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The Death of BCC

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the fog-of-flamewar dept.

Facebook 366

An anonymous reader writes "An interesting op-ed at NeoSmart discusses the demise of BCC in emails at the hands of Facebook and the like. It discusses how certain technologies that are slowly being supplanted by 'cooler' yet less effective alternatives have actually been spoiled for all, since they rely on a basic community-wide awareness regarding these technologies for them to work."

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366 comments

Nope (3, Interesting)

eison (56778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263042)

BCC was killed by spam filters, not facebook.

Re:Nope (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263246)

More like the demise of the BBC, amirite?

Re:Nope (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263258)

Saying BCC is dead because people use facebook is like saying SSH or FTP is dead, because my mom doesn't use either.

Re:Nope (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263298)

yo momma so fat, that when she walked in front of the computer my FTP connection timed out!

Re:Nope (0)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263426)

Yo momma so fat, she got her own autonomous system!

Re:Nope (2)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263562)

I guess you are right because when I started reading, I actually thought TFA was about the BBC. It could have made more sense I guess...

Re:Nope (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263380)

Not to mention nobody outside of corporate knew what the hell a BCC was anyway. I've shown users how to BCC themselves when sending pictures so they have a copy in their email and every single time I get "Is that what that was for? I didn't know what that thing was."

It is one of those techs like knowing how to set up your own DNS or change your IP that few outside IT and corporate EVER use or even has a clue is there. I have a feeling if it dies completely out of non corporate environments there will be so few that care it won't even raise a stink. I like BCC simply to send copies to a backup address but it isn't like I just couldn't add the address in the to: field.

Re:Nope (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263428)

Yeah, it's most useful anyway in a corporate setting, and then I'm in the habit of telling people to expect it. The only reason I'd use it outside of work is to send a bulk mail in which I put everyone on BCC. That though is incredibly rare.

Re:Nope (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263572)

Are you talking about sending a copy to a different email address of yours? I ask, because if you're talking about keeping a copy in the same account, then it seems simpler to just save a sent copy, which also keeps the attachments. Some services keep the attachments, and some don't.

Re:Nope (2)

perlchild (582235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263508)

It ain't been killed till we have a new version of smtp without it, imho.

BCC still existed? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263048)

Seriously, given all the people using email that don't know when to use BCC rather than CC or vice versa, I'm surprised it hasn't already been yanked.

Re:BCC still existed? (5, Funny)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263158)

The crux of his point isn't that people don't know how to use BCC, although that's part of the problem. His point is that even for those who do know how to use BCC, recipients don't know what BCC means.

Here's a typical example of things I've had happen. Someone sends me a misguided nastygram at work over something that I have no control over. I reply to them basically saying, "I can't do anything about this, you need to contact x." Also, because I know they've been dog-cussing me over it to their boss, who is good buddies with my boss, I BCC his boss so that I can 1) let him know that the stuff he's hearing is unjustified, while simultaneously 2) trying not to agitate someone who's already bothered by looking like I'm needlessly escalating something to his boss.

Unfortunately, his boss is also a dipweed, and next thing I know, he's done a "Reply All" and said something like, "Hey, make sure you call x today, because we need this up and working for close of business."

Now, not only does the person know I sent the e-mail to his boss, but he knows that I did it surreptitiously, and he's even more pissed off than if I'd just CCed his boss on it so that he would know.

Having said that, I do wish that people would learn how to use BCC. Here's another typical scenario we have happen now and then:

Someone sends out some dumb little, "Hey everyone, we're having a party in the marketing group tomorrow, so bring in some food!" Unfortunately, they make two mistakes: 1) They accidentally send it to the entire company, including offices in Europe, Asia, Africa, etc., and 2) they address it in the To: or Cc: field instead of Bcc:. Next thing I know, I'm being inundated with, "PLEASE TAKE ME OFF YOUR DISTRIBUTION LIST!!!11!11!!" e-mails. And then after that come the inevitable deluge of, "PLEASE STOP REPLYING TO ALL!!!11!11!!" e-mails. The first one isn't so bad, but then there's this global e-mail flame war that breaks out between the people saying they want to stop getting e-mails and the people who are fussing about the people who want to stop getting e-mails. Sometimes it even descends down to a third, people fussing about people fussing about people who don't want to get e-mails, level.

