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  • Associated Press A telecom vendor said texts that didn't go through in February after a server failed were released Thursday, surprising thousands of Americans.

Saturday, November 09, 2019 1:00 am

Thousands get mystery texts

TALI ARBEL | Associated Press

If you woke up to a weird text that seemed totally out of place, you aren't alone. A mysterious wave of missives swept America's phones overnight, delivering confusing messages from friends, family and the occasional ex.

Friends who hadn't talked to each other in months were jolted into chatting. Others briefly panicked.

A telecom vendor called Syniverse said a server failed Feb. 14, and messages from carriers didn't go through. When that server was reactivated Thursday, those messages got sent.

Syniverse initially estimated about 170,000 messages, but the company now says it's higher, without saying how many. Syniverse said it is reviewing internal procedures so this doesn't happen again. Syniverse typically deletes messages that don't go through.

The sudden release of messages sometimes had a dramatic effect.

Stephanie Bovee, a 28-year-old from Portland, Oregon, woke up at 5 a.m. to a text from her sister that said just “omg.” She immediately thought something had happened to her newborn nephew at the hospital.

She started calling everyone. Her sister and her sister's husband didn't answer. She woke up her mom, freaking her out. It was three hours before she learned that everything was fine and the text was an odd anomaly.

“Now it's funny,” she said. “But out of context, it was not cool.”