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   RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Eradicating 'Reply All'

25 Nov 2012 09:56 AM   |   5307 clicks   |   BusinessWeek
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urban.derelict     
No, if you're not smart enough to fix that by now you deserve what you get comin' to ya.

25 Nov 2012 05:09 AM
DamnYankees    [TotalFark]  
No. I use it all the time - it's my default. Work would be much more annoying without it.

25 Nov 2012 08:31 AM
Lsherm    [TotalFark]  
I use "Reply All" all the time. If you can't figure it out - are you really cut out for office work?

A few years back I was working for a fairly large company (~4000 employees) and someone got fired for a 'reply-all.' The players were: Jeff (sender), Ken (IT director), and Mark (CEO). The email was this:

"Ken, I'd suck your dick if Mark's tongue wasn't already in your ass."

Jeff undoubtedly meant this as some kind of backhanded compliment, but since Mark was on the list, he got fired.

25 Nov 2012 08:36 AM
PhiloeBedoe    [TotalFark]  
i1079.photobucket.comView Full Size

25 Nov 2012 08:47 AM
Generation_D    [TotalFark]  
IT used to rearrange Outlook so the Reply-All was far away from Reply. To give them that extra half second to think about it. Some still did of course, but at least they had to push that mouse all the way over to do it.

25 Nov 2012 08:52 AM
ZAZ    [TotalFark]  
Microsoft (MSFT) introduced a plug-in option on its Outlook program called NoReplyAll, which allows senders to prevent recipients from Replying All to their messages.

I was about to compliment Microsoft. Then I realized they were undoing their own mistake so it doesn't count as a good deed.

25 Nov 2012 09:56 AM
Generation_D    [TotalFark]  

ZAZ: Microsoft (MSFT) introduced a plug-in option on its Outlook program called NoReplyAll, which allows senders to prevent recipients from Replying All to their messages.

I was about to compliment Microsoft. Then I realized they were undoing their own mistake so it doesn't count as a good deed.


You do realize that email clients predate Microsoft Outlook by at least 10 years, and all had a reply-all feature, right? You do realize that? But it was Outlook's mistake for including it.

How about, it was the modern email user's mistake for misusing the feature.

25 Nov 2012 09:58 AM
ZAZ    [TotalFark]  
Generation_D

I was doing

% repl -cc all

a decade before Outlook. Extra effort required to use the not-only-to-sender option.

25 Nov 2012 10:03 AM
ChubbyTiger     
You are all replying to everyone. Please stop it hitting reply all with requests to be removed from the mail list.

/bcc, that is all

25 Nov 2012 10:19 AM
jso2897     
So, is this the thread where all the geniuses who never make mistakes talk about how dumb people who make mistakes are?
Yep - it's that thread - again.

i18.photobucket.comView Full Size

25 Nov 2012 10:27 AM
Smackledorfer     
Reply all is useful.
I've never accidentally hit it, but can see how it is easy to do. I view this as an ergonomics issue.

And to all the haters here saying people deserve to be fired for what amounts to a tiny mistake: you are assholes. The only difference between you and any of the people who have hit reply all is that you have yet to make the mistake, or your errors have luckily occurred in ways that didn't create a problem.

mistakes: everybody makes them. EVERYBODY.

25 Nov 2012 10:29 AM
Wingchild     
MSFT Exchange environments can deploy Information Rights Management (IRM). When IRM's in use, you can block certain actions on messages you send; prohibit reply all, prohibit forwarding, disable the ability to take screenshots, disable printing, things like that. The rules you set are applied transitively to every copy you send, so if you send to User A with reply-all blocked, and User A forwards to User B, User B still can't reply-all. No plug-ins required, though you do have some back-end work to do if you want to deploy that option.

It's a handy feature for enterprise orgs. It's also not foolproof, since users have to remember to set options on messages with restricted rights, and because some features (disabling screenshots) are easily defeated (take a picture with your phone; retyping the content into Word; etc).

Sensitive communications from upper management always came with IRM protection. But past that, most folks used it to block 'reply all' if they were sending to a large distro list. Even if it's a company full of technical people there's always somebody who doesn't understand the prevailing software metaphors.

