On Oct. 4, the United States tested the National Emergency Alert System. While many warned online of the potential danger posed to those in abusive relationships, another group had their hidden phones exposed: incarcerated people across the country.
TMZ reported that in New York, phones were confiscated at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility and FCI Coleman Low in Florida. The outlet contacted several other prisons in various states but did not receive answers to those queries. The official position from the Federal Bureau of Prisons is that “The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not elaborate on specific internal security procedures for safety and security reasons.
Reminder: There’s a National Emergency Alert Test on Wednesday, which means any phone that’s turned on will make a VERY loud sound.
Abused individuals sometimes keep secret phones as a lifeline. It’s important they know about this. Please share. Details:https://t.co/xovvg6iBhH
— Jill Anti-Racist & Pro-Trans Rights Weinberger (@jillybobww) October 2, 2023
If you think this tweet is a joke, it’s not. There are genuine conspiracy theories around about tomorrow’s emergency alert test in the US involving 5G, vaccines, viruses and zombies. pic.twitter.com/1Ptav02SEZ
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) October 3, 2023
I am BEGGING you to turn off your cell phones today. The government is activating the MRNA strains in our vaccines that increase violent tendencies using special frequencies broadcast by the emergency alert test.https://t.co/SUKwlck4Mb
— misha꙳ (@schizarella) October 4, 2023
If you are in a DV situation and have a secret hidden phone please shut it off Wednesday because the government is sending out a emergency alert system test and you do NOT want that hidden phone to go off!!! When you turn it back on MAKE SURE YOURE ALONE OR IT WILL GO OFF!!
— beefy queef (@Bread_Pitt97) October 3, 2023
The alert also forced several Amish to become ostracized by their respective communities. According to Dexerto, an ex-Amish man posted to Tik-Tok that several men were shunned by their communities when they had their phones discovered because of the test. Eli Yoder said, “Several Amish men were shunned by the Amish Church for having smartphones in their pocket when the emergency alert system went off.”
Yoder then explained that they told him they would have to lay low because they were under scrutiny for having the devices. When an Amish community member is shunned, the price they pay can range from community to community. Still, it typically means that they’re not accepted in the community and no longer receive assistance or, in some cases, acceptance by their community.
According to the Associated Press, federal law dictates that the national emergency system be tested once every three years. The last test occurred on Aug. 11, 2021, and of course, it has spawned conspiracy theories online.
Some have warned that the test was part of a plot to activate latent nanoparticles in people’s bodies, a theory that experts and FEMA denied. Other users said they planned to shut off their phones to avoid the test. Still, FEMA spokesman Jeremy Evans told the AP that he hoped Americans would turn their phones back on afterward because they may need to be reached by the federal government in case of a national emergency.
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