Interesting analysis from the US Center for Disease Control below release this week. It's an accidental social experiment in how people react when they think they may die shortly, and social media.

Here's some background material, also recently published, about the poor people in Hawaii a year ago.

Here's What We've Learned From That Missile Attack in Hawaii That Never Happened
By Peter Dockrill

"Never before in American history had so many people received a text message at the exact same time. It was bearing grave, unthinkable, catastrophic news – and it wasn't even true.

A little over a year ago, this is what more than a million people in Hawaii saw on their phones, television screens, and flashing on billboards across the state: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

As we know now, it really wasn't a drill. But nor was this terrifying prospect actually real.

The perceived ballistic missile threat broadcast all over Hawaii on 13 January 2018 was a textbook false alarm: the result of inadequate technical safeguards and a clumsy mistake made by somebody who simply did the wrong thing at work one day.

Center for Disease Control:
Public Health Emergency Risk Communication and Social Media Reactions to
an Errant Warning of a Ballistic Missile Threat — Hawaii, January 2018

"On January 13, 2018, at 8:07 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, an errant emergency alert was sent to persons in Hawaii.

An employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA) sent the errant alert via the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) during a ballistic missile preparedness drill, advising persons to seek shelter from an incoming ballistic missile. WEA delivers location based warnings to wireless carrier systems, and EAS sends alerts via television and radio.

After 38 minutes, at 8:45 a.m., Hawaii EMA retracted the alert via WEA and EAS (2). To understand the impact of the alert, social media responses to the errant message were analyzed.
Four themes emerged from the Twitter data during the early period: 1) information processing; 2) information sharing; 3) authentication; and 4) emotional reaction.

Information processing was defined as any indication of initial mental processing of the alert. Many information processing tweets dealt with coming to terms with the imminent missile threat.

Information sharing consisted of any attempt to disseminate the alert, often directed at other persons’ Twitter handles (user names). One Twitter user shared a tweet with the U.S.
Indo-Pacific Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the White House National Security Council.

Authentication involved any attempt to validate the alert.

Finally, emotional reaction was the expression of shock, fear, panic, or terror.