Companies opt out of April fools pranks in light of coronavirus crisis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Today is April 1, also known as April Fools’ Day. But some companies are opting out of pranks this year. That’s because they fear it could do more harm and spread misinformation.

That includes Google. They have a longstanding tradition of pranks, but officials said this year they would refrain from their annual ritual of sharing April Fools’ Day jokes across the company’s platforms.

Instead, they want pay respect to those who are fighting COVID-19 and want to make sure they are a reliable tool for those who are looking for relevant information in the midst of the pandemic.

Other companies are taking a bit of a different approach. T-Mobile wants people to “give thanks not pranks” by expressing their gratitude to the helpers of the world and help them raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ COVID-19 relief fund that supports our nation’s first responders and healthcare workers.

You can do that by tweeting #givethanksnotpranks and tagging T-Mobile. You can also text thanks to 50555.

A lot of countries across the world are taking the spread of misinformation extremely seriously.

In Thailand, officials say jokes about the virus could end with you behind bars.

In Taiwan, the president announced that anyone spreading rumors could face up to three years in jail and a nearly $100K fine.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., #NoApril is trending on Twitter. Americans say it’s not the time for humor this year.

 

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