US May Start Sending Terror Alerts Through Twitter

You could soon be seeing terror alerts in your Twitter feed, if the US government has anything to do with it. According to new documents obtained by the Associated Press, the US Department of Homeland Security may start posting terror alerts on Facebook and Twitter when they reach out to the public.

The document, which was labeled “for office use only” outlines a new terror alert system that will get rid of the current five color gradient that is used to alert the public about the severity of a terror alert, and instead use a two-tier system which consists of “elevated” and “imminent”.

The document also explains how, after alerting public officials, the Department of Homeland Security may turn to Facebook and to Twitter in order to alert the public. Apparently, these social networks would only be used “when appropriate”.

Although this proposition is not yet set in stone, it’s interesting to see the government turn to Twitter for something like this. As Twitter is already a megaphone for national disasters and uprisings, it stands to reason that news of an “imminent” terror attack would spread quickly via tweets and retweets. However, the government would have to have some serious security measures in place to ensure that terror alerts only come from a verifiable and official source.

Image courtesy of the AP

Publish date: April 7, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT