On October 3, the American people will receive a test message from a previously unused presidential alert system designed to warn us about events like natural disasters, a terrorist attack, or other urgent national emergencies. The test was originally scheduled for Thursday, but has been pushed back by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the organization deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
While the initial message was reportedly supposed to read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” it seems President Donald Trump is already taking some poetic license before the real test has even begun: In a series of internal tests of the alert system obtained by Splinter, the president treated the ability to directly message millions of Americans like sending a tweet from his personal Twitter account—leveling unfounded allegations, spreading misinformation, and rallying his supports.
These messages offer a fascinating glimpse into the horrors we may all soon find on our phones. Let’s take a look.