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It’s now April, which means the one day of the year which celebrates jokers, pranksters, and trolls is over for another 12 months. I am of course referring to April Fools’ Day, an invented holiday that falls on April 1 each year. Some people love it, others hate it; there is very little middle ground.

In the real world most people don’t bother playing tricks on people for April Fools’, a fact we should all be grateful for. But the Web is a whole new ball game. And it seems to be getting worse. As someone who works online and who needs to be able to sort the fake news from the real news, I notice these things to the nth degree, but is it the same for everyone? And if so, does it bother you at all? This topic forms the basis for this week’s We Ask You discussion.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Do You Love Or Hate April Fools’ Day Online? It’s a simple question, but one which is likely to prompt passionate opinions on both sides. This probably only applies to those who are addicted to the Internet Are You Addicted to the Internet? [You Told Us] Are You Addicted to the Internet? [You Told Us] The Internet is perhaps the greatest invention of all time. It's certainly up there amongst the main contenders, even now when it's still only in its infancy. The possibilities this interconnected web of computer networks... Read More , because the rest of the population likely just takes a break from the Internet Take A Break From the Internet - You’ll Thank Yourself Later [Opinion] Take A Break From the Internet - You’ll Thank Yourself Later [Opinion] Oh, the Internet. One of the most world-changing inventions of the past century, perhaps even in all of human history. Never before has everything been so available in so little effort for so low a... Read More for this one day of the year. At least.

Every April Fools’ Day is the same, with Google playing numerous pranks on the public across its many services. Other companies tend to also get involved, though to a lesser degree. This year saw the likes of Sony, Nokia, Microsoft, Twitter, Netflix, Roku, Toshiba, Virgin, Samsung, and Soundcloud all making an effort.

Some April Fools’ Day gags are easy to spot and shared across the InterWebs by eagle-eyed people. But others are either much more difficult to figure out or don’t get enough attention to be flagged as mere jokes. Here are 8 April Fools’ Day pranks you may have missed 8 April Fools' Day Pranks You May Have Missed 8 April Fools' Day Pranks You May Have Missed April Fools' Day is, depending on your individual point of view, either a pathetic waste of everyone's time and energy that you try to avoid as much as possible or 24 hours of fun that... Read More this year, but are they entertaining or just annoying?

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Do you appreciate these efforts by companies both big and small to troll their users? Or does it instead wind you up to the point that you’d forego using the product or service that the prank is connected to? Do you think we should all embrace April Fools’ Day online? Or rally against it until the culprits are forced to cease and desist?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, and the respect of other readers. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee

  1. Ashwin Ramesh
    April 7, 2013 at 1:51 am

    April Fools' Day.. Hmmm.. Well.. I both LOVE and hate it :) Love it, because it is my birthday :D And well.. hate it, for reasons obvious ;)

    Talking about pranks online, every single year the internet goes crazy on Fools’ Day. Every company announces a new product and some of them are really bad at fooling. For example, Google released Google Nose BETA and Gmail Blue. Atleast for me, these seemed extremely obvious. But I should say that it was done well and would have been fun for the people involved in making it.

    By far, I think the best April Fools’ Day prank on the internet would have to be YouTube's (think in 2008!) Rickrolling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling). It was simple and funny.

    Unless they’re done right, Fools’ Day pranks really suck. I, for one, don't dig the whole "new product" thing that comes these days. Kind of seems too obvious, however, some people really are into it.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      It sounds like you don't mind the odd prank, but they have to be a) done well, and b) not as numerous as they seem to be these days. Perhaps we should leave it just to Google and ban any other company from taking part :)

  2. sl0j0n
    April 6, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I *REALLY* hate the so-called "April Fools' Day" phenomenon.
    Little known fact: according to the calendar in use today,
    "April" 01 is the date that Jesus was executed,
    in the year 33 of the Common Era.
    Some may say, 'mere coincidence', but I think not.
    It seems that the name "April Fools" would have an implied connotation,
    if only by reason of the fact that, apparently,
    few 'significant' events of renown, other than Jesus' execution,
    have occurred on that date.
    Jesus' execution occurred on the anniversary of the Passover,
    according to the solar-lunar calendar used by ancient Hebrews.
    In that calendar, Nissan 14 began at sundown of the evening of the first full moon,
    following the March or northward equinox.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

    • Dave Parrack
      April 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      I guess there might be a connection, but this is the first time I've heard of it.

