How A One-Word Email To 29,000 UCL Students Led To The Funniest Reply-All Thread Ever Last night it looked like the president of UCL had sent a one-word email in error to the university's entire student population. It wasn't from him, but that didn't stop students hitting reply-all some 3,000 times.
So last night it appeared that Michael Arthur, provost and president of University College London, had committed something of a gaffe.
An email was sent from @email@example.com addressed to ALL STUDENTS – that's nearly 29,000 people – and all it said was "bello!"
The university said in a statement that the email address it's from isn't Arthur's current address – although it does appear to be from someone pretending to be him (it's quite easy to make an email look like it's from someone else).
The university told us it was looking into the incident and trying to find out who sent the original email.
The end result: This is what the students' inboxes looked like this morning.
The university helpdesk warned people not to abuse the all-hands email address. But even that warning got mocked:
This is exactly what
happened at New York University in 2012 when people realised they could email 40,000 students at once, thanks to one student's error.
That became known as "replyallcalyspe" and it annoyed a huge amount of people, while also providing a good deal of fun for others.
It took NYU a while to realise what was going on and delete everyone from an old email listserv. No word yet on when #Bellogate will be over.
Update — 12.05pm: The university has posted this series of updates, in which it said the email list has been closed and that students have received an apology.
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