I never cease to be amazed by how dumb people can be.

Re:BCC still existed? (0)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263264)

BCC doesnt show other recipients, so if your boss scenario actually happened, either you don't know how to use BCC yourself, or he added everyone in by hand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_carbon_copy [wikipedia.org]

Re:BCC still existed? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263376)

Depends on the email provider, at least at some level (might be the client, the sending server, or a number of other things - I don't know the SMTP protocol). I've done the same thing by mistake, not realizing I had been BCC'd. My experiences were on Google Apps and I've had similar issues with standard gmail. Thankfully nothing embarrassing, but enough to receive an "Oh, didn't realize this was forwarded to you too. Um, thanks?" kind of response.

Handily, there's some new Labs feature for gmail that will display some sort of warning if you received the message over BCC, although it would probably be better if it just disabled reply-all.

Re:BCC still existed? (2, Interesting)

hey hey hey (659173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263408)

BCC doesnt show other recipients

Not all mail systems handle BCC this way. The X.400 system (at least used to) take the odd approach of hiding the BCC recipients from the main recipients, but all the BCC recipients could see each other. Other mailers may do equally odd things (or have non-standard settings).

Re:BCC still existed? (4, Informative)

ladadadada (454328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263416)

Have another read of his comment. He sent an email To: one person and Bcc: to that person's boss. The boss receives an email that does not have his email address anywhere in it. When the boss hits reply-all, the email will go to two people: the person who sent the email and the person to whom it was addressed. It was the boss who was in the Bcc field and hence when the boss hits reply, he doesn't send an email to himself.

There is no adding "everyone in by hand" because there are only two people who receive the boss's email and neither of them were in the Bcc field.

Re:BCC still existed? (1)

relyimah (938927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263442)

BCC doesnt show other recipients, so if your boss scenario actually happened, either you don't know how to use BCC yourself, or he added everyone in by hand.

He was the only one BCC'd by the example above, meaning that he can still see all the other recipients that weren't. Thus, a reply-all from him shows everyone else that he was BCC'd....

Re:BCC still existed? (4, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263452)

BCC doesnt show other recipients, so if your boss scenario actually happened, either you don't know how to use BCC yourself, or he added everyone in by hand.

I think it's you that doesn't understand how BCC works, the parent poster's scenario is quite possible (and has happened to me)

I send:

From: Johnny Five
To: Stupid Coworker
Bcc: Big Boss

Dude, Stop sending me porn, I don't want to see it.

My Stupid Coworker doesn't know I Bcc'ed the boss since he doesn't see the Bcc list, however, if the Boss does a reply-all, then stupid Coworker gets this email from him:

From: Big Boss
To: Stupid Coworker, Johnny Five

>Johnny Five wrote:
>
>Dude, Stop sending me porn, I don't want to see it.

Don't send porn to Johnny, send it to me instead.

Now Stupid Coworker knows that it was me that reported him for sending me porn.

Re:BCC still existed? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263538)

Now Stupid Coworker knows that it was me that reported him for sending me porn.

...because your boss is a dork. He should have send a message to Johnny Five (or everyone), "reminder: don't send porn to co-workers".

Re:BCC still existed? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263574)

Now Stupid Coworker knows that it was me that reported him for sending me porn.

...because your boss is a dork. He should have send a message to Johnny Five (or everyone), "reminder: don't send porn to co-workers".

Uhh...yeah, that was kind of the point the parent poster was trying to make when he said:

Unfortunately, his boss is also a dipweed, and next thing I know, he's done a "Reply All" and said something like, "Hey, make sure you call x today, because we need this up and working for close of business."

People that don't recognize that they've been Bcc'ed and handle it appropriately appear to be dorks (or dipweeds).

Re:BCC still existed? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263544)

The RFC doesn't specify things either way, but personally all the email systems I recall using would allow the BCC'ed person to see the To and CC recipients. Assuming people know how BCCing works, this is the best implementation.

Re:BCC still existed? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263510)

Not really, look at it THIS way: A sends bitchy email to B, B sends his reply with a BCC to boss C, Boss C hits reply all and A gets a copy of an email he only sent to B from his boss.

