Homeland Security Warns Via Social Networks

The use of social networks as a means to communicate news, ideas, and countless other things has not ceased to amaze me as it seems the limits of what is broadcasted via social networks are pushed everyday but I can honestly say that I never saw this one coming.  As of today, it is being reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be using social networks (namely Facebook and Twitter) to issue terror warnings. Though the reports have been released today it appears that the new way of scaring us half to death won’t take effect until April 27th.

Wow. As if the long beeeeeeep in the middle of my favorite television program or the annoying buzzing that happens right when I’m singing along to my favorite song on the radio weren’t enough now I have to be on the lookout for a status update on my Facebook homepage and a warning tweet when casually scrolling through my Twitter timeline indicating that there could be a possible state of emergency. Well, isn’t that just awesome?

I could possibly be getting a bit ahead of myself here because, if I could be so honest, I don’t quite know how I feel about this. Seeing as how many people spend most of their time on these social outlets (even more time than spent watching television or listening to the radio in many cases) this may be the most sufficient means to getting a warning notification out to the public…I guess. But then again are you really going to tell me that there could be a possible attack in any minute via my Facebook and Twitter page? How rude!

Many may argue that this method of intrusion is no different than the methods that have been utilized in the past and the government is only doing what it has to do to protect United States citizens and I guess if I really think about it, I kind of agree. So why does this just feel so off-putting, I wonder?  Maybe it’s because I’m unaware as to how far the government is going to take these social network announcements. What will the tweet read? I’m curious. Will it be something along the lines of “Hi, sorry to interrupt your timeline but it appears we’re about to be under attack. Not exactly sure what’s about to happen but you never kn (cont)” NEXT TWEET: “ow with these terriorist. You may want to get off Twitter and take cover. Signed, The Government.” Yea, it seems ridiculous now but how much more ridiculous will it be when a message similar to this one is in your feed.

Maybe it’s too soon to tell if this is a good idea or not. Perhaps I shouldn’t be such a skeptic but I just can’t help but raise a brow to this. I’m just hoping that the Department of Homeland Security has their thinking caps on regarding this one. Tweets of Disaster, huh? Yep, now that’ll be a new one.

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April 7, 2011

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