CES 2020

Attendees wait in line to enter the Google Inc. play space at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., … [+] on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Google said its digital assistant is used by more than 500 million people every month. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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A longstanding Google tradition will be skipped this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an internal email written to managers at the company that was obtained by Business Insider, Google said it would abstain from participating in its annual ritual of sharing April Fools’ Day jokes across the company’s platforms.

The directive, shared by Google’s Chief Marketing Officer Lorraine Twohill, is intended to pay respect to those who are fighting COVID-19 and to achieve the company’s goal of being a helpful tool for those who are looking for relevant information in the midst of the pandemic.

The company said it has already nixed any April Fools’ efforts organized by Google’s centralized marketing team, but wants to ensure that all managers ensure that smaller April Fools’ Day pranks and easter eggs are also not published on April 1.

Google is not eliminating the tradition entirely, as Twohill said April Fools’ jokes were most likely coming back in 2021.

Google was one of the first tech companies to popularize the tradition of pranking internet users on April 1.

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