Is there a problem with sending automatically generated emails over Shabbat?
I use a sales automation program that sends to a list of prospects — emails that look as if I personally sent them are automatically generated and sent every thirty seconds.
Because the process can take a long time to complete, it is very easy to begin a spreadsheet on Friday afternoon that will continue sending all through Shabbat.
Is there a halachic concern here?
Thanks in advance!
The actual sending is not a problem because you didn’t do any melacha on Shabbos, you only set it in motion before Shabbos, and it continued into Shabbos. The only issue might be because the e-mail looks like it was sent by you on Shabbos, which would be a zilzul (embarrassment) to Shabbos, however this is also not an issue. This is because it is common knowledge that the e-mails are automatically generated, even though it says the person’s name, and no one thinks that you personally sent it out. Therefore, it is permitted.
Have a happy Chanukah
Shulchan Aruch O:CH 252-5, M:B 252-50.