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Yokohama Accidentally Tweets That NK Missile Is Inbound

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-a-drill dept.

Japan 131

ForgedArtificer writes "Earlier today, the Crisis Management Office Affairs Bureau for the city of Yokohama, Japan had some startling news for its followers; to wit, a North Korean missile was on its way to Japan. The tweet stayed up for about 20 minutes before being removed and replaced with an apology. The city reports that a pre-written tweet was released due to a malfunction in the 'mechanism' that would have released the tweet at the appropriate time."

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Apparently (5, Funny)

netwarerip (2221204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412391)

They wanted to be first to tweet the news.
Must be a Slashdot user.

Re:Apparently (4, Funny)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412817)

Note to self: Maybe that RaspberryPi Tweet monitoring Nuke launcher was a bad idea...

Re:Apparently (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413385)

There's a story from the USSR that one time an automated nuclear counter-strike system was erroneously triggered and it was only human intervention that stopped it.

Agreed, humans need to be at the switch.

Re:Apparently (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413749)

Right. They just taught the automated system tic-tac-toe and it decided to give up on the launch. Computers are so stupid.

Re:Apparently (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412887)

Maybe.

Though being twitter, I'd expect it to be something more like:

missile coming were all going to die lol

Re:Apparently (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413075)

#ohshit

Re:Apparently (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413205)

It was their "FRIST POST", except their spelling mistake was the whole post.

joshua what are you doing? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412399)

joshua what are you doing?

Re:joshua what are you doing? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413095)

Nial set us up the bomb.

Re:joshua what are you doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413745)

He's tweeting random codes! He's trying to start a war!

Pre-written? (4, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412403)

This sounds like something serious enough that a pre-written tweet is not the best idea. If a missile were inbound for my area, I'd want a real person to write the tweet, with actual pertinent details, rather than "releasing" a prewritten, generic tweet.

Something that can cause panic like this should not be automated.

Re:Pre-written? (3, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412457)

Seriously, how long would it take in the event of an actual launch detection to write a tweet? Doesn't seem like this "mechanism" is nearly worth the risk.

Re:Pre-written? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412733)

Depends who operates that "mechanism". If it's a government employee, a few hours to days after the impact. If it's a 14 year old girl with an iphone, about 42ms after the missle was launched...

Re:Pre-written? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43414063)

She'd also include an instagram picture of the missile with some pretty effects to boot.

Re:Pre-written? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43414081)

I seriously doubt it was a mechanism.... Reminds me of a WISP we used to run. When someone missed their payment, we logged in and shut off their radio. Then when they call we say "Oh, it looks like the 'system' disconnected you for non-payment...."

There was no fucking mechanism :D

Re:Pre-written? (3, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412837)

Given the proximity of North and South, ahem, Korea. Me thinks you don't get much lead time...

Re:Pre-written? (2, Funny)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413347)

Given the proximity of North and South, ahem, Korea. Me thinks you don't get much lead time...

Good thing then that Yokohama is in, ahem, neither.

Re:Pre-written? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413505)

Doh! Still I doubt Japan has much lead time either :)

Re:Pre-written? (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413299)

Write it? Not long. Compose it, complete with ass covering? A long time.

I'm sure some committee agreed on the wording. They couldn't get one out in realtime without prewriting it because there doesn't seem to be anybody around anymore who will step up in an emergency and take responsibility.

Re:Pre-written? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412483)

they probably use some social media program that automatically posts to different social networks

Re:Pre-written? (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412523)

Sure, but that wouldn't be very Japanese. On the windows of some trains on the Tokyo subway, there were big warnings that the window could not open. The windows in question were clearly stationary, if you broke your fingers trying to pry them open, that was on you. This is the same country that practices tiger escape drills in their zoos using costumes. [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Pre-written? (4, Informative)

medv4380 (1604309) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412549)

It's automated because they're using the same system that they use for earthquakes notifications. They're just lucky it only posted to twitter, and not a full Text Bombing Emergency Alert. They have a far better EBS then the US, but it still has bugs. Most of the US EBS are just pre-recorded messages with general instructions that later lead to your more personalized message, and instructions.

Re:Pre-written? (0)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412707)

Then again, having panic (or outrage) 'on tap' seems to be the raison d'etre for media information centers of democratic governments since at least 9/11, if not earlier.

Re: Pre-written? (3, Insightful)

sir_eccles (1235902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413023)

Actually well run corporate social media often implement an approval process for all tweets replies and other comments to avoid spelling mistakes misinterpretation and ensuring that the right corporate message gets across. I'm sure that a committee sat down here and said "what is the best way to write this?" Rather than let some 20 something quickly write something in the spur of the moment that might be wrong. So yes prewritten is probably a good idea, accidentally pressing send however...

