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Reflections on April Fools
Posted Apr 4, 2014 - 9:52:38

Reflections on April Fools

So I used to be really into April Fools Day. I mean, like seriously into it. I've done real world pranks, dumb internet pranks, and lots of other stuff.

But the internet's embrace of April Fools has started to get a bit tiresome. You see, the nice thing about April Fools jokes is that they usually stop happening when April Fools Day is over. This isn't so for most April Fools jokes on the Internet. Most go up in the form of news posts and blog entries.

News posts and blog entries that stick around forever.

And not everyone checks the tiny date stamp on an article when they read it - if they did, I wouldn't see legitimate (but old) stories pop up as new in my social networks all the time (I'm looking at you Captain Worf). So the many pranks that sound just real enough get recycled as real news stories by people who merely made the mistake of trusting a news source.

So here's my proposal: On April 1st, make your jokes. But on April 2nd, either take them down or clearly mark the article as a joke in giant, bold type at the top. Don't assume anyone will click a link to reveal an April Fools message. They won't. Nor will they check the date when they run across your post on May 23rd.

Be obvious.

Because, y'know, I end up feeling bad when I have to explain to my friends that Netflix isn't really making more Firefly...
- Traegorn

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Redbox had an awesome April Fools joke, it even included the name of the holiday as a promo code. They sent an email saying they were introducing mood scanners that you touch to reveal what genre of movie you want to watch in select locations. Then it had a link to click for more details revealing the code and making it up to you by giving you 50 cents off your rental.

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