New York Times Accidentally E-Mails Millions

on December 28 2011 5:52 PM
New York Times Accidentally Emails Millions
Hacktivist group DestructiveSecurity claimed responsibility Wednesday afternoon for an e-mail snafu at the New York Times in which the company sent an e-mail meant for 300 people to more than 8 million people. Flickr

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the company accidentally sent e-mails to more than 8 million people. The e-mail said this:

Dear Home Delivery Subscriber,

Our records indicate that you recently requested to cancel our home delivery subscription. Please keep in mind when your delivery service ends, you will no longer have unlimited access to NYTimes.com and our NYTimes apps.

We do hope you'll reconsider.

As a valued Times reader we invite you to continue your current subscription at an exclusive rate of 50% off for 16 weeks. This is a limited-time offer and will no longer be valid once your current subscription ends.*

Continue your subscription and you'll keep your free, unlimited digital access, a benefit available only for our home delivery subscribers. You'll receive unlimited access o NYTimes.com on any device, full access to our smartphone and iPad apps, plus you can now share your unlimited access with a family member.

To continue your subscription call 1-877-698-0025 and mention code 38H9H (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. E.D.T.).

Soon after the e-mail was sent, confusion consumed social media outlets. Several subscribers took to Twitter to complain and, to boot, the NYT tweeted, If you received an email today about canceling your NYT subscription, ignore it. It's not from us.

The company later backtracked on that statement about an hour later. Reporter Amy Chozick tweeted a correction, stating the NYT had sent the message. She tweeted, UPDATE on NYT email: The email was sent by the NYT, a spokeswoman said. Should've gone to appx 300 people & went to over 8 mil. Story TK. [to come]

Chozick later detailed the entire flub on the NYT blog Media Decoder. The New York Times communications department also tweeted that the e-mail was a mistake.