Re: Pre-written? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43414139)

"prewritten is probably a good idea,"

When the shit hits the fan, there won't be any bean counters around. That 20 year old kid isn't going to remember which "button" sends which message either. Might as well let him ad lib it.

"The bomb set us up, we all die now!"

Re:Pre-written? (4, Insightful)

Bohnanza (523456) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413073)

Sounds like something serious enough to use an air-raid siren instead of a tweet.

Re:Pre-written? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413353)

Because we'd hear an air-raid siren in our soundproofed basements?

Re:Pre-written? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413953)

Why is your basement soundpr.... oh... nevermind.

Re:Pre-written? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413581)

Yeah, screw the deaf...they don't need to know. And beside, why "instead of"? Why not both? What makes you think this was planned to be their only form of notification?

Re:Pre-written? (1)

Jens Egon (947467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413935)

This is Japan. They have PA systems all over the place to bring earthquake warnings.

Backing that up with whatever they can lay their hands on .

Apparantly that includes twitter.

Re:Pre-written? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413081)

If a missile was inbound, emergency broadcast shouldn't rely solely on Twitter.

Re:Pre-written? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413509)

Since the point of a tweet like this is basicly the same as an air raid siren (telling people to take cover and try to avoid dying if they can), not only is there little point to a customized message for every event, but the extra time to involve a human typist (let alone the people who write and edit the tweet's content) could easily be problematic.

For example does it meaningfully affect you if the tweet is:
"North korean type KR-908-Mk2 missile inbound, citizens advised to take cover in event U.S.S. Tripoli unable to intercept #missile #damnyounk #duckandcover" vs "North korean type KR-908-Mk2a missile inbound, citizens advised to take cover in event SDF interception effort fails #missile #damnyounk #duckandcover"?

Re:Pre-written? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43414003)

What if the account were hacked by NK and they posted such tweets to provoke a "retaliation" which they would then retaliate against?

Wow, talk about being eager for "First Post" (4, Funny)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412407)

Man, I thought the first-post messages on Slashdot were bad.

At least the incorrect messages on slashdot won't incite World War III

Re:Wow, talk about being eager for "First Post" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412759)

APK, APK, APK .........

Re:Wow, talk about being eager for "First Post" (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413783)

Man, I thought the first-post messages on Slashdot were bad.

At least the incorrect messages on slashdot won't incite World War III

Never seen a flame war break out over God, Not-God, Apple, Microsoft, ClimateChange, emacs vs vi? It's practically WW-III every day here on Slashdot!

Re:Wow, talk about being eager for "First Post" (2)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413907)

True, but the closest thing we have to permanently damaging artillery is a link to the goat*x pic.

boy that cried fire (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412413)

no one will believe it when the real one comes

Re:boy that cried fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413729)

Boy that cried fire? I think you mean "wolf". I would also have accepted "missile" as a twist to adapt it to this story, but not "fire".

Also, it's "who", not "that". The boy is a person, not an object.

Re:boy that cried fire (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43414181)

Who's on second.

This business will get out of control... (1, Funny)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412417)

It will get out of control and we'll be lucking to live through it.

Re:This business will get out of control... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412465)

Big fan! Love your work on "Law & Order". Cheers.

Re:This business will get out of control... (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412845)

Less so his work in actual 'law' and 'order'....

False flag (-1, Troll)

LeepII (946831) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412421)

Looks like someone got an early start on the North Korea false flag attack. Right up there with the BBC announcing the collapse of WTC 7 20 minutes before it happened.

Re:False flag (-1, Offtopic)

LeepII (946831) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413655)

Instantly moderated down two points, looks like I'm right.

Twitter fails as warning system. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412429)

Good test. No widespread panic. Nobody changing their behaviour. No flood of retweets. Thanks to this production test we learned that twitter is not a good warning system.

Had to add this... (2)

ForgedArtificer (1777038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412433)

I texted the story to a friend of mine before posting it here.... his comment:

"Whoopsie."

I'm still giggling half an hour later.

Smells like... (2)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412437)

WarGames.

Of course, here's the thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412439)

They are EXPECTING a North Korean missile to come their way! (and that raises the question of when an "appropriate time" is)

Re:Of course, here's the thing... (3, Funny)

Dan Dankleton (1898312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412755)

A more appropriate time would be, y'know, when a North Korean missile is inbound.

