- Here’s why you shouldn’t buy a Nintendo Switch until mid-August Monday 5:11 PM
- Man blasted for making his coworkers babysit his child Monday 5:07 PM
- Pete Buttigieg’s country radio interview was blocked from the air Monday 4:35 PM
- 15-year-old Smash Bros. prodigy caught using racist slur in private Discord server Monday 3:47 PM
- Instagram users who post pet pictures more likely to get hacked Monday 3:45 PM
- Post-Prime Day recap: Shipping delays, more sales, and a scam Monday 3:08 PM
- Jacob Wohl returns to Twitter … for now Monday 1:56 PM
- How to stream WWE Raw Reunion Monday 1:35 PM
- ‘I hope Trump deports you’: Woman goes on racist rant to Spanish speakers at a store Monday 1:24 PM
- Emoji Mashup Bot gives life to unidentifiable emotions Monday 1:15 PM
- Notorious grifter Anna Sorokin reportedly blocked from profiting off Netflix series Monday 12:45 PM
- Charlottesville attacker’s Twitter account included praise for Hitler Monday 12:10 PM
- ‘Short Treks’ trailer: Spock, Pike, and Number One return Monday 11:57 AM
- Everything we know about ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks,’ the new animated show Monday 11:55 AM
- Cole Carrigan says he left Team 10 after being called homophobic slur Monday 11:32 AM
Michael Vadon/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
Around 1:18pm CT on Wednesday, Oct. 3, you’re going to receive a strange alert on your smartphone from President Donald Trump. The president is sending out an emergency message test as part of a presidential alert system intended to reach millions of Americans in the case of an emergency, like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.
“This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System,” the warning will read. “No action is needed.”
The emergency test comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, and it’s expected to coincide with television and radio alerts at 1:20pm CT. In a real crisis scenario, all three warnings would happen simultaneously and provide emergency information on the crisis at hand, which agency is contacting Americans, and what citizens should do to protect themselves.
“When those messages appear on mobile devices, people should take those extremely seriously,” Antwane Johnson, who directs the public alert warning system, told CBS News. “It has some direct impact on either life or safety.”
FEMA’s smartphone alert system was first signed into law in 2016 by former President Barack Obama thanks to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015. That law legally required FEMA to create a presidential alert system.
Don’t worry, though, your phone isn’t about to be bombarded with Trump’s tweets about Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West, or Hillary Clinton. Federal law outright bans the president from using the emergency alert system for personal messages and non-emergencies. That means political statements cannot be sent out through the system either—unless Donald Trump is willing to break the law, that is.
“Except to the extent necessary for testing the public alert and warning system, the public alert and warning system shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety,” the law reads.
Three New York activists have since filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the test from going out on Wednesday, citing concerns over their smartphones becoming “government loudspeakers” for the Trump administration, the Hill reports. It remains unclear if the lawsuit will block the alert.
- Trump impeachment: Here are the odds Trump leaves office early
- Understanding the 25th Amendment, the unlikely path to removing Trump from office
- Here are all the ‘fake news’ sites to watch out for on Facebook
H/T CBS News
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.