Do Not Fool

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Do Not Fool is like Do Not Track, but was created for April Fools Day 2011. It allows users to opt-out of Web-based shenanigans on April Fools' Day, on sites which respect the DNF header.

Origin and Motivation

The idea was originally proposed by Atul. Many Mozillians liked it because it speaks to a significant number of people who dislike April Fools' Day, and also provides a nice opportunity to educate readers about Do Not Track.

Reference Implementation

Gandalf made a reference implementation. Its source code is on the Add-ons Builder, and the add-on itself is on AMO.

The logo pictured at the top of this page was created by Sean Martell.

Blog Post

A post entitled Protecting Users From An Age-Old Threat was published on the Mozilla Labs blog announcing the initiative. Additionally, the post was propagated through official Mozilla Twitter and Facebook channels.


Sites Supporting The DNF Header

Sites which have implemented support for the DNF header:

Support For The April 1 Firefox Nightly

Due to bug 645063, DNF will not work as expected in the April 1 nightly. The joke's on us.


Wait, Is This Really a Joke?

It was originally intended as such, but as Twitter will tell you, there are actually lots of people who need to get actual work done on April 1, and the ambiguity between what's real and what's not is a barrier to that.

However, a custom header isn't necessarily the best solution because:

  • It requires pranksters to do additional work by accomodating for people who don't want to be fooled. This is particularly difficult for resource-constrained organizations that are just trying to have a little fun on April Fools'.
  • It's potentially a privacy violation for end-users because they're essentially broadcasting to every site they visit that they dislike April Fools' day. That makes it easier for sites to learn more about their identity.

A more pragmatic and privacy-respecting approach to a "real" Do Not Fool feature might be to crowd-source a custom "April Fools' blacklist" from Twitter, and warn users visiting a pranked page via a door-hanger notification, or through a page similar to the reported web forgery warning.