Re:Of course, here's the thing... (2)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412917)

Personally, I'd rather not know there was an inbound missile as spending the last few minutes of my life going "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" (are you really going to be calm and phone a loved one [who you can't contact because they're trying to phone you] to say goodbye?) doesn't sound much fun.

Fitting reaction (2)

thrill12 (711899) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413175)

Barman: Did you say the world is coming to an end? Shouldn't we all lie on the floor or put paper bags over our heads?
Ford: If you like.
Barman: Will it help?
Ford: Not at all.
[Ford runs out of the pub]
Barman: Last orders, please!
(THGTTG - DNA)

My fellow Americans (4, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412543)

I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

Re:My fellow Americans (2)

ValentineMSmith (670074) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413311)

I can remember my parents laughing when that happened, and I can remember the news (for some reason, ABC News REALLY sticks in my mind) was REALLY offended and angry.

Which may have been part of the reason my folks were laughing so hard.

Anxious to get it over with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412551)

I think there's a growing feeling of being anxious to get it over with. Didn't little Kim say yesterday that he would launch... yesterday? Not sure about the time zone or the translation. If "today" was really a proper translation, then we have him caught in a bold lie about his actions. He can't escalate any further and be taken seriously after making a claim like that.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, "just get this fool out of the news cycle".

Godzirrra! (0)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412567)

Godzirrra!

This is a test. It's only a test. Do not be afraid (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412595)

Had this been a real emergency, we would be telling you to kiss your ass goodbye...

Retaliation tweet (4, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412611)

lol whops... sry Kim my bad. -Obama

Re:Retaliation tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412875)

/me scratches head.

I don't get this one at all. So, someone that has nothing to do with X happening apologizes to someone else that has little to do with X happening (directly none).

One of our reading comprehension skills needs working on.

Re:Retaliation tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413127)

Obama launched a retaliation nuke over your head on this one....

Re:Retaliation tweet (1)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413155)

You hear that noise above your head, thats not a missile, its just a woosh. The joke is that upon seeing the tweet, that Obama launched a counter attack. Upon finding out the tweet was a mistake, that Obama then tweeted an apology.

Re:Retaliation tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413189)

Try to follow along here.

NK bombs Japan (or at least it appears that way)
Japan is a US ally.
Obama issues a retalitory strike.
Then sends the aforementioned tweet.

Get it now?

140 Chars... (1)

ZiakII (829432) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412631)

Seriously a tweet is 140 characters, that's not something they can just write in a second if and when it happens?

Re:140 Chars... (2)

Endo13 (1000782) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412855)

Well, let's see. We'll do a little quick math here. A typical typist does about 40-70 WPM. Really quick ones can top 100. So let's be generous and assume they have one of their fastest on this, and he/she can do 120WPM. Now, when calculating WPM, five keystrokes is considered one "word" (not counting keys like shift or control). At that rate, it would take 14 seconds to type 140 characters, not a mere single second as you so rashly assume. /ducks

Re:140 Chars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413091)

Ahh, but you are rashly assuming they will use the full 140 characters, "Kim Jong Un set us up the bomb" is only 30 characters, still 3 seconds, but certainly not the laggardly 14 seconds you estimate.

Re:140 Chars... (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43414015)

set up us. c'mon, know your memes.

Re:140 Chars... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413561)

Well, to be fair, in the event of a real missle attack, the last thing anybody is going to be thinking about is sending out that tweet. Plus you didn't account for the time to get to the computer, open the browser, go to Twitter, log into your account, realize you forgot the password because you've never used the account, get a reset password request, wait for the email to come through, wait longer than you should, resend it assuming it failed, wait a while longer, check your spam folder and fine the reset email, click on the link, reset the password, and then type your tweet. In an emergency situation, you want that tweet going out automatically, as soon as the system is put into the state of "incoming missile", if there's people relying on it for emergency warnings, you don't want it to be the case that someone forgot they were supposed to send out the message via twitter.

Re:140 Chars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413641)

Well sure you can write in in a few seconds, but then it has to sit on the JAG officer's desk for a week before it get's approved to be sent to the Public relation officer who has to run it past a committee, and then send you back notes so you can re-write it and resubmit it to the JAG officer...

Re:140 Chars... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43414191)

Seriously a tweet is 140 characters, that's not something they can just write in a second if and when it happens?

Or, at worst, have in a text file somewhere. How long would it take to go from "We just got word that North Korea fired missiles" to "Open Text File" to "Copy" to "Paste" and "Send Tweet"? Probably less time than it takes to realize your tweet went out accidentally and delete it.

