Amidst the scare and gloom that coronavirus has caused globally, tech giant Google has decided to cancel the April Fools’ Day celebration this year. Reports suggest that Google spends around 40 percent of its annual budget on April fools’ pranks and content. This year, however, it has decided to opt-out of this tradition. According to Business Insider, Google will “take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.” We love you, Google!

Beware Of Jokes You Share Today! Here’s Why

  • The Maharashtra government has warned citizens of posting fake news as pranks this April Fools’ day. Since fake news and information might lead to panic, anyone not adhering to the instructions will be booked under the Information Technology (IT) Act.
  • The Chief Minister of Kerala warned people against spreading fake news on April Fools’ day. The state is the second most affected one in the number of coronavirus cases across the country. 
  • The Mumbai Police has already registered a case against a man who shared a piece of fake news saying that the military has been deployed in the city owing to coronavirus. 
  • Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Anil Deshmukh took to Twitter to announce that strict action will be taken against those found spreading fake news. 

“We have already stopped any centralized April Fools’ efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about. Make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned — internally or externally. Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one,” Google marketing head Lorraine Twohill wrote in an internal email to Business Insider.

Also Read: It Is Important As Citizens To Report Cyber Crime And Fake News

Why Is April Fools’ Day Celebrated?

April Fools’ day doesn’t have a definite connection with any historical event. It is said that the initiation of the event dates back to the 16th century. During this time, the people of France switched from the Juliana calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. In the Julian Calendar, the new year begins on April 1 and hence the new year is celebrated. However, as they transitioned to the Gregorian calendar, the new year date shifted as well, to January 1. People who couldn’t grab this fact and kept on celebrating the new year on April 1 were referred to as April Fools.

Another famous incident that finds its connection with the April Fools’ day is the Hilaria Festival which was celebrated in ancient Rome. The celebration of this festival involved dressing up in disguises and mocking each other. It is said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris, and Seth. Another very interesting speculation of why April Fools’ day is celebrated is the vernal equinox. It is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and the concept of fools is tied to the fact that the mother nature fools us as it transitions to unpredictable weather.

Beware Of Both- Sending And Receiving Fake Messages

This April Fools’ day is different. Unlike every year, when pranks and jokes worked as a rescue from our everyday hassle, this year, lakhs of people across the world are fighting for their lives. Not believing in any news without confirmation is as important as not sharing something without proper research. For you, it might be a joke, but it can definitely prove fatal for someone else. Every information can be scrutinized with the help of facts easily available on the official site of ICMR (Indian Council Of Medical Research).

Picture Credit- The Wrap

Also Read: Coronavirus: 5 Ways To Manage News Consumption In Times Of Crisis

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