Internal Microsoft Memo Bans April Fools Jokes

/ 5 years ago

Microsoft Bans April Fools Jokes

With April Fools just a few days away, we can pretty guarantee that they’ll be some wild stories flying around on that Monday morning. Having always decided to rise above such childish pranks here at eTeknix, however, it seems that Microsoft has taken a far sterner approach.

In a report via The Verge, an internal memo at Microsoft has been leaked pretty much warning all employees not to engage in any April Fools day jokes.

Spoil Sport!

In an internal memo, Microsoft’s marketing chief Chris Capossela has reportedly warned all staff members about engaging in such pranks.

Hey everyone, It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts. Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles. Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day. Please forward to your teams and internal partners to ensure people are aware of the ask to stand down on external April Fools’ Day activities.

While he isn’t outright banning April Day Fools jokes, it seems pretty clear that if an employee does pull one that backfires, there will be consequences.

Could This Backfire?

While their data indicates ‘limited impact’, in my personal view a well thought out April Fools prank can have a really positive effect. It’s an old example, but many still cite the BBC’s ‘Spaghetti Tree’ as one of the greatest pranks ever pulled.

As such, I think Microsoft is a bit mean in discouraging this. Yes, admittedly you don’t want employees going rogue. I do, however, think that a thoughtful prank can have a positive effect amongst the tech community.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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