25 Nov 2012 10:29 AM
SineSwiper     
Office Rule #4:

Do not send the email if you're not comfortable with it being sent to everybody in the company! This isn't just about Reply to All, but message threads that end up being forwarded, or add-ons to message threads, etc. Also, quit using email like a chat protocol. IM is there for a reason. (And that also means you don't start using the corporate IM for vulgar comments, either.)

25 Nov 2012 10:32 AM
Lsherm    [TotalFark]  

ChubbyTiger: You are all replying to everyone. Please stop it hitting reply all with requests to be removed from the mail list.

/bcc, that is all


Don't use Reply All to tell other people to stop using Reply All. It just makes more people use Reply All.

Don't reply to this.

25 Nov 2012 10:34 AM
Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman     
What people really need to learn is when to move some or all other people on the original email chain to the BCC list so they know the issue is being handled and are dropped out of the chain after that. People at my office are usually pretty good about this; although there are sometimes amusing occurrences, usually with new hires.

However, I wish there was an option to Forward but automatically copy in some or all of the original recipients. People use Reply to All to add people all the time when there are attachments, but only Forward includes the original attachments.

25 Nov 2012 10:38 AM
Wingchild     

SineSwiper: IM is there for a reason. (And that also means you don't start using the corporate IM for vulgar comments, either.)


Wise advice, since every corporate IM product I know of has back-end logging. Google your software of choice along with the word 'logging', or to go one better, 'compliance'. Quite a few packages use SQL back-ends, others use custom logging based on their server software, but all of them store histories for review.

IM logging is one of those things that people "don't have time to look at" in the same way they "don't have time to look at" what's going through your routers or proxy servers. Everybody's busy, nobody looks, right? That stuff's still there for review if you run afoul of someone higher up than you. And it pays to remember that even busy techs tend to snoop when they're bored. (Can it get them fired? Yeah. Doesn't stop all of them, though.)

Don't believe in privacy if you aren't the admin. And if you are, be advised that other folks with rights may have done things you aren't aware of.

25 Nov 2012 10:39 AM
mrlewish     
Pet peeve time.

And why the fark the minimize and restore down right next to the close window button?

And why are the save or copy selection so close to the delete selection on so many drop downs? Why would you not put a dead space between them to guard against inadvertent clicking?

Yes I know, "key-binds" but sometimes you just gotta use the mouse because you are going between several different environments.

25 Nov 2012 10:43 AM
ZAZ    [TotalFark]  
Wingchild: Information Rights Management

The description reminds me of the job I had working on Compartmented Mode Workstation software. It was based on Unix but had security classification built in. Everything had a security label. If you tried to cut and paste it would either deny you or change the classification of the destination to match the source.

It could be defeated the same ways as Exchange. Take a picture (but cameras were bigger in the 1990s). Retype (some people could type fast back then). Hack into the network (these systems required physically secure networks).

25 Nov 2012 10:44 AM
Wulfman     
Dear Everyone:

The whole reason I love Fark is that every comment is a Reply-All.

25 Nov 2012 10:45 AM
justtray     
Hahaha good posts in here. Especially the reply all telling people not to reply all.

As for the article, sorry, it's your fault. And no it's not that you don't have two brain cells that can rub together to not press reply all, it's that you think offensive joking or non-joking emails are acceptable in a work environment. They aren't. You use your personal email for that if you're that much of a dickbag that you need to attack friend-coworkers.

It's called professionalism. If you don't have it, you don't deserve a profession.

25 Nov 2012 10:52 AM
Wingchild     

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: However, I wish there was an option to Forward but automatically copy in some or all of the original recipients. People use Reply to All to add people all the time when there are attachments, but only Forward includes the original attachments.


Reply All, copy recipient list, close mail. Forward, paste recipient list. Inconvenient but fairly quick.


Dropping attachments on replies is almost mandatory. Consider an Exchange 2010 example:

1) You send a message with a 10MB attachment to a list of 20 people.
- that hits your transport server's queue as a single 10MB message, then bifurcates into 20 copies each with a 10MB attachment
- 200MB on the wire as it clears the queue.

