When I click the duck, she asks me if I have a microphone. I press "no" but she tried to listen anyway, asking me to speak up.

Curiously, the browser did NOT ask for microphone permission even when I said "yes".

Edit: Thank you guys, next time I will have my morning coffee before putting in discussion such magnificent piece of technology.

  • 8
    This is not a real feature. It is April 1st somewhere in the world right now.
    – n8te
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 10:59
  • I wanted to ask, “How do I make the duck go away?” but I encountered the same problem. Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 10:59
  • 8
    Just yell loud enough ... it will listen ...
    – rene
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 11:07
  • 4
    @rene Please don't, it's getting really loud in the office!
    – Zeta
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 11:10
  • Uuuum, funny. Yaaaaaaaawn.
    – Harald
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 12:45

6 Answers 6


If you looked closely, you will note that it uses "the magic of the internet" if you tell it that you don't have a microphone.

Here's a screenshot:

the magic of the Internet

That's right. Quack Overflow is so powerful, it can even use magic to solve your problems.

But the duck is probably just telling lies. It's a carny, a fortune cookie. It will always suggest you the best practice that might concern you. Or it hacks into every IoT device with a microphone at your location. Your call.

It's an April fools joke. Nothing will get recorded.

  • 6
    Because these days nothing says fun like "I will pretend to ignore your privacy settings and listen on you in any case" (I have to admit though that I have basically no sense of humor, so it might be funny to somebody). Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 15:26
  • April fools aside: if your browser doesn't ask for permission for media devices, then get another browser. The Media Capture and Streams CR states the browser MUST prompt you before you microphone may get activated. All common browsers follow that recommendation. Quack Overflow never asks for permission because it never asks for media devices.
    – Zeta
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 15:49
  • 1
    I know how browsers work (that's why it said "pretend" in my comment). I still think this not a good joke to make after the massive privacy scandals in the last weeks (but I won't labour the point, and if anything the fact that the thing pops up again and again is much more annoying). Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 16:01
  • My comment was more of a general remark, not directed to you. It wasn't my intention to downplay your knowledge in browsers, sorry if it looked like that. If you want the duck to be gone forever, block https://cdn.sstatic.net/Js/quack.en.js or set the quack cookie (per-site).
    – Zeta
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 16:04
  • sorry, I did not mean to offend and your comment is of course helpful. However disabling the thing permanently did not work for me (and I only realized this after undergoing the "Listen"/"Hate it" procedure on several SO sites), that's why I was less patient than I should have been. So, sorry for that. Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 16:09
  • No harm done, you didn't offend me either :)
    – Zeta
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 16:10

Quack Overflow is a little hard of hearing. Her ears were damaged when she was flying too close to a hunter when his shotgun discharged. Also, she is just a bit paranoid of microphones so we never enable yours no matter what you click.

  • 5
    I'm glad to see the team answer the question instead of ducking it. Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 8:52

The duck in rubber duck debugging doesn't actually have to listen. The point is that you explain it and when you do that you'll understand the problem and arrive at a solution.


I goes deeper than that... way deeper.
The duck is listening all the time.


Confirmed! The duck cannot be trusted!

enter image description here


I want to hide the duplicitous duck but I don't actually hate it, what are my options here?

enter image description here

Edit 3

OK, so I was talking with the duck. The duck is alright. Gave me some perspective.

Edit 4

So, I sometimes ask the duck silly questions, like "tell me a joke", or "how's the weather", that sort of stuff. And two days ago I asked it "hey, duck, did yo see the remote?"... now, this will sound crazy, but ever since then I've been seeing these weird ads everywhere:

enter image description here enter image description here

So, I'm thinking, this is no coincidence. I thought we had programmer-duck-kremlin confidentiality!


It's just an April Fools duck. It doesn't actually listen to what you say. No matter what you say, or even if you don't say anything at all, it will do exactly the same thing.

Also, it does react slightly differently if you say you don't have a microphone. If you say you don't have a microphone, it says "With the magic of the internet, you can just explain your problem anyway!". If you say you do have a microphone, it just says "Explain your problem out loud".

enter image description here

  • 3
    April Fools duck says the Duck ...
    – rene
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 11:05

The fact that it did not request microphone permission is a good hint that it never got a microphone permission. It's not listening to you, it's acting. It goes through the same pattern whether you speak, stay quiet, or even say that you don't have a microphone.

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