Get Your Terrorist Alerts on Facebook and Twitter
Colors are so last decade:
The U.S. government’s new system to replace the five color-coded terror alerts will have two levels of warnings elevated and imminent that will be relayed to the public only under certain circumstances for limited periods of time, sometimes using Facebook and Twitter, according to a draft Homeland Security Department plan obtained by The Associated Press.
Some terror warnings could be withheld from the public entirely if announcing a threat would risk exposing an intelligence operation or a current investigation, according to the government’s confidential plan.
Like a carton of milk, the new terror warnings will each come with a stamped expiration date.
Specific and limited are good. Twitter and Facebook: I’m not so sure.
But what could go wrong?
An errant keystroke touched off a brief panic Thursday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when an emergency message accidentally was sent out saying an “active shooter” was on campus.
The first message was sent on the university’s emergency alert system at 10:40 a.m., reaching 87,000 cellphones and email addresses, according to the university.
The university corrected the false alarm about 12 minutes later and said the alert was caused when a worker updating the emergency messaging system inadvertently sent the message rather than saving it.
The emails are designed to go out quickly in the event of an emergency, so the false alarm could not be canceled before it went out, the university said.