2) The thread is lively and people enjoy the reply-all feature. Each reply contains the attachment. In a few minutes, 10 replies go back and forth.
- every reply splits into 20 copies as it clears the queue
- 10 replies x 20 copies each = 200 copies x 10MB attachment = ~2GB of traffic in a few minutes from one email thread

In E2k10 single instance storage no longer exists; everybody on a database receiving that email gets a unique copy of the attachment. The original and replies don't account for just ~2.2GB of network traffic; they're ~2.2GB of storage that's being consumed on the back-end, all from the work of a few minutes.

Will your admin notice? Depends how many databases there are, how much storage there is, what kind of NICs your servers are using (1Gb/sec are common), etc. Short answer is "probably not". But the problem isn't one message or one thread; it's the ability to generate significant content in a very short order by anybody in the organization. Yours might not be the only thread with an attachment that people are replying-all to at any given time.

Scale the problem up to a thousand people sharing a server. The odds of people eating needless space go up quite a bit.

Scale it to 50,000 users in the US and UK, and distro lists that have global reach. How many extra gigs are going across your undersea WAN link every time reply-all gets hit? Is the pipe big enough to tolerate the casual mis-use that your users are going to put it through?

Scale the problem for an environment that (foolishly) didn't use attachment size limits. Ever see someone try to stuff a DVD .iso through an SMTP send queue to a group of recipients? Positively joyful, I assure you.


tl,dr; attachments get dropped to help people avoid the wrath of unstable administrators.

25 Nov 2012 10:53 AM
Wingchild     

ZAZ: The description reminds me of the job I had working on Compartmented Mode Workstation software. It was based on Unix but had security classification built in. Everything had a security label. If you tried to cut and paste it would either deny you or change the classification of the destination to match the source.

It could be defeated the same ways as Exchange. Take a picture (but cameras were bigger in the 1990s). Retype (some people could type fast back then). Hack into the network (these systems required physically secure networks).


Yup. The TS/SCI shops I deployed Exchange for were both physically isolated and ran full fiber from desktop to server to cut down on what someone could theoretically lift with TEMPEST gear. I always thought that was a cool threat to worry about. (I never heard of anybody actually getting useful data via TEMPEST but the theory was neat.)

As worried as we always were about technical leaks (particularly with the number of intrusions China executed), the biggest source of leaked information was always people. Sometimes due to social engineering; sometimes because folks who work in SCIFs are lonely (they don't get out much) and will talk to anybody who'll listen; sometimes just because people forget that compartmentalization has to happen in your head as well as at your job site. Compared to computers, people leak like sieves.

25 Nov 2012 11:07 AM
Lsherm    [TotalFark]  

Wingchild: Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: However, I wish there was an option to Forward but automatically copy in some or all of the original recipients. People use Reply to All to add people all the time when there are attachments, but only Forward includes the original attachments.

Reply All, copy recipient list, close mail. Forward, paste recipient list. Inconvenient but fairly quick.


Dropping attachments on replies is almost mandatory. Consider an Exchange 2010 example:

1) You send a message with a 10MB attachment to a list of 20 people.
- that hits your transport server's queue as a single 10MB message, then bifurcates into 20 copies each with a 10MB attachment
- 200MB on the wire as it clears the queue.

2) The thread is lively and people enjoy the reply-all feature. Each reply contains the attachment. In a few minutes, 10 replies go back and forth.
- every reply splits into 20 copies as it clears the queue
- 10 replies x 20 copies each = 200 copies x 10MB attachment = ~2GB of traffic in a few minutes from one email thread

In E2k10 single instance storage no longer exists; everybody on a database receiving that email gets a unique copy of the attachment. The original and replies don't account for just ~2.2GB of network traffic; they're ~2.2GB of storage that's being consumed on the back-end, all from the work of a few minutes.

Will your admin notice? Depends how many databases there are, how much storage there is, what kind of NICs your servers are using (1Gb/sec are common), etc. Short answer is "probably not". But the problem isn't one message or one thread; it's the ability to generate significant content in a very short order by anybody in the organization. Yours might not be the only thread with an attachment that people are replying-all to at any given time.

Scale the problem up to a thousand people sharing a server. The odds of people eating needless space go up quite a bit.

Scale it to 50,000 users in the US and UK, and distro lists that have global rea ...


