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Report: No Google April Fools’ Day event this year

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  • An internal memo obtained by Business Insider suggests there could be no Google April Fools’ Day gag this year.
  • If true, this would be the second year in a row Google’s skipped its long-standing tradition.
  • The alleged memo makes it clear that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the reason behind this decision.

Every year, Google has had a ton of fun with April Fools’ Day gags. One of the best was Gmail Paper, which would have allowed users to send their email via standard post — on “94% post-consumer organic soybean sputum,” with sputum being the mucus you cough up when making a phlegm bomb.

Last year, though, Google canceled this annual event. Now, according to Business Insider, there could again not be a Google April Fools’ Day prank this year. If true, this would be the second year in a row and only the second time since 2004 that Google has not participated in the tradition.

Related: Here are Google’s April Fools’ Day gags: From Google Tulip to spoon bending in Gboard

As with last year, the alleged reasoning behind this change is the COVID-19 pandemic. With much of the world still in dire straits thanks to the virus, Google likely feels it’s just not the right time for jokes.

Leaked memo says no Google April Fools’ Day gag

The source of this information is a leaked internal memo obtained by Business Insider. In the alleged memo, Google VP Marvin Chow has this to say:

Throughout the past year, I have been so inspired by how helpful our products, programs, and people have been during humanity’s toughest times. We’ve done it with sensitivity and empathy, reflecting the range of challenging experiences so many are experiencing globally. As you will remember, last year we made the decision to pause our longstanding Google tradition of celebrating April Fools’ Day, out of respect for all those fighting COVID-19. With much of the world still grappling with serious challenges, we feel we should again pause the jokes for April Fools’ Day this year. Like we did last year, we should continue to find appropriate ways to bring moments of joy to our users throughout the year.

As with last year, Google employees can still “celebrate” April Fools’ Day with things that aren’t flat-out pranks and/or fabrications. In the leaked memo, Chow allegedly refers to things like Easter Eggs (the software kind, not the real kind) and Google Doodles as good ways to have fun with the day.

We have reached out to Google to get confirmation on all this, but have not heard back yet. We will update this article once we hear word. In the meantime, it’s a safe bet that there won’t be a Google gag this year.

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