So is it lying to pull an April Fools joke? It's clearly deception. If deception is always wrong, then April Fools jokes are wrong. But I don't think deception is always wrong. I don't even think outright lies are always wrong. I'm not sure if deception always counts as a lie either, because deception can be unintentional (though that won't distinguish between April Fools jokes and lies, because April Fools jokes are intentional). It may be that April Fools jokes are deception but not lies. It may be that they're lies but morally ok lies.
So I'm curious what people think about the ethical status of April Fools jokes. If they're not wrong, why? What distinguishes them from lying that is wrong? If you take lying to be generally wrong and accept these as ok, it's good to have some account of why April Fools jokes are ok. If April Fools jokes are wrong, why? If there's a good distinction between April Fools jokes that are ok and ones that are wrong, what is the moral difference?
I have my own thoughts on this, though I wouldn't say that I've got a fully fleshed-out view, but I'm curious what others think, and perhaps I'll have more to say in interaction with comments.