I haven't seen a "reply-all" bomb in a while.


May 28, 2007
If you've worked for a large institution, you may have seen this. Someone accidently sends an email to the entire organization, and then the entire email service goes offline as hundreds or even thousands of people first reply-all to the email asking to be taken off the distribution, then hundreds or even thousands of people responding to them, telling people to "stop hitting reply-all". The real fun is that no one can see those emails, because the server is down, so people keep sending them, creating a huge backlog of email for the server to work through.

I always found it incredibly amusing, although I do feel bad for the systems people that have to actually unfuck everything and get it working again. I wonder if they've made improvements to MS Exchange to prevent this from happening as I haven't seen it in a few years now.


Jun 15, 2001
I always wondered why MS didn't put some function in there to warn you that you're replying to a lot of people. If your email will go to 50 or more people, add in a step that says "Hey, you're sending this to X people, are you sure you want to do this?"

The last one of those I saw maybe 8 years ago got a lot of people into a lot of trouble. It got nasty.


Aug 11, 2005
I could have sworn that they can stop that at the exchange level?


Sep 2, 2006
i've seen a few accidental mass group emails

the biggest one created about 3 million emails in 1 hour and cause the email system to be shut down for the rest of the day

it was glorious

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
Used to happen all the time at my work too and now it seems to have stopped. Wonder if they did something in the last Exchange upgrade to stop it.

It's funny how people go all retard mode when it happens too. Like asking to be taken off "the list" etc. Seems to be a classic thing.

My favourite email incident though was when I was a server admin and my coworker (senior server admin) sent an inappropriate joke to the wrong person by accident. He freaked out after hitting send saying it went to this person. I happened to be logged into the exchange server so I'm like "want me to turn it off?" as a joke and he's like "YES YES JUST KILL IT!". So I did. Instead of simply disabling the network interface which would have been the smart thing to do, I did a windows shutdown. It takes like half an hour to shut down an exchange server, or boot one up. Not only did the person get the email, but the whole server was down for like an hour while we had to act stupid. "not sure what's going on, we're looking into it!". After having done that we were also wondering how we would even delete that email anyway, Exchange does not really have any tools to look in people's mailboxes. You pretty much would have to setup the person's account on a computer, reset their password and do it that way, which would be a quite questionable thing to do.

Though come to think of it that probably still does not beat the person who sent the company's financials to the entire company. Let's just say we got a good bonus that year (back when we still had a bonus) because the company could not BS us about how they arn't doing well, because everyone got to see their finances and let's just say the numbers were in the billions.
Nov 20, 2009
Still happening in my workplace, but I think the reduction is more to do with the thousands of people getting fired (ahem, surplussed) than anything else.


Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
i think theres a tool that let's the admin stop it at the server level, that's why.


Golden Member
Sep 30, 2013
Outlook has some form of an unsubscribe or ignore conversation function
... so now large group emails get several people replying to all on how to remove yourself from this mess.


Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
Back in the day when we were still rolling out OS/2, once in a while someone would go to a cmd prompt and do a 'net message', which would go out to all the other OS/2 computers onsite. Of course then, that would be immediately followed by 'do it again!' or 'USE THIS ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES' lol being spammed across the network

good times..........good times......