It happened again this week: an event producer to whom I had given my email address sent out an announcement of their next event. But instead of using a mailing list management tool they copied and pasted all 100-odd mailing list addresses… into the TO: field of their Gmail message rather than BCC:. So I and every other person on their mailing list now have those 100-odd addresses in our email client!
Asided from having to scroll through them to reach the actual message, why is this anything other than mildly annoying?
– If anyone who received the message hits “reply all” (and may do that by default) can all end up in a looping flamewar as others reply all “Stop sending!” “Take me off this list!!” etc.
– All recipients whose inbox resides on their computer (i.e., they don’t only ever access email via a web browser) now have all of our addresses on their hard drive… which means if any of them get a computer virus that looks for email addresses to “harvest” (most viruses do not want to destroy your computer, but to take it over and use your data and internet connection to spam others) we all get even more spam as our addresses are added to lists for sale to spammers.
It’s particularly easy to forget to use BCC when using a Gmail account because the default Compose window now doesn’t give you a BCC field by default – you must click on a small link to open it. The event people use Gmail and did successfully use BCC previously.