I was an email admin for 10 years (SunOne, Exchange, and Groupwise), and I thank God every day we moved to Google at my latest job. Let someone else deal with the headache.

25 Nov 2012 11:10 AM
Hawnkee     
memecrunch.comView Full Size

25 Nov 2012 11:20 AM
enderthexenocide     
www.vibe.comView Full Size


Oh no, Rod, you sent this email reply all. You hit reply all!

www.adrants.comView Full Size

25 Nov 2012 11:25 AM
Kid Mojo     
Just get rid of BCC and we'll all be happy.

25 Nov 2012 11:40 AM
Because People in power are Stupid    [TotalFark]  

urban.derelict: No, if you're not smart enough to fix that by now you deserve what you get comin' to ya.


We're really talking about old people.

So "smart enough" doesn't really say it... What you are really saying is "If your brain doesn't have enough plasticity to learn not to click the virtual button below the one you really want to hit then you are too old and should report to a sleepshot."

In other words his palm flower is going off.

www.boingboing.netView Full Size

25 Nov 2012 11:47 AM
wildcardjack     
Stop CC'ing me and I'll stop using reply all. BCC only, otherwise you are just increasing the amount of spam I'm going to get. Not that any one on the list will be a spammer, but the more normal people who have my email address in their folders the more likely that someone will get compromised.

25 Nov 2012 12:21 PM
jlawn001     
I don't have a real problem with differentiating reply from reply all... although once I inadvertently sent an email to someone at work.

CSB time

A former employee, and a bit of a douche, sent me this scathing email about a co-worker of ours. While I was writing my reply to him, I put her in the cc box so I could click on her name, and find out who she reported to- as I was going to have to email that person as well.
Well.... wouldn't you know I left her in the box.

She not only got the scathing email, but my my reply to him which I didn't want her to see.

Folks, hilarity did not ensue.

25 Nov 2012 12:33 PM
AMonkey'sUncle     
While we're at it, can we get rid of carbon copy and blind carbon copy. Most people probably don't even know what carbon paper was.

Just C: and BC:

25 Nov 2012 12:42 PM
natazha     

Because People in power are Stupid: We're really talking about old people.


No, you don't have to be old to be stupid. Ever see an old person fall into a mall fountain while texting? I think not.

25 Nov 2012 12:44 PM
dywed88     

Smackledorfer: And to all the haters here saying people deserve to be fired for what amounts to a tiny mistake: you are assholes. The only difference between you and any of the people who have hit reply all is that you have yet to make the mistake, or your errors have luckily occurred in ways that didn't create a problem.

mistakes: everybody makes them. EVERYBODY.


The mistake was hitting reply all. But nobody has ever been fired for hitting reply all, maybe someone telling them off for wasting their time, but not fired.

They get fired for the contents of the email they sent. Those contents are intentional, not a mistake. Your mistake merely got you caught for committing an actionable offence.

Do some people take it too far and some firings aren't deserved? Yes.
Do I have any sympathy for a guy who gets fired for sending his boss an email calling him an effing retard? Hell no.

25 Nov 2012 01:22 PM
zenobia     

Because People in power are Stupid: urban.derelict: No, if you're not smart enough to fix that by now you deserve what you get comin' to ya.

We're really talking about old people.

So "smart enough" doesn't really say it... What you are really saying is "If your brain doesn't have enough plasticity to learn not to click the virtual button below the one you really want to hit then you are too old and should report to a sleepshot."

In other words his palm flower is going off.

[www.boingboing.net image 400x300]


I like to hit Reply All when I respond to my dad's RWNJ fwds.

The last time, I got a response from an old guy indignantly demanding I remove him from my "mailing list." Of course I told him to take some personal responsibility, and helpfully included a link explaining how to block senders.

His response: I already have you marked as spam, now remove me from your mailing list. I'm taking pity on him for a while so he doesn't have a coronary.

25 Nov 2012 01:45 PM
Anastacya     

Smackledorfer: Reply all is useful.
I've never accidentally hit it, but can see how it is easy to do. I view this as an ergonomics issue.