  3. Bumferry
    April 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Not a fan of April Fools day. The gags are never really worth it and feel tired and old or overly complicated and are never EVER as funny as their creator thinks.
    I enjoy a good gag but find that the real April fools tend to be the ones who try and come up with a witty gag to spill all over the internet.
    Unless there was a really original and funny joke to share, I think the day is best left to "ink on the telephone receiver" and whoopie cushion user of the real world.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:46 am

      Whoopie cushions, now they're fun. Thanks for reminding me of a more innocent time when fart gags were all it took for my day to be awesome lol.

  4. Graham Richardson
    April 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    When they are done well, and lets face it Google usually fall into this category then they are great fun. You do usually know that anything you read is likely to be a prank so you are less likely to be really embarrassed when you get caught out.

    Its a lot more annoying when local news papers etc try and add a prank news item as they are so scared to upset anyone that they usually end up trying to make up a lame name that's an anagram of April Fool like "Paul Folior" this year in our local just so that's its obvious to anyone with any brain cells still working.

    Of course the funniest part of most April Fool pranks are comments left by people who clearly didnt get the joke and then complain about it. Years ago in Plymouth a local cafe brought in extra staff after reading that a new pier was being towed into the City - and got very upset when it didnt arrive!

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:45 am

      I kinda wish I was dumb enough to fall for these pranks. Maybe then I'd enjoy the day a little more!

  5. Peter Everett
    April 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I love it, because its just a bit of fun, where the normally serious have a laugh and post the sort of stuff that they just wouldnt/couldnt/shouldnt otherwise :) dont be such a bah humbug :p

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:44 am

      You should see me at Christmas!

  6. Abhishek Rai
    April 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Feeling of loving or hating aprils fool day online is a mixed bag for me. I love it for what companies like (Google, Sony, Samsung, Nokia and every other site i visit that day) put in thier efforts to make belive that news or that product is real, actually it feels that these companies somewhere care for thier users and help us to take a breathe of fresh air

    actually that day nokia post a news that they are making a microwave belive me for a second i thought it was real indeed.

    Now the part that annoyed me is there were several news that day which i missed thinking they were fake or if i somehow belived they were real the comments section i read make me belive they are aprils fool jokes.

    so in anutshell the day was good. BUT I TOTALLY MISSED MAKEUSEOF DID'T POST A SINGLE APRIL'S FOOL DAY ARTICLE

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:44 am

      We don't do April Fools'... for which you should all be grateful!

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        Do it next year...for a change.
        We would like to see what you can come up with.

        • Dave Parrack
          April 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm

          Really? I can put it to my bosses but I'm predicting there will be howls of complaint from other writers and lots of the commenters. I'd worry about it ruining our credibility.

        • Lisa Santika Onggrid
          April 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

          Tasteful, Dave. As long it's not egregious and nicely done, I don't think it'll cause much trouble. The whole net is doing that as well.

  7. Austin
    April 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I love it, it's pretty hilarious, and I've seen some great jokes over the years. I wouldn't want it to stop. However, I am also glad that it's only once a year. It would get irritating if it was like every month or something, but I like it the way it is.

  8. G W
    April 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I think the pranks are passe. What good is a prank when you can countdown to when they are going to be pulled?

    What would happen to if a company, like Google, DIDN'T participate next year? I feel it would probably create a backlash.

    I'm sure it helps foster some creativity for companies, but they're now more of an expectation than anything. They're almost like the quarterly business updates.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:43 am

      What we need is a floating April Fools' Day which turns up unexpectedly on a different day each year. That would be more fun.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm

        But some people wouldn't be as receptive.
        Say, if Google were to announce GMail Blue on November 10th, for example, hate mail would have flooded into their inbox. Those folks who take everything so seriously *grin*

        • Dave Parrack
          April 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

          Oh, of course. In actuality it wouldn't work, but it would at least bring the surprise element back to the whole thing.

  9. Luke Sharkey
    April 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I'm on the fence. It's getting somewhat OLD now.

  10. Sangram Anand
    April 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I love, the online april fool pranks, especially Google ones. The fun side is, people believing those and writing comments on it...:)

    One more interesting thing observed in online pranks is the way they express the prank concept, explaining it very seriously as if its a serious damn project...;)

    • Dave Parrack
      April 6, 2013 at 3:42 am

      I must admit there's a certain appeal to seeing people fall for these obvious pranks.

  11. macwitty
    April 5, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Love it - always waiting for what good sites and radio/tv will come up with

  12. Pooky Joralyn
    April 5, 2013 at 3:21 am

    love it! In fact, I just want it to come quicker and quicker

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