Every year, toward the end of March, it starts happening again to technology reporters around the world. The news releases, sent via email, suck you in with some unbelievable piece of news — until you look at the embargo date and realize that it is, in fact, unbelievable.
Excuse me while I play the role of curmudgeon while everyone else is having fun today, but this is easily my least favorite day of the year. It has become an implicit understanding around the office: Don’t pitch me on any April Fool’s stories, especially not any in which we would be complicit in fooling anyone.
There are three fundamental problems with the way April Fool’s Day has evolved in the tech industry.
1) There’s already enough fake news floating around on a daily basis, attempting to trick us into believing things that aren’t real. Do we really need a day to celebrate this phenomenon?
2) There’s already enough real news that’s so crazy it’s unbelievable. (Exhibit A: Facebook is buying Oculus. Yes, really.) April Fool’s Day has been rendered unnecessary by real life.
3) A lot of these fake news stories aren’t even funny. Yes, there are some exceptions out there, but if you’re going to the trouble of doing one of these April Fool’s “jokes,” please bring your sense of humor.
It turns out I’m not the only one who isn’t a huge fan of April 1 in tech.
April 1st is my annual "ignore the internet day". See you tomorrow.
— Jesse Robbins (@jesserobbins) April 1, 2014
SF startups spend thousands of dollars on April Fool's joke sites when they could donate the money to help the city's homelessness instead.
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) March 31, 2014
Go ahead, have your fun today, and tear me apart in the comments for being an old fart.
Then again, how do you know this commentary itself isn’t an April Fool’s joke? Exactly.