Newspaper's email disaster generates instant parody account.

The New York Times is no stranger to parody accounts, and now there is one more: @NYTSpam.

The impetus behind that new Twitter account: an email message received by many asking people to renew their recently cancelled subscriptions to the New York Times.

Adding to the confusion: Some recipients (like this reporter) never had a subscription in the first place.

Media maven Rafat Ali was one of the first to notice. He tweeted that he hadn’t cancelled his subscription and called the email “weird.” A flurry of other people got it, also, and wondered if the New York Times had fallen victim to a hack.

The newspaper initially said the email was spam and that people who received it should just ignore it.

“It’s not from us,” a Times spokeswoman told the paper’s own Decoder blog.

New York magazine pointed out that Epsilon, which manages the Times’s email databases, was hacked earlier this year.

But the paper then corrected itself, saying that a message that should have gone to 300 people got blasted to 8 million email addresses instead.

No laughing matter for the New York Times public-relations department, surely. But it’s all hilarious material for the creator of @NYTSpam, a parody Twitter account asking people if they want an iPad, IQ tests, or “Ci@ali$ anyone? I’m tired of trying to sell papers.”

The account’s biography states that it is “Not affiliated with @NYTimes or actual spammers—just sick of bad digital strategy.” It has a mere 57 followers, but it’s growing fast. (Sort of like the Times’ digital subscriptions! Haha! Too soon?)

The mildly amusing account tweeted that the reason they’d cancelled their subscription was because “I had cancel home delivery due to my {MISSIONARY WORK} transfer To (West Africa Nigeria) to preach the GOSPEL.”  

Photo by Angela Rutherford

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
new york times
Take a ride inside Mercedes's driverless car of the future
BY REBEKAH FERGUSSON AND MOLLY WOOD A sneak peek inside the Mercedes F 015 concept car, the company’s vision of a driverless future. The design turns the car into a shared social space where any passenger can interact with the vehicle.
new york times
Nicki Minaj and Kanye West are right—the VMAs are complete trash
The VMAs killed the video star. 1981 proved to be a blockbuster year for pop culture. CNN celebrated one year of being on air, the first made-for-TV movie was in production, and just one month before Beyoncé Knowles made her entry into this dimension, MTV was born. The network ostensibly splashed onto the scene with a fierce dedication and appreciation for bringing music into the digital age—it was as bold an undertaking as ever. “Behold, a new concept is born. The best o...

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!