Email bankruptcy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Email bankruptcy is deleting or ignoring all emails older than a certain date, due to an overwhelming volume of messages. The term is usually attributed to author Lawrence Lessig in 2004,[1] though it can also be attributed to Sherry Turkle in 2002.[2] An insurmountable volume or backlog of legitimate messages (e.g. on return from an extended absence) usually leads to bankruptcy.

During the act of declaring email bankruptcy, a message is usually sent to all senders explaining the problem, that their message has been deleted, and that if their message still requires a response they should resend their message.[3][4][5]

Similarly, the inability to maintain an overview over messages in an instant messenger chat room may be referred to as "chat room bankruptcy".[6]


  1. ^ Mike Musgrove (25 May 2007). "E-Mail Reply to All: 'Leave Me Alone'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  2. ^ Constance Rosenblum (14 February 2002). "ESSAY: In Lost E-Mail, a Dividend". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  3. ^ John Harlow (14 October 2007). "Office staff hit delete in war on e-mail monster". The Times. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Call it the Dead E-Mail Office". Wired News. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 7 June 2004.
  5. ^ Tuesday Knight (23 October 2003). "Re: PING Tuesday". Newsgroupalt.religion.wicca. Usenet: Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  6. ^ Crittenden, Mike (12 January 2021). "If it will matter after today, stop talking about it in a chat room". Critter.Blog. Retrieved 6 July 2022.