It's April Fool's Day: Trust No OneS

Today is April Fool's Day, a magical 24-hour spell during which companies spend lots of money to make stupid changes to their websites as a joke instead of as a business decision. In the spirit of public service we'd like to remind you: Don't trust anything you hear today. "Google Nose BETA," the search engine for scents? No. YouTube shutting down in preparation for finding the best video of all time? No. Twitter charging for vowels? No. Google Maps' new "treasure map" setting? Not real, and also not really even a joke. As usual, tech companies are the worst offenders in the publicity-in-exchange-for-saying-things-that-aren't-true game, but marketers have been gearing up for this for weeks, too. And TV: Good Morning America had a segment on a gorilla language this morning, and the Today Show had a Chris Brown "Breezy Flash Mob" complete with an interview. (Oh, no, wait: Today actually interviewed a violent and unrepentant abuser and hosted his insane fans outside its studio.) The prize for politics-related April Fool's is a tie between Sen. Ted Cruz who made a horrifically ugly April Fool's image macro for his Twitter, and the Yale Daily News, which straight-facedly announces that Hillary Clinton is joining the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. (Ah: that famous New Haven sense of humor.) I don't have a clear memory of anything that happened before, say, 2005, so I have to ask: Was April Fool's Day always this excruciating? Or is this all—the endless stream of bad non-jokes, the news coverage of the bad non-jokes, and the grumpy bloggers whining about the above—the internet's fault? April Fool's! I already know the answer: Human beings have always been embarrassing and unfunny, well before the internet. [Lifehacker | NYT | USAT]