The Accidental, Temporary Email Community

from the it-happens dept

Remember when people would misconfigure announcement listserv lists so that if people replied it would go out to everyone? A few years ago, every so often you’d have one of those days when suddenly someone on the list would “reply” with a “please remove me” email that would go out to everyone, causing more people to say “please remove me” such that the emails would get out of hand. Those messes don’t seem to happen much any more. However, they don’t seem to ever completely go away. The Boston Globe has a story of such a misconfigured email list for Wesleyan University that went out to every student at the University, leading to quite the rampage of emails. It started with the deluge of “take me off this lists”, but then started to grow into the temporary community of people sending out messages to friends, philosophizing on the nature of such email glitch storms, and even trying to sell things (successfully). While, clearly, the emails were annoying to most, some people thought it was a nice way to get back in touch with some of the folks they hadn’t spoken to all summer long.

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