Every year on April Fools' day we see many companies and organizations try their hand at comedy in a bid to score some good publicity. Some get it spot on — my personal favorite came from the European Parliament, claiming on Twitter that all EU passports would become blue. Inevitably, some get it spectacularly wrong, and in the Android community this year that unwanted accolade goes to LineageOS. The team behind it has now issued an apology.
In a follow up to its original and harmless announcement of the legitimate cryptocurrency LOSCoin, LineageOS released an update that featured a persistent notification and a warning. According to the "Validation error," since the device couldn't be verified, LOSCoins would be mined on the phone. This was nothing more than an April Fools' prank, as evidenced by the April 1st changelog the notice led to, but it arrived almost a week late for many users. Understandably, this caused some to panic that there was a genuine issue with their device.
In a message posted on the platform's site, "ciwrl" of the LineageOS Team Directors admitted that the joke was in "bad taste" and issued a formal apology. Here's an excerpt:
"While we did not set out to inflict harm to our users, its clear by the feedback that we’ve received that many saw LOSGenuine as not only unfunny, but as a degradation of the trust users and maintainers.
To our users, we apologize and promise to do better next year."
- cirwl, LineageOS
The apology is not only directed at users but also the many maintainers and contributors who "got the blunt [sic] of the anger from the user base." While it's clear the prank was not carried out with malicious intent, it was obviously poorly conceived, and it's good to hear LineageOS hold its hands up and say sorry. There's also the promise to do better next year, but perhaps it would be a good idea to sit that one out.