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More than 11,000 at Microsoft said to be ensnared in "reply all" email loop

Email etiquette from Faith Salie

One of the hazards of working for a large corporation is being on the receiving end of mass emails. And working for a major technology company, it seems, offers little protection from the hazards that can come from hitting "reply all."

On Thursday, thousands of Microsoft workers were caught up in a gargantuan reply-all email thread, described in a Business Insider story and in social-media posts by Microsoft employees. 

Veteran employees recalling a scenario from 1997 in which a mailing list called Bedlam DL3 triggered an unwanted email thread for 25,000 people that brought down the company's email server for two days.  

"Bedlam B2 is happening, here's how to stop it," one Microsoft employee said in a YouTube video explaining steps to break free of the email chain. The video's creator noted "11,543 Microsofties are getting spammed."

How to Stop BedlamV2 aka Gitlam aka How to Create an Outlook Rule from Subject Text by Jon Gallant on YouTube

Microsoft in an email declined comment. By Business Insider's telling, Thursday's mayhem began when an employee sent a message to all who oversee GitHub, the code-sharing site for programmers acquired by Microsoft last year for $7.5 billion. Some replied to all in the thread, asking to be removed, others told jokes and still others advised.

Making matters worse, a glitch in the system apparently meant that those who were able to unsubscribe were quickly resubscribed.