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Oops. NYT Spams Its Subscribers


From the Times’ Media Decoder blog:

7:02 p.m. | Updated The New York Times mistakenly sent an e-mail on Wednesday to more than eight million people who had shared their information with the company, erroneously informing them that they had canceled home delivery of the newspaper.

The Times Company, which initially mischaracterized the mishap as spam, apologized for sending the e-mail. The people who received the message represented a cross section of readers who had given their e-mail addresses to the newspaper, said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times Company.

“We regret that the error was made, but no one’s security has been compromised,” she said.

The e-mail urged recipients to consider continuing their subscriptions to The Times at 50 percent off for 16 weeks. The message sent off a flood of Twitter reactions and calls to The Times. The Times’s official Twitter feed sent this message: “If you received an e-mail today about canceling your New York Times subscription, ignore it. It’s not from us.”

Those comments raised questions from some recipients about whether hackers had access to their credit card and personal information, a misimpression that Ms. Murphy said the company was working to correct.

She said the e-mail had been sent by a Times employee and not Epsilon Interactive, a third-party service the company uses to communicate with subscribers.

Late Wednesday afternoon, The Times sent an e-mail to recipients of the erroneous note explaining the error. A notice also appeared on

“It’s in our interest now to make sure people understand the correct situation,” Ms. Murphy said.

Listen, errors happen, but why did the Times rush out with a report that was inaccurate? And as for the special offer, the Times isn’t honoring it.


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