Google’s prank on Gmail users that wasn’t a prank, but juvenile nuisance at best

Google decided to prank Gmail users this year by offering a button that would attach a “mic drop” gif to the email and move the conversation to the archives. Going by the general understanding that the prank is on me, and looking forward to seeing what Google have come up with, I clicked the button.

Except, there was no prank. The button did exactly what it said, and I watched horrified, as the mic down gif was sent along with a simple note thanking a condolence message I had received on the demise of my father two days ago.

To put it extremely mildly, this wasn’t funny in the least.

I fail to understand Google’s idea of a prank with this, that does absolutely nothing unexpected to the person supposedly being pranked, while doing some fairly irreversible actions to people they correspond with instead.

We ignore most emails we get, replying largely to those that hold some value for us. How many of us engage in conversation where we’d want to have the last word and shut people out, that a button on the editor had any reasonable expectation of not being grossly inappropriate? Also, WHERE IS THE PRANK? The button did exactly what it said. Sent a rude image and removed the conversation from the inbox altogether!

I understand that mine is a rather extreme example and most people haven’t lost a near and dear one that they aren’t replying to, but seriously, outside my spam folder, I was not able to find a single email in the last full week that this “prank” would be appropriate for. Even the emails other than condolences had value. Friends connecting, work, clients, readers, relatives, conversation regarding my son’s recent surgery…. That prank, even if we were to consider it one, was absolutely out of context for anyone not in the habit of replying to spam.

This is pretty awful,Google, not appreciated at all. I also consider it a pretty serious issue of sending emails without consent. A consent for a prank is most certainly not consent for a single curious click leading to an action of this gravity.

The only consolation is that I was able to retrieve the conversation from the archives and return it to my inbox and that Google being so famous, I’m sure it has pissed off a lot of people, and my apparent rudeness would be correctly understood as curiosity for something on my screen that turned out to be a malicious prank that sent an email of this nature without any confirmation whatsoever and not a crass message I deliberately sent them.

Epic fail.

 

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