And to all the haters here saying people deserve to be fired for what amounts to a tiny mistake: you are assholes. The only difference between you and any of the people who have hit reply all is that you have yet to make the mistake, or your errors have luckily occurred in ways that didn't create a problem.

mistakes: everybody makes them. EVERYBODY.


Uh, how about not composing an email that has the potential of getting you into trouble in the first place? Politics in an office exist, I get it, but composing that lovely email about personal issues and/or what you REALLY think about the guy two cubicles over isn't meant to be discussed on a work computer anyway. If you hate the people who you work with that much, find a new job. If you're stupid enough to actually type out offensive shiat on a corporate email server, then you are absolutely stupid enough to be fired.

25 Nov 2012 02:02 PM
finnished     
In my experience, the more recipients email has, the less important the message is to me.

But the worst is the passive-aggressive CC - CC'ing the boss. It's like when kids say "I'm telling dad on you!"

25 Nov 2012 02:03 PM
andrewagill     
At work, I try my darnedest to get the people who send me stuff to start using Reply All. I have people who send me stuff all day that needs to be taken care of in a timely manner.

If it comes to me at a time when I'm not at work, though, I can't actually fix the issue, and it's even worse when it's on a weekend because that means that everyone is inconvenienced for more time.

So you try to turn on your out-of-office autoreply every day, and yet you still have people who come back to you asking ``Any updates on this?'' And while I'm glad when people remind me to prod other people to keep on a task, too often, I'd love to reply, ``No, there are no updates because you sent the reply directly to me instead of the other people who were actually working.''

I leave group e-mail addresses in there hoping that the other person will either be considerate and leave the group in there or lazy and reply all, but far too many people seem to think that it's impolite to use (or just aren't comfortable with) Reply All. I try to help them out and send reminders to people who have this trouble that they need to leave the groups in there, but it doesn't always work.

PLEASE, PEOPLE! IF YOU SENT THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE TO A GROUP, AND IF A MEMBER OF THAT GROUP LEAVES THE GROUP ADDRESS IN THE REPLY, THAT MEANS YOU SHOULD KEEP THE ADDRESS IN YOUR REPLIES, TOO!

25 Nov 2012 02:13 PM
Mitt Romneys Tax Return     

SineSwiper: Office Rule #4:

Do not send the email if you're not comfortable with it being sent to everybody in the company! This isn't just about Reply to All, but message threads that end up being forwarded, or add-ons to message threads, etc. Also, quit using email like a chat protocol. IM is there for a reason. (And that also means you don't start using the corporate IM for vulgar comments, either.)


Absolutely this. Do not use company email for private communications. Even if you don't screw up and send it to the wrong people, another person in the chain could. Also, company email accounts have no legal privacy rights (and your company can archive them forever).

25 Nov 2012 02:19 PM
downstairs    [TotalFark]  

Wingchild: 2) The thread is lively and people enjoy the reply-all feature. Each reply contains the attachment. In a few minutes, 10 replies go back and forth.
- every reply splits into 20 copies as it clears the queue
- 10 replies x 20 copies each = 200 copies x 10MB attachment = ~2GB of traffic in a few minutes from one email thread



Maybe your client is different, but I use Outlook 2003 and "reply" and "reply all" does not include the attachment.  Only forwarding it does.

25 Nov 2012 02:30 PM
ZAZ    [TotalFark]  
Also, company email accounts have no legal privacy rights (and your company can archive them forever).

A large corporate employer had a policy of wiping email off the Exchange server after a short period. The purpose was to keep enemy lawyers away. The email you copied to your personal mail folder on your company computer was still backed up. Company lawyers felt comfortable not searching your personal mail folder in response to discovery demands for all email.

25 Nov 2012 02:31 PM
moothemagiccow     

ZAZ: Microsoft (MSFT) introduced a plug-in option on its Outlook program called NoReplyAll, which allows senders to prevent recipients from Replying All to their messages.

I was about to compliment Microsoft. Then I realized they were undoing their own mistake so it doesn't count as a good deed.


isnt that just a BCC?

25 Nov 2012 02:53 PM
WayToBlue     

ZAZ: Also, company email accounts have no legal privacy rights (and your company can archive them forever).

