Apr 2, 2018

The enduring lesson from April Fools' Day

Why do we only question what we read on the internet on April Fools' Day? Photo: Lego.

There is a big reason to oppose the sort of pranks that have become all too common in the tech and business worlds on April Fools' Day. Most just aren't that funny.

But, but but: A number of people pointed to a larger truth amid all the messages: Why is it that April Fools' Day is the one day a year where we view what we read on the internet with skepticism?

That said, amid the many unfunny fake products and press releases, two stood out to me as worthy:

  • The first was Snapchat's epic dig at rival Facebook — a photo filter that turned selfies into what appears to be a half Russian Facebook page.
  • The other was a fake product from Lego that I think many parents would gladly pay for: A vacuum capable of sucking up and then sorting the little plastic bricks.

More: This year's list of unfunny antics included Rent the Runway expanding to clothes for dogs, streaming socks from Roku and Elon Musk joke-tweeting about going bankrupt. If you're really into these sorts of pranks, there's a compendium of such antics here.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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