Chain message packs campus e-mail inboxes

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    TCU inboxes were flooded with e-mails Tuesday in a comedy of errors that turned a small mix-up into a huge annoyance.Dave Edmondson, associate provost of information services, said the chain of e-mails began with a faculty member sending a message, and the problem was exacerbated when William Jackson, a junior psychology major, forwarded the e-mail.

    “I was just trying to send it to a few friends because I thought that it was something interesting,” Jackson said, “It is a huge accident.”

    It is unclear how the forward of the faculty member’s e-mail went out to so many TCU e-mail addresses. Edmondson said the faculty member has been spoken to by his supervisor. He said the matter is a personnel issue and would not identify the faculty member.

    After Jackson’s reply went out, students began questioning how their names were attached to the e-mail, thus starting the endless flurry of reply e-mails.

    “I remember the mass e-mail problem last semester within the School of Business and I just wanted to know how it could happen again,” said Justin Anderson, a freshman pre-business student. “That is why I responded.”

    There is a spam blocker within the TCU e-mail network, but none of the e-mails were blocked. There is an upward of 80,000 mail messages per day blocked as spam, and the messages were just not recognized, Edmondson said.

    Bill Senter, manager of technical services, said there are many different e-mail lists and most mass e-mails have to be approved.

    “I am sorry that this happened, but it is just like junk mail in your mail box – you tear it up and throw it away,” Edmondson said. “It has now turned into a game.