We're Related Pranks Users Into Believing Barack Obama Is A Cousin

Did you know that you’re President Barack Obama’s fourth cousin, once removed? If you believe the April Fools prank email alert sent out by the We’re Related Facebook application, then you might as well be related to Obama. The notification email from by We’re Related was sent to 19 million people.

While some have fallen for the prank and others saw right through it, the result remained the same for We’re Related–a major spike in traffic. We’re Related has reported 500,000 unique visits today, which is five times higher than the traffic for this same period on We’re Related’s previous best day, despite it’s ongoing top app status.

But how mean was it to pull such a potentialy personal joke? If any recepients of the prank email click through to see that the alert was sent in good fun, I would hope that they appreciate the humor of today. I find this prank particularly amusing given the probing done by mainstream media into President Obama’s own lineage during the presidential campaign. If we were to take President Obama’s vast family tree into consideration, then the majority of the 19 million email recipients probably are related to our Commander in Chief. We’re all technically related anyway, right?

The success of We’re Related’s little prank also touches on the issue of a Facebook application’s email notifications. Though many of the recipients of today’s prank email are likely international Facebook users, enough users paid attention to the email to make the prank noteworthy. Granted, seeing an alert saying you’re related to the president is far more eye-catching than your average notification email, but the prank proved popular (this year) for We’re Related. See here for some real time Twitter responses to the prank.

Thanks to Jesse Stay for the tip!

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