So if A sent his bitchy email to B only and suddenly his boss is sending him a copy of the bitchy email it really doesn't take Kojack to solve the case. Moral of the story is you should treat BCC as a "everybody might get a copy of this" email and not something private, as you can never overestimate the ability of a PHB to fuck shit up.

Re:BCC still existed? (3, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263356)

Actual scenario, that I've been on the recieving end of: A company decides to send a mass-mailing to a group of customers. The employee CCs them all... and thus inadvertantly gives out half the company mailing list to everyone on it.

Reply All storms (3, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263386)

Reply All to 13,000 people [msexchangeteam.com]

Re:Reply All storms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263526)

msexchangeteam.com

... m sex change?

So true (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263060)

Every single time I use BCC these days I think "this is gunna bite me in the ass".

That said, try to find an email program that gives any "help" or description of the functionality. Email software is arcane and unlearnable by the isolated individual. They really are a relic of a long forgotten time when people were introduced to computers with "training" provided by competent professionals, in a community where someone was available to provide gentle reminders of appropriate etiquette.

Yes, email is now our lightsaber.

Re:So true (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263162)

When was the last time you used BCC? I'm not sure I used it at all in the last five years. Is it even useful for anything practical?

Re:So true (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263178)

If something's sent to the group and you want the group to know you're sending a reply about a topic they might not care get the followups on. Like you may be interested in X but don't want to see all the back and forth that comes after.

I've always put who I BCC'd to in the body. It's common courtesy.

Re:So true (0)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263382)

then you want CC.

Re:So true (2)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263448)

No, I want BCC. That way people on the BCC don't get the replies; people on the CC do (they stay on the thread).

BCC = 1 reply no followups. CC = all followups.

Re:So true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263200)

It works for CYA when someone claims that you never sent an email to them and you always BCC your boss.

Re:So true (5, Informative)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263202)

It's useful when you're informing a large group of people that may not know eachother already about an event. For instance when sending out an invitation to a party.

It's just plain rude to share people's email address without their permission.

Re:So true (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263470)

On the flip-side, you have to assume that anyone you email is clueless and will share your address, and will get some kind of virus that adds it to spam lists, so you share a forwarding alias that you can kill if it gets misused.

Re:So true (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263204)

We use BCC all the time at my work, any time someone sends an email that remotely effects the entire (small, startup company) everyone@ gets BCC'ed.

Re:So true (2)

geoskd (321194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263288)

When was the last time you used BCC? I'm not sure I used it at all in the last five years. Is it even useful for anything practical?

I use it all the time at work, when I want person X to know that I am on top of a situation dealing with person Y, and person Y is being a douche. I usually only have to do this once with any given douche before they do what I tell them to without the stupid games.

-=Geoskd

Re:So true (1, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263384)

I usually only have to do this once with any given douche before they do what I tell them to without the stupid games

This may be part of your problem, instead of telling people to do stuff, ask them to do it. It could be you are acting like a douche without realizing it.

Re:So true (0)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263292)

If you have multiple girlfriends and you want to share with all of them "Happy Valentine's Day", and don't want to be bothered compose individual emails, then Bcc is great.

Re:So true (2, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263394)

cue the tech-savvy one asking why is she BCC'd on her valentine...

i think an email-merge would serve this purpose better.

but really... why would you want multiple girlfriends? it's hard enough finding one girl that's not insane let alone several

(oh, no i didn't!)

Re:So true (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263582)

"To: undisclosed-recipients"

That's not suspicious at all. :P

Re:So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263458)

Consider that every time you send an email to someone, your address is forever enshrined in their email client, via the From: field of your email.

Now, consider sending a mass mail to a list of friends with all the addresses in the CC: field. All those people and all their email clients know all those addresses. Maybe this isn't bad, per se; you'd like all your friends to be friends, even the ones who don't know each other. However, you don't necessarily know the minds of all those people -- maybe some of your friends don't want some of your other friends to have their email addresses.

The worst case scenario is that one of those peoples' machines gets infected by a trojan/virus/malware that goes through their email client and adds every email address it finds to spammer's mailing list. By using CC: instead of BCC: you put your friends in the line of fire, without their consent, and there is no way to take it back.

