It all started when NYU sophomore Max Wiseltier accidentally replied to a message sent out to 39,979 students reminding them to fill out a tax form. Wiseltier tried to cover up his error with a quick apology email, saying he accidentally hit "Reply All" -- but that only made it worse by revealing anyone could Reply All.
People began using the email thread to share photos of Nicolas Cage, to ask if they could borrow a pencil and to pose the query: “Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or 1 horse sized duck?”
According to NYU Local's Ben Zweig, Reply-Allpocalypse occurred because several NYU departments still rely an "older, discussion-based ListManager program," which sends mass emails, "but allows discussions (in the form of reply-alls), unless the settings are adjusted."
At some point, a student CC-ed BuzzFeed on the thread, and the site collected a few screenshots of the emails. You can view some of the emails sent out on the listserv, reaction on Twitter and a few memes created around the fiasco in the slideshow below:
Madness When NYU Students Discovered They Could Email 40,000 Students At Once Through An Old Listserv Program
In case you're wondering if it's too late to get in on the fun, we're sorry to tell you it is. David Vogelsang of NYU's Student Resource Center announced in an email that he has deleted the account that allowed the Reply All madness:
I’m the culprit behind the Lyris blunder. I was assisting the Bursar with an email message and in populating one of the SRC Listserves did not realize the list I was using was one that allowed for responses and thus the “replyallcalypse”.
This morning I deleted everyone on the list. ITS had disabled around midnight, but there were so many that responded, emails were still in the que. Thanks to ITS, the que was cleared and the listserve deleted. We are monitoring for any residual emails.
And yes, you are absolutely correct that I should have used Email Direct instead of Lyris.