HBO Max has confirmed that one of its interns was behind the bizarre email mistakenly sent to subscribers Thursday night, sparking a surge of support on Twitter as users came to share their own stories of horror of failures in the workplace in solidarity.
The email went viral after confused subscribers first noticed it in their inbox shortly before 9 p.m. ET and started sharing screenshot online. The subject line was “Integration test email # 1” and the message contained only one line of text: “This template is only used by integration tests”.
The bizarre vagueness attached to such a big name in the industry has made email ripe for internet stardom. Memes quickly sprouted. Jokes about the “integration test” being a new HBO Max series have been around. Most of the time, however, people were just curious about what had happened, which the company clarified in a tweet about an hour later:
“We mistakenly sent an empty test email to part of our HBO Max mailing list tonight,” HBO Max confirmed on his Twitter account HBOMaxHelp. “We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile up, yes, that was the intern. Not really. And we help them get through this.
Blaming the intern only made people like the meme more. The topic began to crop up on Twitter as thousands of users offered their sympathy and shared their own embarrassing work issues. Examples included power off accidentally each device during a laser experiment at MIT, take Spotify offline in the world, and who could forget that time everyone in Hawaii got an alert on an incoming ballistic missile this turned out to be a false alarm? Even Monica Lewinsky, who became a household name after her internship during Bill Clinton’s tenure in the Oval Office, reached out to Twitter on Friday to offer words of encouragement:
“Dear intern, things are getting better. ️ ”
Some users have gone so far as to claim that the intern has done HBO Max a favor by creating a ton of positive social media buzz that wouldn’t have existed without their mistake. And I mean, they’re sort of right; it is an effective distraction from technical difficulties some HBO Max users have reported in recent weeks.
The overwhelming sentiment on Twitter was clear: Hey, we’ve all been there. We reached out to HBO Max to find out more about this intern’s fate (it would be a PR blow to kick the Internet darling of the week after all of this!)