‘We’re creating the problem for ourselves': The Columbia J-School e-mail mishap of 2014

For reasons that remain mysterious, Columbia University's journalism school decided that I was a "recruiter" and added me to their "J-School Career Expo" list:


(The Washington Post)

You can guess what happened next:


(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

We received (and are still receiving) dozens of e-mails like this.

Fortunately the nation's journalists are a smart bunch. One of them figured out what was going on and warned the others to knock it off:


(The Washington Post)

Added another:


(The Washington Post)

Then things got really meta:


(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

Others decided to have fun with the situation:


(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

Still, a lot of people seem to be really, really confused about how mailing lists work:


(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

(The Washington Post)

When will it stop? I have no idea. Right now, at about 4:15, I've received 125 e-mails and a new one is coming in about once every two minutes. I hope that eventually Columbia will figure out they messed up and shut the whole thing down.

Update: Columbia has apologized for the incident.

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Brian Fung · January 10, 2014