Google did not do their annual April Fools’ Day pranks this year. What many people are going through feels like a real-life joke from HELL, so Google thought making jokes was a bad look. But not K-pop star Jaejoong who joked he had coronavirus, but joke’s on him, because he could find himself in legal trouble over this.
Business Insider got their hands on a company email from Google in which marketing chief, Lorraine Twohill, told employees that the company was standing down on April Fools’ jokes and so should the rest of staff. Some of the pranks Google has pulled over the years include: a plan for a human settlement on Mars, a mic-drop button on Gmail, and Google Translate for Animals. Lorraine’s email said:
“Under normal circumstances, April Fool’s is a Google tradition and a time to celebrate what makes us an unconventional company… This year, we’re going to take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. 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… We’ve already stopped any centralized April Fool’s efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about. Please suss out those efforts and make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned–internally or externally.”
Meanwhile, K-pop star, Jaejoong of the group JYJ, decided today was the perfect day for a coronavirus prank. The New York Times reports that Jaejoong told his 1.9 million Instagram followers that he had coronavirus and blamed his “careless” choices. That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, ain’t it? He wrote (via AllKPop):
“I’ve been infected with COVID19. This was all due to my carelessness, for ignoring the advice provided by the government and all those around me. It’s a wonder how significantly one person’s actions can affect the greater society… I am apologetic toward those who may have also been inflicted with the virus because of me. I’ve become like this because of my stupid decision, to live thinking it’ll never be me. I am being hospitalized. I am wrapped up feelings of gratitude and apology while reflecting on my past. There are so many things I want to say… I want to see so many people…”
That is a dra-ma-tic revelation considering he made the whole shit up. After fans lost their minds and K-pop news sites picked up the story, Jaejoong came clean and people were furious.
In his follow-up post revealing the prank, he said he would “accept all punishments that I would get for this post.”
“This prank was too much to be considered a simple April Fools’ Day joke, but many people expressed their worry for me during that short period of time,” he said.
“We just came across the post now. We will check on the matter.”
The Bankok Post said that multiple countries have warned against doing exactly this. Thai police said people “disseminating false information” on COVID for April Fools’ Day faced up to five years jail time and fines of up to $3,000. And officials in Taiwan, India and Germany also said similar shit. The Korea Herald said that in South Korea, authorities have said Coronavirus misinformation would be considered “obstruction of official duties and defamation”, so we’ll see if Jaejoong gets some legal heat over this.
I’m sure Jaejoong isn’t alone and that “I’M PREEEEEEEEGNANT” will be replaced by “I’VE GOT COROOOOOOONA” as the new totally original and surprising April Fool’s joke. But if you are in the mood to pull a prank, please toilet paper my house and egg my yard since I’m out of both, but instead of throwing the eggs, just put them neatly in a basket in front of the door. That’ll show me!