Re:So true (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263502)

Any time I send an email to a group of people who don't know each other or other's email addresses. Like, people who signed up for a beta test or something

Re:So true (2)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263512)

I quite often BCC myself at another address, e.g., if it's a mail I'm sending from work, but I want a copy in my non-work mail account too.

Less often, but still occasionally, I'll BCC somebody so they also have a record, and I don't necessarily want the recipient to know -- you know, the actual intended use of BCC header...

BCC is certainly useful, if not something you typically use on every email. Sure the masses are ignorant of it, but they're ignorant of vast numbers of useful features.... that's certainly no reason to get rid of it (unless perhaps you're making a dumbed-down lightweight client and every byte counts...)!

Re:So true (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263514)

For keeping someone informed? I see a lot of people sending an e-mail and then forwarding it to someone just saying "fyi".... Why not just bcc that someone?

Re:So true (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263566)

When sending an email to a group of recipients whose email addresses you do not want to disclose to each other. Even when the fact you have copied them is not secret, their actual address should be kept in confidence in many situations.

Re:So true (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263586)

We use it at work a lot when sending notes to large groups of people. If you were to use To: or CC: to these groups, you always get the couple of blockheads who "reply all" to say, "take me off of your distribution list". They are too stupid or too busy to realize that it makes no sense to do a "reply all", but that's what they do. Then you get the storm of people who equally stupidly use "reply all" to tell people to stop using "reply all". Many years ago we had some folks mistakenly send to a DL that contained most of the 50,000 people in the company. The resulting storm of "reply alls" actually caused mail service slow downs and an outage or two. (There are now permissions applied to those large DLs). In IT when we have to send a note to a DL containing (for example) 100 people, we use BCC just to avoid the crazy people using "reply all". We find it a best practice to put at the bottom of the note a message like, "this note was sent BCC to the following groups:" (and list out the DLs). On the other hand I've found no use at all for BCC at home (although others on this thread clearly have some use cases for it).

I use it to CMA (1)

tkprit (8581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263608)

[cover my ass], often, esp. w/ committees when we're not supposed to discuss something, but someone inevitably tries to drag my ass into an email conversation. To be polite, I respond with a bland 'we should discuss this at the next meeting' and cut the original post except the header, and BCC to at least one other member to prove I didn't start any conversation, and don't intend to be part of one.

Re:So true (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263610)

I occasionally help a couple of voluntary groups and try to get them to use it when they are sending notices out to members.

The problem is, every time I show someone how to do it, someone else takes over the secretary job and I have to start over. Otherwise at meetings someone complains that everyone else now has their email address.

Re:So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263176)

"a community where someone was available to provide gentle reminders of appropriate etiquette"

Yes, indeed. Long ago, far away....and pure fantasy!!

Possible fix for "I didn't know I was BCC'd" (1)

kcbnac (854015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263070)

Perhaps email clients could be modified to highlight, or give a textual warning at the top of the preview/document pane/window (much like our browsers today warn us about a site wanting to install an addon, and whatnot) saying that "YOU WERE BCC'D ON THIS EMAIL."

Default this feature to 'on.'

Ideally built-into the client; an easy-to-install addon/plugin would work as well but guarantee most don't have it.

Re:Possible fix for "I didn't know I was BCC'd" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263134)

Bigger problem is that most of the latest 'major' email clients do hide sender email address and only shows the actual sender name (what ever the sender decided to use as a name) ... and to be able to see the actual email address, requires several clicks and only then you'll know that you were BCC'd ... *sigh*

Re:Possible fix for "I didn't know I was BCC'd" (1)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263310)

All distribution lists are BCCs, so everyone receiving a distribution list email would say that.

Re:Possible fix for "I didn't know I was BCC'd" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263354)

Gmail is doing this now!
See http://googleappsupdates.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-gmail-features-due-out-to-all.html

BCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263084)

is alive and well over here. TFA is an inane rant.

Not Sure... (1)

Nukedoom (1776114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263092)

"f you're fighting with a friend and want to let your BFF know what's going on as you send your frenemy a nasty messsage — what's the best way to pull that off?" ...Better yet...why would you want to send hate mail to as many people as possible? BCC is an interesting feature, but this isn't exactly the best demonstration of its usefulness.

cooler yet less effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263122)

> certain technologies that are slowly being supplanted by 'cooler' yet less effective alternatives

You mean the way the Slashdot web 2.whatever comment system is inferior to any 90's USENET client?

