How ironic that those who complain about how others use Reply to All also seem to be those who do not respect the privacy of their contacts by using the BCc: field!
If you do not use the BCc: field or don’t know where it is, that is no reason or excuse to include all your contact addresses visibly in the To: field. Don’t want to use the BCc? Then you need to send separate e-mails to each of your contacts in lieu of exposing their addresses to those they don’t know. If the message it isn’t worth that effort; the e-mail is not worth sending.
Bottom Line on “Reply to All”
You only use Reply to All when you are confident that “all” will be interested in the content of your response or need to be aware of what your reply contains. Simply because a list of names are in the To: field does not indicate their interest in your reply or commentary.
You do not use Reply to All to CYA, e-tattle, scold, correct or send nasty comments back to the Sender — even if it is to point out you do not appreciate being exposed to strangers. By acting in this manner you are no better than the person you feel the need to berate in front of their contacts. Show some decorum and only e-mail the Sender when you are not happy with either the content of their e-mail or their actions.
If you are the Sender, if you e-mail a bunch of folks who do know each other and include their names visibly in the To: or Cc: field, do not be surprised if those who receive your message view that as an invitation to communicate or have a discussion with all involved. You cannot have all those e-mails displayed and then get upset if those you send to hit Reply to All.
Easily Avoid Reply to All Abuse and Misunderstandings
- Senders: If you don’t want those you e-mail to use Reply to All, then use the BCc: field to list all your contact addresses so they are not seen by those who receive your message.
- Recipients: You do not Reply to All if you do not know “all.” Reply to the Sender only. And, please use your discretion as to what you feel everyone needs or wants to know. If you are not sure, only reply to the Sender.