Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige said Monday that one of the reasons it took so long to inform the public that a ballistic missile alert in the state was in fact a false alarm was because he couldn’t remember his Twitter password.
Ige was notified two minutes after the alert was sent to mobile devices across the state, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, but was unable to send out communications stating the illegitimacy of the original alert for 17 minutes.
“I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that’s one of the changes that I’ve made,” Ige said during his State of the State address. “I’ve been putting that on my phone so that we can access the social media directly.” (RELATED: Zuckerberg Hacked, Password Literally Consisted Of Two Letters)
While many public officials have their staff members manage and operate their social media accounts, it wasn’t clear if that was the case in this situation, or why such employees of the governor’s office weren’t readily available to access Ige’s Twitter profile.
It ultimately took 38 minutes for authorities to officially announce that the urgent notification was a mistake caused by human error, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The false emergency alert sent yesterday in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable,” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. “It caused a wave of panic across the state—worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Moreover, false alerts undermine public confidence in the alerting system and thus reduce their effectiveness during real emergencies. The FCC’s investigation into this incident is well underway.”
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly also said Monday that he and others in the agency are working with officials in the state to ensure that such a substantial delay doesn’t occur, or the false alarm doesn’t occur in the first place.
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