NYT Apologizes after Mass E-mail to 8.6 Million Sent in Error

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At first, the Times said it didn't send out a mass cancellation e-mail. (Credit: Twitter)

The New York Times e-mailed millions of online subscribers Dec. 28 to notify them that their home delivery subscription has been canceled.  The e-mail included a way for readers to get a discount on home subscription for “50% off for 16 weeks.” But, it was an error.

According to the Associated Press, the e-mail was intended for “a few hundred people” but ended up in 8.6 million e-mail account inboxes. In an article titled “New York Times sends out discount email by mistake, denies it, then admits error,” the AP explained that at first the New York Times said it didn’t send the e-mail. In a Dec. 28 tweet, the newspaper said “If you  received an email today about canceling your NYT subscription, ignore it. It’s not from us.”

That tweet prompted speculation that the newspaper’s e-mail database was hacked or spammed. And, ABC News noted that New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha called the e-mail “spam.”

Later, the Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said, according to the AP, “the initial tweet was in error and we regret the mistake” and explained how the newspaper sent the e-mail to a “vast distribution list.”

The AP noted that the New York Times “initially honored the discount, even to people who were already paying full price and had no plans to cancel,” but around “early afternoon,” the newspaper stopped.

In a post on the Times’ website, the newspaper reported that Murphy said “no one’s security has been compromised.”

See below the e-mail in full.

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NYT Apologizes after Mass E-mail to 8.6 Million Sent in Error

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