, but when I get 00's of resumes for a position, honestly the first cull is going to be the obvious misfits and barring really eye-grabbing qualifications, trivialities such as misspellings (or mic-drop emails) for that very reason.

      00's? You just culled yourself.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:29AM (#51822619) Journal
    I work in software and I sit through endless hours of meeting where we mull over mundane user interface changes. We agonize over minor things like reorganizing a menu tree that has grown too big. Or replacing an icon chosen ages ago in a hurry, which does not really represent the feature it stands for, but our users are used to it and have learned to associate it. Is it worth replacing it? etc.

    Then comes google and android. Menu items and user interface paradigms and rules are changed at the whim. One day it is the "gear", suddenly it is gone and there is a the three lines, suddenly it is nine dots in a matrix, then dot dot dot... Some thing that appears to be some decoration in the phone app is the "new" interface for a well known functionality used to be located somewhere else.

    Ages ago I watched a young boy play Super Mario Brothers. He ran along some path, stopped at some seemingly random location, banged his head on the brick 8 times, a gold bar fell out. Pocketed the points and ran along. I asked him, "how did you know there is a gold bar on that brick?". He said, "Well, you keep banging your head on every brick in the wall to see if there is something?". "You banged your head on EVERY brick eight times on this tunnel?", He goes, "nah, I banged some 30 or 40 times, this brick needs only 8 hits".

    I wonder if that boy grew up, got a job designing user interface for Android apps. They seem to think, after every release the user should try every gesture on every pixel to re-learn how to use this app.

    • Maybe this is a shocker, but Google and Android also spend hours on UI/UX testing, research, and so on.

      Maybe they're just more efficient at it than your company is?

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Maybe this is a shocker, but Google and Android also spend hours on UI/UX testing, research, and so on.

        I want to believe that the heavyweights (Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc) really do invest a lot of time, money and manpower into user interface research. But why do the results often feel like they just hire artists looking to make a name for themselves with a unique visual approach?

        "Human Factors" is an actual academic discipline and I find it hard to believe that aggregated wisdom in that field supported radical changes in user interface for established products. Your users have many man-hours of learnin

    • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

      Playing around with Android TV the other day, I couldn't figure out how zoom worked without a touchscreen. I already tried the mousewheel, dragging various corners, double-clicking, triple clicking.... punching it into a search engine found the answer...

      Double-click-drag.

      Might be the most unintuitive action I can think of.

    • Ages ago I watched a young boy play Super Mario Brothers. He ran along some path, stopped at some seemingly random location, banged his head on the brick 8 times, a gold bar fell out. Pocketed the points and ran along. I asked him, "how did you know there is a gold bar on that brick?". He said, "Well, you keep banging your head on every brick in the wall to see if there is something?". "You banged your head on EVERY brick eight times on this tunnel?", He goes, "nah, I banged some 30 or 40 times, this brick needs only 8 hits".

      He should have hit it 4,294,967,303 [gizmodo.com] times, just in case.

    • ...and yet, after all this running of your mouth, the normal Send button stayed right where it's always been, making your entire post a non-sequitir.
    • by safetyinnumbers ( 1770570 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @10:26AM (#51823525)

      "You banged your head on EVERY brick eight times on this tunnel?", He goes, "nah, I banged some 30 or 40 times, this brick needs only 8 hits".

      I never before appreciated just how well video games could prepare you for life in general.

  • Honestly, I like the binary. I think it should stay......or if it takes up too much room, just convert to hexidecimal and leave it at that.

    Bring back the "News for Nerds" mantra.

  • by sootman ( 158191 )

    Is this for real? If so: congratulations, Google, you won Internet Jackass Day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:35AM (#51822657)

    It looks like the new Slashdot owners are posting real stories on April 1 instead of fake stories that weren't even remotely funny. Good job. That alone makes Slashdot better than under any previous ownership, including Malda.

    They did do one cute Easter egg which I found cute. That's doing April Fools the right way.

  • You know what's unprofessional? Accidentally pressing the big yellow button.

  • When I checked my email last night and saw the new feature I immediately tried to find a way to turn it off, because it seemed an utterly pointless feature, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I carelessly clicked it by mistake. Gad to see it's already gone.

  • Google! Please take your job serious. This is no longer the '90's. WTF.
  • by Dagmar d'Surreal ( 5939 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @08:47AM (#51822761) Journal
    In other news, stupid people continue to blame others for their inability to perform simple tasks (like clicking a blue button that's been in the same place literally forever, instead of an orange, animated one) without fucking things up.
  • Since when does humor come without someone's expense? Every single goddammed change in some publicly-used application is going to have someone complaining that something inadvertently bad happened because of it. In 1 billion people, you can find someone, somewhere who used it incorrectly. I for one am glad for many people to be amused for one day at the expense of a few people who didn't look carefully enough.
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Still waiting for Microsoft to jump up and yell "April Fools" over the Metro UI.

  • Have the Gmail designers forgotten that email is now the "old fogey" way to communicate, and that it's a lot more official than IMs or text messages?

    I probably wouldn't have fired anyone over this, but responding to an email thread with a "mic drop" by King Bob is the ultimate childish way to end a conversation. I'm reminded of my wise-beyond-his-years 5 year old just turning his back on a conversation he doesn't want to have. There are some people I'd love to do this to because they drive me nuts, but surp

  • I used to think that webmail was a fundamentally stupid idea mainly because it's impossible for it to be done securely. (The IMAP client is some other computer with which you'd have to share your keys, so there's really no point in even trying to do things sanely.) It inhibits the practice of people signing and encrypting email, and thanks to network effects, an entire dimension of technology is effectively denied to nearly everyone. Spam, phishing, surveillance: they could be gone by now, but we still pay

  • Just a dumb idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Friday April 01, 2016 @09:38AM (#51823169)
    Talk about brutal . . . I saw one screen capture of the "minion mic drop" GIF pasted into a funeral home director's email to the deceased's family. Not sure if that one was fake or not, but with 900M users, how could Google possibly think this was a good idea?
  • Particularly in the case where you tell a subordinate to do something and they insist on debating every detail. Just effing do it and shut the hell up.

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