April Fools and the Internet Police

April Fools — with emphasis on the fools!

Yesterday I had the joy of watching a great April Fool’s joke unfold. My friends Ray at “Joke-A-Day” and Cathie at the Centre for the Easily Amused staged a big fight for April Fools Day, calling each other names, etc.

That’s cute, but that wasn’t the joke — even though their messages to their readers were dated “March 32”.

Another friend, Vince Sabio of the excellent if occasional HumourNet newsletter, registered the nifty domain “internet-police.net”. So the “angry” Ray and Cathie invited their readers to complain about the other to the “Internet Police”! And well over a thousand Amused and Joke-A-Day readers did just that, partly to complain about the hacking of Ray’s web site, pinned on Cathie’s fans, that was actually a fine vandalism job that Ray did himself.

That’s Funny, But it Still Isn’t the Joke!

All of those 1000+ complaints to the “Internet Police” were forwarded to a publicly-readable web archive so anyone could scan through the outraged rants about the “fight”! (Of course, their email addresses are “munged” to protect their privacy.)

Now that’s funny.

Some of the messages are priceless in their absolute cluelessness — as if there is a force of NetCops ready to shut down humor sites because some people don’t think they’re funny.

You’d be amazed at what people say when they think they have the ear of the Net Police. Hysterical.

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As I revisit this page in 2018, it’s still the funniest Internet-based April Fools joke I can remember.

Sadly, a lot has changed since 1999 — Joke-A-Day shut down their email list, then their site disappeared. The Centre for the Easily Amused was bought out, and then shut down even though it was profitable. HumourNet went dark when Vince got a new Day Job. The Internet Police site is offline, and that archive gone — even the Internet Archive doesn’t have it.

But some things don’t change: there are still plenty of clueless idiots who think the police should break up petty arguments online.

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