Nothing is worse when someone in your office hits “reply all” to a group email, except this: a sophomore spawned the “Reply-Allpocalypse” when he replied all to all 39,979 students at NYU.
Max Wiseltier, a sophomore at New York University, was just trying to forward an email from the Bursar’s Office to his mother on Monday, when he mistakenly hit the “reply to all” button, sending the message to the massive university’s entire student body.
When Wiseltier realized what he had done, he quickly sent out an apology to the tens of thousands of students.
The Reply-Allpocalypse was just starting, however.
“[Wiseltier's email] triggered a rare, University-wide revelation,” Kelly Weill wrote in NYU Local, the student newspaper. “We simultaneously realized that any message, complaint, whim, link, video, or GIF could be sent to nearly 40,000 people in an instant.”
And thousands of students did.
“So, how is everyone today?” wrote one.
“Does anyone have a pencil I could borrow?” wrote another.
“Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or 1 horse sized duck?” another asked.
The Reply-Allpocalypse was highlighted by a student attaching a photo of terribly shitty actor Nicholas Cage, who has achieved cult-status on sites like Reddit.
“We had been given a great and terrible power,” Weill reflected. “For a moment we contemplated responsibility, then gleefully tossed it aside in favor of posting pictures of cats. The ensuing hours were referred to as ‘The Reply-Allpocalypse,’ ‘The Day NYU Broke,’ and ‘Will Everyone Please Just Shut Up.’
The whole debacle started when David Vogelsang, who works at the NYU Student Resource Center, accidentally used the wrong listserv software to send out the innocuous email that sparked the inundation.
“Hi everyone,” Vogelsang wrote. “I’m the culprit behind the Lyris blunder. I was assisting the Bursar with an email message and in populating one of the SRC Listserves did not realize the list I was using was one that allowed for responses and thus the ‘replyallcalypse.’”
“I take full responsibility for this blunder and offer my sincere apologies for the frustrating situation that was created.”
There is no word as to whether the thread has subsequently been shut down or not.
Stephen Willard | Elite.