April 1 used to be the best day on the internet.
Although April Fools is a long-time tradition, going at least as far back as 1957 in the mass media with the BBC’s famous spaghetti tree spoof, the internet’s ravenous hunger for “tentpole events” whipped it up into a frenzy pitch.
Fake product launches, odd app additions, and not being able to tell the difference between the Onion and the Guardian have become par for the course. This article in the Evening Standard and this one on CNET show some of the best.
— Whitchurch & Llandaff North (@stevenick100) April 1, 2019
However, the internet has got a lot more serious in recent years, as concerns have spread around the spread of disinformation (so-called “fake news”). Social media companies are now doing much more work to distinguish fact from fiction on their platforms. It would seem that people are also tired of news sites posting pranks too, which is why we haven’t done one.
cheers to all the media companies that don't pull april fools' pranks on their readers
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) April 1, 2019
Accounts that would have posted a joke in previous years are now more cautious, including this band:
hello we’d post an april fools joke like “we’re breaking up lol” but it’s already hard enough to know what is & isn’t true on the internet without us adding to it. have a good day.
— As It Is (@ASITISofficial) April 1, 2019
The BBC have written a great article on 10 bizarre news stories that are, it would seem, actually not April Fools jokes. This includes a great WalesOnline story about a man arrested for drunk horseriding in our very own Cardiff.
Male arrested for being drunk in charge of a horse in Cardiff, stopped by colleagues from JFU. Male blew 102 roadside and will be charged to court. Having to rein ourselves in now, don’t want to saddle you with unnecessary puns!!!#team4east
— South Wales Police Roads Policing Unit (@SWP_Roads) March 31, 2019
It seems, however, that there are some businesses that still want to attract a young internet savvy audience with April-themed internet humour.
It's been quite the morning.
We all played the same #AprilFools joke on each other by pretending to forget our keys; only thing is, we actually did all forget our keys, so couldn't open the doors.
Then, we realised we were INSIDE the shop. Someone had their keys, after all.
— Waterstones Swansea (@swanseastones) April 1, 2019