Some eight million people received emails from the New York Times on Thursday offering a special discount if they would reconsider their decision to cancel their subscriptions.
The trouble is, the offer was supposed to go to only about 300 people who had decided to stop taking home delivery of the newspaper — it was erroneously sent by a New York Times employee to more than 8 million people on an email marketing list.
The debacle lit up social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, sparking concerns that hackers might have broken into the newspaper's computer network to send out spam.
A spokeswoman for the newspaper blamed human error, saying hackers were not involved and security was not at fault.
The email offered a 50 percent reduced rate for 16 weeks on home delivery.