When you connect a bunch of young college kids together on the Internet, any meeting eventually devolves into a crying mess of memes, Internet hall of fame pictures and a whole lot of trolling. So when students in Stanford's computer science program realized that e-mailing one address would contact EVERY student, well, you bet it got real fun real fast. People were dropping tubgirl, rickrolls, meatspin and because it's Stanford and it's computer science, offering jobs at startups.
This happened recently when 40,000 students at NYU realized they could exploit an old ListManager program and e-mail all 40,000 students at NYU. Stanford's mistake was arguably even easier access: ANYONE can e-mail ANYTHING to EVERY computer science Stanford student at this e-mail address: email@example.com.
So some spambot found out about that address and bombarded student e-mail accounts with your typical spam. Russian girls looking for love, Nigerian princes shilling their Viagra pills, etc. But then enterprising Stanford kids probably realized the email address the spammers were targeting to contact everyone and decided to join in on the fun.
The best reply might have been from "firstname.lastname@example.org". The person suggested a fix for everyone to follow:
"Ok, so ignoring the other methods that don't work I'm going to tell you how to actually do it.
Go to the Stanford Zimbra Mail Listserv admin page (http://bit.ly/4kzYKr) and select "unsubscribe from a list". Type in email@example.com enjoy the rest of your evening!