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Did the Internet kill April Fools' Day?
Some think the Internet has made April Fools' Day less intricate, less committed and less funny. - photo by Chandra Johnson
It's been said the Internet has taken over many aspects of daily life, changing the way people read, shop and even interact.

Now, the 24/7 nature of the Internet has a new potential victim: April Fools' Day.

The celebration, which has roots in ancient Roman spring equinox festivals, was once a day when people could enjoy fooling friends and family into believing the unbelievable, if only for a while.

As NPR reported, it was easier in the old days, especially when newspapers got in on the act. In 1933, for example, a Madison, Wisconsin, newspaper convinced residents that the U.S. Capitol building had been levelled by explosions, and even ran a fake photo of the ruins.

"Readers weren't amused by the trick," the paper later reported.

But today, argued the Atlantic's Megan Garber, April Fools' Day jokes fall flat in a 24-hour news cycle that's dedicated to the ridiculous and unbelievable.

"You can argue against April Fools' on the grounds that the Internet has divested its jokes from the very thing that used to give them their charm: their low-stakes sense of fun," Garber wrote. "In a culture that finds HuffPost dedicating an entire vertical to 'Weird News' ... April Fools' jokes are less funny than they used to be precisely because they are now less obviously jokes."

The Next Web's Martin Bryant argued that April Fools' Day seems pretty pointless when big tech companies and corporations feel they have to announce their pranks ahead of time to avoid confusion.

"The day itself has become so noisy with falsehoods that people have started doing their April Fools Day jokes up to a week early in order to get ahead of the pack," Bryant wrote.

Others, like Garber, applaud April Fools' Day's digital demise, claiming it was never really funny to begin with.

"The whole cycle of prankery the effects of April 1's culture-wide trolling is as predictable and as unfunny as Black Friday tramplings," Garber wrote. "The worst thing about April Fools' Day isn't just that its jokey stories are misleading and frustrating and unfunny; it's also that, very often, they are redundant."
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