Re:cooler yet less effective (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263350)

Yep, and the same way my 1980s hifi seperates sound better than any MP3 source, and my 1990s 21" Trinitrons have better resolution than most LCDs and a higher contrast ratio than ANY flat tech.

Why are we getting dumber, poorer, and unhealthier?

Re:cooler yet less effective (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263430)

huh?

i can't tell if you're serious or not. i can only guess that you're not because each one of your points is demonstrably wrong.

Re:cooler yet less effective (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263462)

lol. trollbiter.

But lets see if you're serious... Wharfedale speakers, Sony mid-range CD player, Rotel amp. ANYTHING with MP3 as the source. Use a musician's ears or an oscilloscope and microphones, and TRY to prove me wrong.

Re: Trinitrons, 1600x1200 @ 85Hz and contrast ration >700:1. Kiss my trolling, female butt.

Re:cooler yet less effective (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263476)

"contrast ration" - and spelling Nazis, there's a troll for you, too, albeit an accidental one. x

Kill CC instead (0)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263146)

I detest people who think my email address is so meaningless that they use it in CC field instead of BCC, and soon enough thanks to their ignorance and arrogance, I get spam email from the compromised Windows boxes.

Anyone that uses CC instead of BCC should be shot at dawn.

It is CC that should be killed off.

Re:Kill CC instead (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263290)

I was considering writing my own email client, just for kicks, and one thing I toyed with was removing the CC field. If the message has to go to multiple people, why not just put them all in the "To:" field? The only difference is that CCing is like saying "Oh, by the way, thought you might like to know I sent this out," but is that really worth it?

Re:Kill CC instead (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263460)

actually, I find CC pretty useful.
The To field tells who the mail is addressed to and CC gives interested parties. I often Send mails to distant collaborators while CCing my boss that manage the whole thing.

An App for That? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263154)

Couldn't someone just write the Facebook BCC App and make money off it?

I must be old (0)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263156)

if you're fighting with a friend and want to let your BFF know what's going on as you send your frenemy a nasty messsage

Wtf does that even mean? Who is frenemy and what's "messsage"?

Re:I must be old (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263322)

It means the author is one of those "normies" that manages to function in the meatspace and actually has a social circle outside of their mother and their cat. ;)

Re:I must be old (1)

jshackney (99735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263634)

Frenemy, that's Portmanteau. You know, the guy from Fantasy Island.

--sorry, couldn't help it.

Good Riddance (-1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263160)

I've never used BCC once, and always considered it a pretty spineless move on the part of anyone that did use it in a business setting. Its only use as far as I can tell (I welcome counter examples) is to enable political bullshit.

Re:Good Riddance (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263226)

Yeah. Political bullshit.

Or . . . you know, an extremely useful way to keep someone apprised of communications without actually including them in communications. Say, when you are perhaps communicating information to a client and want an engineer to be up to speed on what is being communicated to said client, but you don't want to unnecessarily directly involve said engineer to the point that the client would just start spamming the engineer directly or that the engineer would start getting copied on every single piece of future communication in the thread.

Re:Good Riddance (1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263536)

I dunno...that's certainly not a malicious use of BCC, but what do you do when the client responds with a clarification or correction? You have to remember to forward that response to the BCC'd engineer. CC would be much more useful. You can put a disclaimer that all communications should go through you, or instruct the engineer to reply with the same if contacted directly. The kind of bullshit I've seen it used for more than once is people BCC'ing their own or the recipient's manager, instantly creating an awkward situation for all involved.

Re:Good Riddance (2)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263308)

As the other poster pointed out, there are LOTS of us using it in non-political bullshit ways every day. It can be very handy. Just because YOU don't use it or have a need for it, doesn't mean others don't. I don't use facebook, but I understand other folks find it useful.

Re:Good Riddance (3, Informative)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263352)

I've seen BCC used to send bulk company-wide emails out to all of the employees so if anyone tired to reply to it, only the original sender would be the email as opposed to the entire company.

