General Etiquette > Techno-quette

The Reply-All Assault

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One of my pet peeves is when people needlessly hit reply all to an email with a lot of recipients and all of a sudden my email inbox is filled for hours, or days, with everybody expressing their opinion to the original email. I'm in two groups of 60 plus persons whose leaders refuse to use BCC ("this way we can all get in contact with each other!") and it happens almost weekly for at least one of the groups.

Is there anyway to gently say "Please reserve reply all for messages the entire group needs to see?" Or am I doomed to just delete a bunch of needless emails almost every day?

Sadly, I think you're doomed to delete. I belong to a number of different groups that have members that reply-all. Every now and then someone will reply all saying "please stop replying to all!"... and then even more people do the same... so by the end, I have 3x as many emails about NOT replying to all :) And the original offenders never stop doing it. I've resigned myself to deleting lots of emails daily.

I have found a reply of "is there a reason I was CC'ed on this reply?" message sent to the sender, and maybe if appropriate a few key head folks (not a reply all  :) ) works well to clue them in the practice is annoying.

I worked for a large, national company.  The email address format was firstname.lastname at compnayname dot com, or firstinitial.lastname, depending on factors I never figured out.  I have a common name.  In this huge national company there were three other people with my exact name and 5 more who's name started with the same letter as my first name with the same last name.  The "reply all" assaults were even more aggravating when I was the wrong mmswm to begin with.

I can't say I ever figured out a great way to keep people from emailing me sensitive customer data when I wasn't the right mmswm, let alone ending the reply all assaults.  Delete is your friend.

Library Dragon:
I BEG people on listservs to put their emails in their signature so people can reply off list.  I'm amazed at the intelligent folks who say, "Reply off list" but give no way to complete the request.


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