Just got an Amber Alert from the Washington State Patrol that includes a bitly link to a Twitter thread. The details of the alert are included in an image with no alt text.

After logging in, I had to see an ad for dog poop before I could see additional info from law enforcement.

This is the official way we do Amber Alerts in Washington State.

So I wrote an email to the WSP asking for clarification on all of this. I don't like writing phrases like "the twitter link included in the emergency alert" or "the advertisement before you can see the missing child report" in an email to the government, and hope I don't have to do it too often.

Key points:

1. Use of link shortener is suspicious.
2. Shouldn't require X account for government comms.
3. Ads on a missing child alert is distasteful.
4. Linked X account is not listed on the WSP website.
5. "Deputy Scaggs" account is "verified", but also not listed on the WSP website.
6. Missing child not listed on WSP website's missing child list.
7. Asking everyone to drive to the scene of the abduction is not helpful.
8. Tweet was deleted, so the emergency alert now links nowhere.

Here's the original, now-deleted tweet. The account doesn't appear to be operated by WSP. The display name contradicts the actual username!

Absolutely absurd that they pushed this over the emergency alert system like this without even putting a press release on their website.

@Alex Has anyone already made a website to name and shame government agencies that *totally fuck up* communications like this?

@Obdurodon I don't know of any site, but there needs to be one. I am really getting tired of the government entrenching itself in for-profit platforms like this.

I wish I had the web dev skills to do it myself, there are so many examples of this. Advertisements on a members-only Amber Alert is especially disturbing.

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