I work for a company that employs nearly ten thousand people worldwide. Like many modern companies, we use Slack for a lot of our communications. For the most part, our Slack admins try to prevent people from being able to message the entire company. There is one channel, however, that has over 8300 members in it, a majority of the employees in the company, and there are no restrictions on who can send a message in that channel. This channel is like a general purpose channel used to disseminate things like class announcements or new internal web sites.

Over the last two years, every couple of weeks, a random, meaningless message appears in this channel. If you haven’t muted this channel then thousands of employees get a notification. Here’s an example of a few random posts I’ve seen in this channel. Just today, someone just posted their first name as a message in this Slack channel. So imagine their name was Bob and they just posted, “Bob” in the channel. Why?

Sometimes, I’ve seen people post random characters or just a single random character as a message. Other times, people have posted a message that is clearly meant as a direct message to another employee. Sometimes, it seems their message was intended for another channel.

I don’t understand how people are sending this misguided messages to this one particular channel. Perhaps the distribution of erroneous messages is spread evenly to all Slack channels but since I don’t have visibility to all of them, I only see the ones sent to this general channel. If that is true though, why don’t I see these funny messages in my other channels?

There’s something I’m missing here and I’m not sure what it is.

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