A large corporate employer had a policy of wiping email off the Exchange server after a short period. The purpose was to keep enemy lawyers away. The email you copied to your personal mail folder on your company computer was still backed up. Company lawyers felt comfortable not searching your personal mail folder in response to discovery demands for all email.


I'm curious, when was this? AFAIK it has been standard practice to include end point mail storage for discovery requests for a while now.

25 Nov 2012 03:06 PM
ZAZ    [TotalFark]  
WayToBlue

The "wipe mail from exchange servers" policy continued to at least 2010.

It's possible the real reason was they didn't want to waste space backing up our Fw: Fw: FW: funniest home videos. (Backing up a single laptop drive takes limited space.) We were told the rule was for legal reasons related to discovery.

25 Nov 2012 03:13 PM
Benni K Rok     
I'm still trying to figure out why my immediate boss forwards my coworers and myself e-mails that we're all addressed in?

25 Nov 2012 03:26 PM
fluffy2097     

jso2897: So, is this the thread where all the geniuses who never make mistakes talk about how dumb people who make mistakes are?
Yep - it's that thread - again.


Forgetting to zip of your fly is making a mistake.

Using Reply All to send office gossip to your friends is stupidity that deserves to be mocked relentlessly.

25 Nov 2012 03:33 PM
fluffy2097     

Smackledorfer: The only difference between you and any of the people who have hit reply all is that you have yet to make the mistake, or your errors have luckily occurred in ways that didn't create a problem.


The difference is that I am not functionally retarded. I know that everything on the corporate network is logged, and I don't involve myself in office gossip.

/Hit reply all once by accident in corporate life.
//Sent everyone a question I had about some training we were doing.
///Not fired.

25 Nov 2012 03:44 PM
Shenanigans!     

Benni K Rok: I'm still trying to figure out why my immediate boss forwards my coworers and myself e-mails that we're all addressed in?


Your boss doesn't read the emails. Shocking, I know.

25 Nov 2012 03:48 PM
Lsherm    [TotalFark]  

WayToBlue: ZAZ: Also, company email accounts have no legal privacy rights (and your company can archive them forever).

A large corporate employer had a policy of wiping email off the Exchange server after a short period. The purpose was to keep enemy lawyers away. The email you copied to your personal mail folder on your company computer was still backed up. Company lawyers felt comfortable not searching your personal mail folder in response to discovery demands for all email.

I'm curious, when was this? AFAIK it has been standard practice to include end point mail storage for discovery requests for a while now.


Since my division has to deal with legal requests all the time, and the last one included decrypting a 10 year-old Groupwise archive stored on an employee's computer, I don't think that strategy works any more.

25 Nov 2012 03:51 PM
Shenanigans!     

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: SineSwiper: Office Rule #4:

Do not send the email if you're not comfortable with it being sent to everybody in the company! This isn't just about Reply to All, but message threads that end up being forwarded, or add-ons to message threads, etc. Also, quit using email like a chat protocol. IM is there for a reason. (And that also means you don't start using the corporate IM for vulgar comments, either.)

Absolutely this. Do not use company email for private communications. Even if you don't screw up and send it to the wrong people, another person in the chain could. Also, company email accounts have no legal privacy rights (and your company can archive them forever).


Absolutely. I knew of a coworker at my company who was fired several years ago for exchanging porn via company email with a friend of hers outside the company. She was caught when IT happened to read her emails.

I don't use company email for any personal correspondence whatsoever - you never know who could be looking, and you have no reason to expect your company emails are private.

25 Nov 2012 03:53 PM
Obama's Left Nut     

Benni K Rok: I'm still trying to figure out why my immediate boss forwards my coworers and myself e-mails that we're all addressed in?


Yeah my boss does this too....

I cannot get him to understand. Now he just forwards it to me and puts in a comment that he wanted to make sure I got the email....

25 Nov 2012 04:01 PM
TheGhostofFarkPast     
The company I am currently at has the worst email etiquette of any company I have ever worked at. Everyone uses the Reply all button like it's going out of style so people are overwhelmed with junk and typically people complain about it. People also have no clue about BCC when sending out an email to a list of people because I am routinely on lists and everyones info is right there in plain site. Overall most people are idiots when it comes to proper email usage.

25 Nov 2012 04:42 PM
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