Downtime has always considered itself the home of the unfortunate “reply all” email story. In recognition of the truth that we’ve all done it, many years ago we even held a competition for readers to tell us their favourite email disasters. So it is with a measure of pride that we watched the unfolding horror of 840,000 NHS email users being hit by perhaps the biggest “reply all” scenario of all time.
According to reports, 186 million emails were sent as everybody replied-all to the reply-all saying “Please take me off this reply-all email conversation”. To which everybody replied, “And me!” Meanwhile, think of all the automated out-of-office messages that were sent in reply to the reply-all too.
Journalists took great pleasure in pointing out that the statement issued by the NHS had to be read out to them over the phone, since the press office was unable to send emails because the NHS email was clogged up with all the reply-alls.
To all reply-all senders, we salute you and honour your commitment to the cause. And remember, when writing an email you would really rather not go to the wrong person, you must always assume the spirit of Downtime will be looking over your shoulder ensuring you send it to them by mistake.