Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Promised Email Story!

What happens when you add 1 fake gas price lowering scheme, 93 TCU email distribution lists, and 8,000 undergraduate students? Mass email hysteria!

An undergraduate psychology major by the name of William Jackson got a forwarded email saying that boycotting Exxon and Mobil gas stations would lower gas prices (easily debunked by For some reason, he thought it would be a good idea to email this to everyone at TCU using the distribution lists for the different colleges. These lists are supposed to be available by permission only (as in I have access to use the MBA Full-Time (1st) list but not the MBA Full-Time (2nd) list), so I don't even know how he got access to them. But once the email was sent around noon, it somehow opened the lists and allowed people to reply-all.

At first the replies to all were no big deal - just a couple of people saying that the rumor wasn't true. Then it moved into people telling people not to reply to all (which is stupid because they're replying all themselves!) Pretty soon a couple of people started sending really stupid things like "Chuck Norris is responsible for the high gas prices". Then people decided it would be a good idea to say "take me off the list", prompting other idiots to say "take me off the list too" - like THAT's going to do any good! It eventually got to where the only emails being sent were people saying "Don't reply to all" and "Take me off this list", not realizing that if they would just stop saying that, the emails would stop! About 11:30pm, we had probably gotten about 85-90 emails from this thing. Thats when the real fun began.

I don't know if people were just fed up or if maybe some were starting to get a little drunk or what, but the emails started getting more and more ridiculous, eventually moving to inappropriate. Another 30 emails between 11:30 and 1:30am when I went to sleep. The emails around that time were consisting of "My cousin's best friends' uncle is chuck norris" and stupid stuff like that. I wake up the next morning, check my email around 10:30am....58 emails. About 15 of them were real emails that I needed (yes I get 15 emails between 1:30 am and 10:30 am.) The rest were more fallout from this mass email mess! By now they had proceeded into people claiming they had slept with the Chancellor and making VERY inappropriate comments. I guess that was finally the point at which administration decided they needed to do something, because all of a sudden, the emails stopped. Eventually I got an email from our MBA director apologizing for the emails and saying that IT was working on fixing the distribution lists and that Student Life was looking into actions against people who had made inappropriate comments. But all in all, we had 24 hours of mass email hysteria. Hopefully they'll figure out how to prevent this happening again.....but I do know that William Jackson has been signed up for quite a few email newsletters that he might not appreciate. :)

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