Bookbyte Blog

Any NYU students reading this? They should already know the story…

Like all schools, NYU keeps a listserv of all its students for anytime it needs to send out mass emails. But because it was improperly set up, one student gave the entire student body access to that listserv by accidentally hitting “reply all” instead of “forward.”

Luckily for him, his message wasn’t embarassing, just forwarding some financial info to his mom. But it gave almost 40,000 people access to almost 40,000 different inboxes, and the internet being the internet, this mistake was exploited immediately.

The massive email chain started to branch out endlessly into conversation and subconversations, like the comments on a website or a Reddit thread. Naturally a lot of the emails looked like a lot of the internet: nostalgia and nonsequitors. For example, one sub-thread devoted itself to sending a flood of images of Nicholas Cage.

Others, however, were all business:

Sample email from Reply-Allpocalypse: "Does anybody have a copy of the movie good burger I can borrow?"

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