Re:Good Riddance (2)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263388)

OK, here's a counter example that I use BCC for all of the time:

I frequently email a list of people some data such as links to a photo gallery from a recent trip, friends & family events, that kind of thing. The recipient list will typically vary slightly every time and, since it is most likely a one shot deal, there's not much point setting up a mailing list. Out of common courtesy, since not everyone on the list is going to know everyone else, I use BCC so that just in case one or more of them has been pwned, the entire list of email addresses won't get harvested and everyone will get spammed even more than usual.

Re:Good Riddance (1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263468)

Someone else pointed that out as well, that is a nice counter example.

It's dead? (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263164)

Strange, I see it used all the time - in the workplace, that is. For one thing, it's a very convenient way to "loop out" someone from a long-going email thread (when it's no longer relevant to them).

Re:It's dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263278)

In that case, don't you just leave them off the reply entirely?

Re:It's dead? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263422)

Not the orig poster, but it's so they know they are being looped out.

For example, if you're looping out a list that shouldn't have been looped in in the first place (perhaps they should be contacting another list instead, which you are now cc-ing), then moving them to the Bcc and saying "list -> Bcc" or "Bcc list" in the body lets the other people on that list know you're looping them out.

That way, the Bcc-ed people know they don't have to follow up and do the same thing ("You want information-disbursement@, not information-retrieval@...").

This only works in a professional environment with people who know how email works (not the "please unsubscribe me" masses).

Re:It's dead? (1)

Sharp-kun (1539733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263400)

I use BCC quite frequently at work, mostly when I reply to a client regarding something important that my ops manager would quite likely want to know about, but wouldn't want the client to know he was aware of (since some are the kind that would then want to deal with him directly on it which he doesn't have the time for). BCC lets me respond and makes me the main contract, but quietly lets my manager know whats going on (and gives him a copy of the email if he needs it). Ofc, he knows he gets bcc'd into these so there's not much issue.

Gonna miss that site (4, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263172)

Re:Gonna miss that site (3, Insightful)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263224)

I read it that way also!

Re:Gonna miss that site (2)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263324)

I was sad for the brits too.

my other me (2)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263184)

The only time I ever used BCC was to send a copy to my other me on some other account, whose existence I didn't wish to publicize.

I don't know why FB doesn't implement "burning carbon copy". Never been on the service, maybe that's also too much to ask people to understand. Perhaps the major downside is getting sued for implementing this by the visually impaired.

The upside of Facebook is that we can now explain dark matter to your average dim bulb: it's like a person without a FB account. It shows up on an abstract census, but there's no public record of its birth date, mother's maiden name, or SIN number, and it doesn't even interact with likinos, so for most practical purposes, it's not really there.

BCC handy for non sinister uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263186)

I send weekly emails to nearly a hundred admirers of my photography and just find that using bcc protects everyone's email addressses. Yes I know other technologies might seem better (blogs, rss etc) but this seems to work the best for us (eg many of the recipients wouldn't get around to learning even rss and setting up some notifier).

Huh? (5, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263196)

Bcc: is usually used for juicy emails. It's used a lot for CYA, and to keep certain people in the loop on touchy subjects. Whenever I get interesting emails I always check the to/cc fields to see who the players are, and who is involved. And if I'm not on there, you can bet I'm going to keep my trap shut until I need to say something.

Bcc: is alive and well; it appears that the author of TFA got burned by bcc'ing a clueless sot. You've got be careful on both ends...

Re:Huh? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263374)

Bcc: is alive and well; it appears that the author of TFA got burned by being a clueless sot.

FTFY.

BCC is dead, long live BCC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263248)

Blind Carbon Copy is used all the time, don't let the lies fool you.

BCC is dead, long live BCC!

Re:BCC is dead, long live BCC! (1)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263338)

People get BCCs all the time. Everytime you get an email where your address doesn't show up in the To: or Cc: field, guess what? That's right, Bcc! That means all the distribution lists you belong to use bcc.

Re:BCC is dead, long live BCC! (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263556)

People get BCCs all the time. Everytime you get an email where your address doesn't show up in the To: or Cc: field, guess what? That's right, Bcc! That means all the distribution lists you belong to use bcc.

When you get a Bcc e-mail, you generally do not know you are getting one, because your name does appear on the To: line, and ONLY your name. Only the e-mail contents can give you a clue that it's a Bcc. If you get a message from Bob where Bob is quoting and replying to Alice, and you are not Alice, and Alice does not even appear in the Cc or To, you're probably getting a Bcc.

