Google is sitting out this year’s April Fools’ Day. It’s one of the more annoying “holidays” that the company tends to celebrate with religious fervor, as it meticulously plans numerous elaborate pranks that usually involve just about everything in its product portfolio.
However, Google has likely realised it would be very tone-deaf to partake in such light-hearted internet gags this 1 April, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to affect the entire world. According to an internal email obtained by Business Insider, Google wants to “take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The email from Google’s head of marketing continues to read:
“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. We’ve already stopped any centralised April Fool’s efforts but realise 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.”
With a health crisis gripping the US, UK, and the rest of the world, it might not be the most appropriate time to make jokes, especially ones that momentarily spread misinformation about essential services such as YouTube or Gmail.
We suspect other companies will follow and cancel their April Fools’ plans, too.