BCC is a tool, not a weapon.

Darren is asking about the correct protocol for BCC. Since I live in a glass house I don’t think that I should throw stones, but I know that BCC can be used as a tool rather than just as a weapon. Here are some scenarios where I find it useful that I wouldn’t mind admitting to:

  • You need to send a wide distribution e-mail but to protect the privacy of all the individuals receiving the e-mail you add them all to the BCC list. The fact that the e-mail is sent to multiple people is not a secret.
  • You sent someone an e-mail and they bounced you to one of their colleagues. Don’t thank them by filling up their mailbox, move their address to the BCC field so that they get the next message, but not subsequent messages. Note up the top of the e-mail that you are “dropping them from the thread via BCC”.

I doubt I will stop using BCC as a weapon _sometimes_, but its certainly not polite, and it can land you in hot water.

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