Mailing lists do not use Bcc. Bcc is specifically for the situation where by sending to multiple people, you do NOT wish to create the potential for a list discussion. Mailing list servers iterate over all of the members of a list and repeat the e-mail individually to each person.

slashdot is trolling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263252)

slashdot is trolling is

What (0)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263390)

What is this I don't even

Too Bad... (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263300)

You mean, I won't be able to send out generic, "I love you Babe, you're so special to me!" emails to my multitude of girlfriends without them finding out about one another anymore? Oh the horror!

*insert Slashdot virginity jokes here*

This article shows what's really wrong with tech (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263312)

People like him. The guy seriously believes that people are the problem, not the poorly designed email clients and protocol (then totally confuses himself and bizarrely hurls the blame at Facebook). If BCC was the best solution to the problem (that is, the problem of, er, betraying your friends), then it would work. As he demonstrates, it doesn't. Regardless, he pig-headedly believes it is because it works just fine at his end, and hey, nothing that's been around since the command line can be a bad thing.

Carl's an idiot (1)

Rudolf (43885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263326)

Carl is just mad that someone found out he couldn't keep a secret. If someone tells you a secret, you need to keep it to yourself, and not worry about how you can share the secret and not get caught.

force bcc for mailing lists (1)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263334)

Mail programs should insist on BCC if there are more than say 8 addresses. I'm tired of getting mail with a TO: list a mile long. One of the people will have an infested computer and everybody will be put on a spam mailing list.

Op doesn't work for a corporation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263368)

BCC is about the only thing that keeps me from just not looking at my inbox. The ammount of circle jerking emails I deal with are annoying as is.

Yeah, they really suck these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35263370)

Their reporting has gone bonkers to the point that when those bastards say it's raining you bloody well have to look outside and check. Their world news is so bad we might as well send the license fees to Finsbury Park. The Daily Fail is starting to look respectable in comparison.

Oh, were you talking about something else? I am sorry, I must have spoken in error. Yes, the Borland C compiler was quite the product in its day...

did anyone else read... (0)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263424)

...BBC? I couldn't watch pron with only skinny white dudes in it. Bcc I can live without

Killed by Facebook? (2)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263454)

Great! I can add one more reason why I don't use Facebook: I'm helping to keep Bcc alive.

If you want to reach me with a group e-mail that looks like it is only going to me, you will just have to blow the dust off that Bcc header.

Bcc is useful when you're sending an e-mail to many people without intending to start a virtual mailing list discussion where people can "reply all".

It is essential in situations where you need to ask a bunch of people some personal question where an accidental "reply all" leads to embarassment.

BCC? Borland??? (3, Insightful)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263524)

It took reading the summary twice for me to realize this story wasn't about the Borland C Compiler [wikipedia.org] . I couldn't figure out what the hell Facebook had to do with the best cross-platform C compiler and library ever written.

I was actually just talking to my Domino admin the other day about BCC:. Every chance he gets, he reminds our users about it. Almost nobody knows what it is, can't imagine a use case, and thus fail to even try - until we give them a couple of good solid examples.

Huh? What? (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263550)

BCC was dead ages ago because nobody hardly ever learned to use it. It was dead before Facebook. It was dead before the large influx of spam. It was dead about the time Gopher came out.

Ever get a "chain forwarded" email with hundreds of email addresses of people you don't know?

That's because nobody uses BCC. Nobody ever learns how to trim FW: lines either. FFS, nobody ever learns to reply in-line with quotes. Replies are all top posted, mostly because of that crawling horror called Lotus Notes and that other crawling horror Exchange. Nobody ever learns how to trim replies either - a one line top posted reply to 10 screens of text or multiple forwards? Sure!

The death of BCC is not because of Facebook. The death of useful email features is because most people are unwilling to learn, rude, or stupid.

--
BMO

Branch on Carry Clear dead, indeed. (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263580)

Global CPU condition codes for program logic are largely dead because they are hard to parallelize.

In modern instruction set architectures, CPU flags are for things like interrupt masks and privilege modes, not for "the most recent arithmetic instruction produced a carry". :)

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