Enlarge / A morning view of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii is seen on January 13, 2018.
Social media ignited on January 13, 2018 after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” began circulating, which US officials quickly dismissed as “false.”
(Eugene Tanner/AFP/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)
Update January 17, 2018, 8:12 ET: Yesterday the office of the Governor of Hawaii sent Honolulu Civil Beat a screenshot of what it said was a list of options that employees saw when they sent out alerts to citizens.
The bad layout and confusing wording made it clear that the employee was less to blame than bad design.
But late Tuesday the Governor’s office told Honolulu Civil Beat that it circulated a false image. “We asked (Hawaii Emergency Management Agency) for a screenshot and that’s what they gave us,” Governor’s office spokeswoman Jodi Leong told Civil Beat. “At no time did anybody tell me it wasn’t a screenshot.”
It’s unclear what the original image reflects, but Hawaii Emergency Management (HI-EMA) Administrator Vern Miyagi allegedly texted Leong the image below, which was widely circulated as an example of the kind of bad design that would trip up anyone, even if they were sending a test missile alert to millions.
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