The first day of April has, for generations, meant “Don’t believe anything you read.” In more recent years, it’s been expanded to add “… and definitely don’t believe anything you read online. Like, seriously.” This year, though, April Fools’ Day seems to be using the power of the Internet to expand its reach to encompass at least 48 hours. In addition to a ridiculous fake news report about a supermarket chain going out of business—we’ll get to that soon enough—there was also this March 31 tweet from PETA about the effects of chicken on your baby’s anatomy. So, yes. This is the world we’re apparently living in these days. With that in mind, here are the highlights of what you might have missed in the last seven days of our lyin’, shameful World Wide Web.

No One White Was in the Room Where It Happened

What Happened: When a call for non-white actors to appear in Hamilton was met with outrage, the outrage was met with counter-outrage. Because, you know, the Internet.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: The news that a New York attorney was considering legal action against producers of Hamilton because of a casting call asking for “non-white” actors sounded like an April Fools’ Day joke from the future when it broke at the start of the week, but no. It was actually real, with the complaint targeting the fact that the request might violate the New York City Human Rights Law banning hiring discrimination based on race.

Of course, this kind of story is catnip for media coverage, but it was, as you’d expect, Twitter that had the most honest reaction to the concept:

The Takeaway: In the end, producers agreed to change the wording of the casting call, but also affirmed the fact that the entire purpose of the show is to use a multicultural, non-white cast. “It is essential to the storytelling of Hamilton that the principal roles—which were written for non-white characters (excepting King George)—be performed by non-white actors,” a spokesperson explained.

Well, That’s One Way to Go

What Happened: What would be exactly the wrong way to respond to an attempt to shame and harass one of your employees? Those who said, “Terminate said employee,” clearly you don’t work for Nintendo.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs, media think pieces
What Really Happened: For those paying attention to the ongoing culture wars in gaming, the name Alison Rapp was likely already familiar before this week. By managing the one-two punch of working as a marketing specialist at Nintendo and being a woman, she was an obvious target for those who like to harass women in gaming. Earlier this week, Rapp revealed on Twitter that the harassment attempts had been successful.

As the Internet started to respond to Rapp’s dismissal, Rapp suggested that the conversation go beyond her circumstances:

For what it’s worth, Nintendo agreed that her firing wasn’t Gamergate related, releasing a statement that suggested another reason: “Alison Rapp was terminated due to violation of an internal company policy involving holding a second job in conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture,” the statement read. “Though Ms. Rapp’s termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related.”

Except, according to Rapp, there’s one problem with that.

It’s possible that, as some GGer critics have since suggested, Nintendo simply didn’t like the nature of her second job, but as Rapp pointed out, it was relatively anonymous, and something the company was unlikely to have known about if not for the harassment she went through:

While the media covered the story, Twitter was already making its collective feelings on the subject clear:

The Takeaway: This doesn’t bode well.

Read the Calendar, Ya Maroons

What Happened: In case you thought April Fools’ jokes were annoying on April 1, look at what happens when one runs a day early.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: Hey, you know what’s funny? A fake news report that Trader Joe’s was closing all its locations that didn’t run on April 1 because… April Fools! Yes, Yahoo! got the drop on everyone March 31 by running an early gag story about the grocery chain closing all its locations when people were not expecting a major news outlet to just outright lie.

Even though the original story ended with a “Ha ha, April Fools!” punchline, enough people didn’t actually read the story to the end to miss it that Snopes created an entry to debunk the report. If there’s a moral to this story, it’s either “Don’t believe anything you read anytime in the last week of March, just in case morons are trying to be first in the Fool race,” or perhaps just “Yahoo!’s idea of a good time was poorly considered, at best.”
The Takeaway: Well, OK, there’s maybe another moral…

The Monkey’s Cleavage

What Happened: The British newspaper The Sun asked for cleavage shots on Twitter in the name of… cheap sensationalism? Little did it know what it would get in return.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: Congratulations, Great British Public; your response to the ridiculous is still entirely appropriate, as can be seen in the way British Twitter reacted to this horrific tweet from the British Sun newspaper:

Yes, that’s really one of the top-selling British newspapers asking to see cleavage online for cash. Welcome to British tabloid journalism. Thankfully, the replies were what you could hope for:

The detourning of the meme quickly got noticed online, as it should, but sadly, it wasn’t enough to stop the Sun from continuing to look for “the bust of Britain.” (Depending on how your work feels about cleavage shots and/or a complete lack of taste, that last link might be NSFW.)
The Takeaway: It was a valiant attempt, British Twitter. We salute you nonetheless.

What the Elle?

What Happened: How best to ensure that you never work in an industry again? Write an online piece claiming to reveal everything… including your own biases.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: All hail Jacques Hyzagi, a former writer for Elle who took to the Internet this week to share his frustrations with the magazine in a spectacular tell-all that didn’t just train its fire on his former bosses, but on modern journalism as a whole. (A sample piece: “I could hear the fascist and anti-Semite William Randolph Hearst turning in his grave. The Hearst perfume magazines, among them ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmo, Marie Claire, O can thank for their survival the drug data company, First Data Bank—the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings (part of Fitch group) own at 80 percent by Hearst and the software company Homecare Homebase that bring in the bigger share of Hearst revenues. One can easily see why.”)

This kind of flame-out is something that only makes Twitter happy:

Other media outlets noticed< as well, leading to an appropriately contentious interview where Hyzagi says things like, “By difficult do you mean that I’m not going to sit there and take it up the ass?” and ends by asking, “Do you have a job for me?”
The Takeaway: The sad thing about these pieces, of course, is that they are so rare and never last as long as you want them to.

Continued here:  

While You Were Offline: Hamilton’s Casting Call Doesn’t Go Quite as Expected