Some 8 million New York Times customers received an email on Thursday offering a special discount if they would reconsider their decision to cancel their subscriptions.
The trouble is, almost none of the email recipients had canceled their subscriptions in the first place.
The New York Times blamed human error, saying that an email meant for 300 or 400 customers who had decided to stop taking home delivery of the paper was actually sent to around 8 million people.
Initially, subscribers took to Twitter and Facebook to express concern about a security breach. But a spokeswoman for the newspaper said hackers were not involved and security was not at fault.
“An email was sent earlier today from The New York Times in error. This email should have been sent to a very small number of subscribers, but instead was sent to a vast distribution list made up of people who had previously provided their email address to The New York Times,” the paper said in a statement.
The email offered a 50 percent reduced rate for 16 weeks on home delivery.