Not much content here, but I had to share this story because it’s one I’ve discussed in the past.
The headline from the AP: “Reply-all e-mail storm hits State Department“
If you don’t feel like clicking through, this is one you’ve probably experienced. Someone sends an email (in this case, a blank one) to a large number of recipients (thousands here). Many of those recipients reply (to all, natch) asking (ahem, demanding) to be removed from the mailing list. Many reply (again, to all) citing the pitfalls of reply-to-all behavior in a manner ranging from instructional to downright rude, a classic irony fail.
This one has a few twists though. Apparently, all the replies-to-all crippled the State Department’s email servers, essentially launching a DoS attack on them. Plus, many people tried to use that bogus “recall message” feature of Outlook/Exchange, which only added to the traffic.
But wait, there’s more. The incident prompted a note from the Under Secretary of State for Management, Patrick Kennedy, ordering State Department employees:
. . . to “take immediate action” to ensure they and their colleagues are “aware of the negative impact of hitting ‘reply all'” and to delete e-mails addressed to large numbers of people that they might receive in error.
The kicker: “Anyone who disregards these instructions will be subject to disciplinary actions.”
The precise disciplinary actions weren’t included in the message, which sadly was sent by cable. I know, I was hoping it went by email too, which would have kept me laughing all week; I didn’t know cable was a messaging system in use anymore.
Anyway, this is a meme everyone can understand. Share your favorite reply-to-all meme in the comments.