Kentucky Fried Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412633)

Moscow in flames. Missiles headed towards US. News at 11:00.

Or...... (2)

3vi1 (544505) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412725)

Or their twitter feed got hacked by some NK'n kids and they just didn't want to admit it.

Boy who cried wolf (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412745)

With so many false alerts, will people believe the real thing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc60XPCXrh8 [youtube.com]

Re:Boy who cried wolf (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413097)

With so many false alerts, will people believe the real thing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc60XPCXrh8 [youtube.com]

Who cares if they believe it? It's not like they would be able to do anything about it.

Re:Boy who cried wolf (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413267)

My first thought when I saw videos of that fake EBS broadcast was "this is funny."

My second thought was "I hope some nut-job doesn't kill his/her family to save them from being eaten by zombies."

"Mechanism"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412753)

What mechanism would that be?

Staff: "Sir, we are under attack!"
Leader: "Initiate our contingency. Inform the INTERNET."

Re:"Mechanism"? (1)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413463)

This is japan. They'll likely crash a satellite into the incoming missile. That may buy them enough time to upload their cyberbrains into the internet.

Re:"Mechanism"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43414073)

But what if the cyberbrains are stored ON that satellite?

It's Actually Headed Towards Tokyo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412791)

Apologies for the mistake

- Crisis Management Office Affairs Bureau for the city of Yokohama

Oblig: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43412853)

Nuclear Launch Detected.

Re:Oblig: (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413019)

Nuclear launch cancelled. Not enough minerals.

Re:Oblig: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413167)

Nuclear launch cancelled. Not enough minerals.

You must construct additional pylons.

Re:Oblig: (1)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413381)

#Fail.

Nuclear is Terran while the pylons is Protoss.

Re:Oblig: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413621)

#Fail.

Nuclear is Terran while the pylons is Protoss.

Pretty sure they knew that... They were just making a well known quote regarding the subject of not having enough of something SC related.... #Fail understanding basic logic.

Re:Oblig: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413871)

Kill the ghost.

It's the first ever False Flag event on Twitter! (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year and a half ago | (#43412911)

Twitter is really growing up these days.

not sure what the glorious leader (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413105)

is planning in terms of warfare, but so far his campaign seems to be extremely effective in its ability to insight terror. He even made some large superpower play chess with its missile defense, at their own expense.

Re:not sure what the glorious leader (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413293)

He even made some large superpower play chess with its missile defense, at their own expense.

Which also happened to be a convenient pretext to plant anti-missile systems in Japan, South Korea, and Guam. China's nuclear reach just got a bit weaker.

Re:not sure what the glorious leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413341)

FYI - it's "incite" terror, unless you mean to say that he's providing some deep thought and understanding of terror.

Re:not sure what the glorious leader (1)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413489)

One could argue that we should have had these defenses in place long before Kimmy-boy said that he would set the world on fire.

99 Red Balloons. (2)

Gabrill (556503) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413209)

Nena seems appropriate here. 99 Red Balloons.

Unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413243)

This is unacceptable, the kind of outcome this could have had could have been disastrous. Not to mention people could have taken it as the city has the expectation of being bombed and that could have created great panic, which coulda lead to injury or even death in itself. It could have gone viral and actually escalated tensions further in an actual war breaking out. Automatic Tweating in my opinion is misusing the technology. It isn't meant to be your automatic message board for news. Whoever screwed up here should be reprimanded to the extreme.

Found the Bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413247)

if ( radar.state = MISSILE_DETECTED )
{
        post_twitter_warning();
}

Re:Found the Bug (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413379)

let's hope the twitter warning is posted after the "launch missiles back" check is done.

Really, it's that hard? (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413343)

They pre-wrote a 140 letter missive? Are they using a drugged-out, one-armed sloth as their spokesman?

Re:Really, it's that hard? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413809)

Ever tried to communicate in a real emergency? (One where seconds rather than minutes means the difference between life and death?) I have, and it's not nearly so easy as you think to communicate clearly under those circumstances. There's a reason why military folks and 911 dispatchers undergo extensive and ongoing training.

Re:Really, it's that hard? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413879)

So, those tweets & texts I've gotten were life-and-death? That explains why they were so incoherent!

It has already started! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43413357)

A North-Korean missile has hit Espoo, Finland. [metro.fi] Luckily, it failed to explode:

Later that day... (0)

sootman (158191) | about a year and a half ago | (#43413839)

... someone hacked Japan's phone and tweeted a racy selfpic.

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