close-button

The Internet Boycotts April Fools' Day: 'It's March 32nd'

entertainment /
HONG KONG, HONG KONG - MARCH 17: South Korea singer-actor Kim Jae-joong attends the 13th Asian Film Awards on March 17, 2019 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

People really aren't messing with April Fools' Day.

While April Fools’ is usually the perfect time for harmless jokes, like this dad tricking his daughters into thinking they have to go back to school, this year’s day for pranks got dragged by the internet.

"No April Fools" was trending in the United States, reflecting the common feeling that 2020 has already been enough of a joke. As the coronavirus pandemic forces people to separate from their family and friends and quarantine inside, the thought of being misled – even for a laugh – feels stressful.

https://twitter.com/_selinarae_/status/1245220389271281664

https://twitter.com/LickshotLippy/status/1245284431625150469

https://twitter.com/HanaJoyceYoung/status/1245242059008737280

https://twitter.com/chrisjsuggs/status/1244984027943182338

https://twitter.com/ashleyn1cole/status/1245019498257592321

https://twitter.com/EddieBetter39/status/1245239979397328896

Even if society was in the mood for a good prank, the K-pop star known as Jaejoong of the group JYJ would still be in hot water. On Wednesday, he made up a false story that he had been diagnosed and hospitalized with the coronavirus.

"I've been infected with COVID19," he wrote to his nearly two million Instagram followers. "This was all due to my carelessness, for ignoring the advice provided by the government and all those around me."

News sites covered the shocking revelation and fans were quick to respond with their support and concern.

https://twitter.com/panbapada/status/1245231498577367040

https://twitter.com/ultMMMBTS/status/1245233363885023233

But shortly after, Jaejoong, whose real name is Kim Jae-joong, confessed it was a joke gone wrong in an alleged attempt to raise awareness about the virus. Suuure.

Understandably, the outpouring of fan support was replaced with frustration and backlash.

https://twitter.com/panbapada/status/1245242320070430720

https://twitter.com/kdramascenes/status/1245246618141470720

He shared an apology post describing why he felt the urge to make up this kind of story. "While public media and internet are asking people to pay extra attention, there are still many who refuse to listen and I want to alert them on the seriousness of this situation," he wrote.

Jaejoong could face legal punishment for his misjudgment as authorities in his home country of South Korea have said misinformation related to the virus would fall under laws on obstruction of official duties and defamation, according to The Korea Herald.

Not saying this dude deserves any jail time, but hopefully he'll learn from his mistakes! 🤦‍♂️