On Thursday, June 17th around 8:31 p.m. ET, a mysterious email was sent from the streaming company, HBO Max, to their subscriber’s inboxes. The email was titled “Integration Test Email #1,” and only contained a single line of text that read, “This template is used by integration tests only,” with no attachments included.
Was it a phishing scam?
Well, as it turns out, no.
Although it looked like an email scam, in reality, it was a regular test email that many companies would normally keep private. Somehow the email had been sent out by accident.
According to HBO, it was the intern’s fault. They released a tweet explaining the mishap.
We mistakenly sent out an empty test email to a portion of our HBO Max mailing list this evening. We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern. No, really. And we’re helping them through it. ❤️
— HBOMaxHelp (@HBOMaxHelp) June 18, 2021
While this could have been a career-ending mistake, HBO Max and the Twitter community took it lightly. Some joked it was all an elaborate marketing scheme.
“Tonight watch “Integration Test Email #1 on HBO MAX!!” commented a user.
“I hope everyone watches my new show called Integration Test Email #1 coming to HBO Max soon! We’re trying something new with the marketing…” said comedian Cristela Alonzo.
I hope everyone watches my new show called Integration Test Email #1 coming to HBO Max soon! We’re trying something new with the marketing….
— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) June 18, 2021
Others joked this was a new marketing technique that was sure to distress other major streaming companies.
Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+ all having the same hastily called all-hands meeting right now WHAT IS OUR “INTEGRATION TEST EMAIL?”
— Mike Royce (@MikeRoyce) June 18, 2021
But for others, this mistake struck a deep chord. Only a few days after the initial accidental email blast, Twitter has exploded with “Dear Intern” responses, full of support, encouragement and the sharing of personal workplace mistakes.
One woman tweeted her mix up, “Dear Intern, I was using my desktop calendar to make a monthly note of when I started my menstrual period, but after several months I realized I was making that note on a calendar I shared with all of my colleagues company wide. I was 37 years old.” This tweet has already gathered 88.2k likes and over 3k retweets.
Another user responded, “Dear intern, I once globally took down Spotify. It almost happened twice. My team was awesome about it and I’m still here. You managed to find something broken in the way integration tests are done. It’s a good thing and will help improve things. Good luck <3.”
Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern under President Bill Clinton, even offered the HBO intern advice, tweeting, “It gets better.”
it gets better.
ps. don’t wear a beret for awhile, k?
— Monica Lewinsky (she/her) (@MonicaLewinsky) June 18, 2021
Turns out this mistake was a good intermission from the daily barrage of marketing messages we all receive.
Understanding we are all human and we make mistakes from time to time has, if even only for a Twitter minute, brought the internet closer together.