Monday, January 26, 2015

The Misadventures of the Reply All Button

A few weeks ago, a seemingly innocent email popped into my mailbox. The sender of the email was someone named ‘Tunde Goma’. Other visible recipients of the email were variants of the ‘Tunde Goma’ name. I did a quick scan of the contents, and it looked like spam, so I did what ordinarily came to me – marked it as spam. Next thing I knew, emails poured in, in droves: “Take me off this list”, “How did I get on this list?”, “I’m not interested in politics. I don’t want this email”, “Who gave you my email? address”.
Why was I getting emails about people complaining about receiving an email? Why were they all using the ‘Reply All’ button? More importantly, why were they clogging my inbox with their rants about wanting to get off the list?
Ah! Hold on… was my ‘Mark as spam’ button not working properly? Oh well, thank God for Gmail and the ability to create filters. I created a filter with the appropriate keywords, and directed all related emails to the BIN!
The Tunde Goma emails in the trash became my entertainment for the week. How was it that seemingly intelligent people decided to take a break from simple logic? In order for the ‘problem’ to go away, you don’t feed the monster! How hard was it to figure out that hitting the ‘Reply All’ button was counter productive? One of the emails read: “How did I get on this list at all in the first place??!! I DON’T want to be here! Full stop”
We needed the ‘Full stop’ for emphasis. Really, we did.
Anyway, what started as a seemingly innocuous email became a baptism of irritating emails. By the end of the week, I had an idea that the recipients of the email were people in the Nigerian media industry, Nigerian entertainers, and Nigerian ‘Twitter Overlords’. People went crazy with the Reply All button – ignoring the fact that some of their signatures had their phone numbers and professional designation. Talk about brand promotion.
I’ll share some of the funniest responses to the Tunde Goma email
Pls take me off this list as well. At this point I’d recommend that you ask for people’s permission before you flood their inboxes with emails. Your intentions may have been good, but this is the worst way to go about it. You’ll end up upsetting/irritating the very same people you are trying to recruit.– Nigerian music artiste and co-label head.
Aww, how cute! How about you take your own advice and not hit ‘Send’ after the ‘Reply All’ button? You ended up irritating a lot of people.
i dont know why i am getting all these messages?am i a politician?please remove me ASAP – Popular blogger
WTF!!!!!! take me off this nonsense – Okay, I don’t know what this guy does but I see his name a lot in emails. I’m guessing he’s a blogger.
Something went wrong somewhere pls like the photographer said, stop responding and simply delete the message(s). You all are clogging my mailbox.Haba! – Somebody.
Look how he/she ended up clogging all our mailboxes with his/her own email.
Guys… Please… Stop…. Responding… To… The… Email. Everyone wants off the email. When you stop responding it’ll all stop. A few people have mentioned this earlier but people still aren’t paying attention. We are the ones spamming our own inboxes!!Please let my annoying, yet clarifying email be the last one. – Creative Filmmaker.
Aww she’s cute… and funny too. But she ALSO used the ‘Reply All’ button. Not so funny.
This is a lot of distraction, please remove me from your mailing list – Her signature revealed she works in Corporate Services in a big Nigerian bank.
It was clearly not enough of a distraction as she was focused enough to reply ALL!
How do I get out of this ? – The name didn’t ring a bell.
But I could just hear the pain behind these words. Bless! Filter, honey. Filter!
Three days later, we were still getting the emails.
It’s Unfortunate That People Don’t Listen And Definitely Don’t Pay Attention To Instructions! I Can’t Count How Many Time People Been Writing For Others To STOP Replying And I Also Remember Toks Giving Instructions On How To Unsubscribe From The List! It’s Not Hard! Once You Open The Email Please Read The Thread BEFORE REPLYING!! Simple As ABC! JESOS! Is That So Hard??? I Don’t Have Problem With Who Sent! BUT I Have Problem With People That Are Looking For Solution For The Email To STOP without Following Instructions! Scroll To The Bottom Of The Thread And Click The Link To Unsubscribe that Way You Don’t Get In Your Inbox! Shikena! Dang People This Is 2015! Lets Be Up for a Sec! -Somebody.
But your guess is as good as mine. The emails didn’t stop. I think Jesus was offended that his name was misspelled.
Then, like a ray of hope in the darkness of my Trash Folder, this came:
Hi Tunde Goma,
Really admire the work you’re doing.
Please keep me on the mailing list, I never want to miss any of your emails ever, even if I’m the only one left here
Thanks so much for all you’re doing – Twitter Socio-Political commentator
I love how we can create gems from rubble! Of course we’re not Nigerians if we don’t descend slightly.
SHOKI AAAANH – Popular Blogger.
Then, Jesus was invited back.
Am begging you in Jesus name remove me from this mailing list – Another Blogger.
Can we take a few minutes to talk about this “I’m”/”Am” dichotomy? CAN WE PLEASE STOP? LET US STOP!
Okay back to our emails, people! Our Twitter socio-political commentator came back:
Hi All,
Sorry to bother you again but I’ve just been informed by Sir Tunde Goma that midnight today (Nigerian time) will be the deadline for anyone who wants to escape from the terror of this mailing list.
If you do not make your request to leave by tonight, then you will remain here until May 29th, democracy day.
God bless
He’s funny isn’t he? Yes, some people actually took him seriously!
Anyway, since we were clearly not going to get away from the emails, it was time to socialize… yes?
Since you people have refused to stop sending emails, and Tunde Goma has refused to accept my unsubscribe request, let us kuku start enjoying ourselves.Shall we start with introductions? St**** and F**i, can you start, since na una dey enjoy this thread pass  – Writer/Journalist
Also, we must not pass off a chance to network either
Hi guys,
There’s a new paintball spot at Unique World, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja. However you have to book ahead by calling 08023500446 with a minimum of 6 players for the arena to be set up.
Come with family, friends or foes, in fact we can use Tunde Goma as target practice too if he avails himself.
Cheers – The name wasn’t familiar.
Moving on swiftly… remember I told you some people took our Twitter socio-political commentator seriously?
Gosh, this is beyond irritating.
I’ve been silent, watching it get worse, hoping it will stop, and now we are given a deadline as though we asked for this in the first place?
Two days ago I did the ‘unsubscribe’ thing that was supposed to be the cure to this madness, and thought hey presto, this is it. Two minutes after, more mails, more mails, more mails.
Kindly inform Sir Tunde Goma (whoever he is and however it is that he even has my email in the first damn place!!!) to please take me off this here thing. I’ve had enough.
Thank you, God bless.
My favourite… and absolute favourite email from the Tunde Goma saga was this one:
First off,
I have no idea where (whoever is the originator of this spam) got my email from and decided that mandatorily, I have to receive an unending flow of junk mail on a topic i’d rather not bother with.
With all due respect and for the respect for privacy, either: give people the opportunity to unsubscribe from this list or remove their emails from your list immediately upon request.
You have NO right to give people you are spamming an ultimatum. I am one of the few who acts more than I talk. And I will act in a way you may not find palatable if my email is not taken off your list and I receive no messages from you or 3rd parties you may have sent my email to.
*cue the hook for Tony Tetuila’s hit single “My Car”*

I think the emails stopped last week; I’m not sure. I haven’t been digging in my trash for a while.

1 comment:

  1. Lololololll!! I feel the pain of several of these err, distinguished personalities. Tunde Goma - if they caaaatch you; hm.
    Meanwhile, that aunty/uncle that gave rather cross instructions for unsubscribing - why didn't they scroll down and hit the link themselves?
    Hmm. See you at the paintball spot jere.