O.K., but what am I talking about? I am talking about the Email Storm or ReplyAllpocalypse which occurred in NYTimes’ internal mailing system faced in 2016. Which was not the first time something like this happened. The email storm had happened a number of times before. NYTimes’ published an article regarding this.

For little more of context to tell how these email storms take place with a possible case. It could begin with a simple innocuous email in your inbox which probably you didn’t need. Soon you or someone else end up “replying to all” with the message “Please remove me from this email chain.” this is where the nightmare starts. Then another person in the chain Unsubscribe or replies the same way but end up sending the same mail to every single person on the Sent To list as someone had used Reply All  option. Now every next person is doing the same thing ending up sending such emails to every other equally annoyed person who is also stuck in this email chain.

Your phone won’t stop buzzing for like hours or days due to this single mail. This is called Replyallpocalypse. So what you should do when you are mailed along with huge mailing list never hit the Reply All button because this will make things worse for you. Also, if you are using Gmail then you can mute the conversation and whatever happens, it stays up to the servers.

A fact from Wikipedia:

On 14 October 1997, a Microsoft employee noticed that they were on an as-yet-unknown email distribution list ‘Bedlam DL3’, and emailed the list asking to be removed. This list contained approximately a quarter of the company’s employees, 13,000 email addresses. Other users replied to the list with similar requests and still, others responded with pleas to stop replying to the list. A Microsoft employee estimates that 15 million emails were sent, using 195 GB of traffic.

Summing Up

This mailing lists email storm can increase the overhead of servers so much that they could crash. So, never ever press the Reply All button.




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