Microsoft employees experienced reply-all email Armageddon

[German]Thursday, January 24, 2019, about 11,500 Microsoft employees were probably quite annoyed because their mailboxes were flooded with 'tons of e-mails'. A configuration change to the Microsoft's Github account was the root cause of this incident.


The Bedlam DL3 incident from 2004

The following tweet mentions a Bedlam DL3 incident, that hit Microsoft employees in 2004. A similar thing occurred on January 24, 2019. 

Bedlam DL3 was an incident in 2004, where someone set up a mailing list with that name and forwarded it to many Microsoft employees. Many recipients replied that they should be removed from the mailing list. These replies were sent to all participants of the mailing list – hundreds of thousands of mails were sent to the mailboxes of those concerned.

The incident on January 24, 2019

Last Thursday, there was probably a similar incident, as Business Insider reports here. It all started when an employee changed a setting for the company's GitHub account (according to Microsoft employee posts in the social media).

The changed setting caused GitHub to send an automatic message to all recipients of this Microsoft company account. This also included all Microsoft employees working with the Microsoft GitHub account (must be over 11,000 people). The e-mail avalanche had started … Oh my God. I'm in a reply allpocalypse that stemmed from a notifications thing. The organization in question? Microsoft.


Oh. My. God.

According to Twitter posts, it didn't take long for some people to commit the mortal sin and respond to this email with a request to be taken off the mailing list. The replies were, of course, distributed to all employees in the Microsoft account. 

As a result, some people who notized that, responded with a joke or tried to give help via mailing list answers on how to fix the problem. The employees then found their mailboxes flooded with thousands of e-mails about this process.

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