X policy limits National Weather Service emergency alerts

NWS Austin/San Antonio tweeted early Friday, May 10, that it “will continue to provide general updates” but people should make sure they have “multiple means for receiving weather information & alerts.” Because X is now limiting automated tweets for government agencies like NWS, the Central Texas weather account “will no longer post all watches/warnings/advisories as they were issued.” 

The news shocked NWS followers who are now calling for X head Elon Musk to change the new social media policy. NWS Meteorologist Matt Brady told MySA that this policy is making it harder for them to “get out” alerts on inclement weather coming to their area, especially in life or death situations.

“When we issue a warning, it will automatically post and that’s not occurring,” Brady said. “That is not helpful to the public on getting our warnings out via X.”

The new X policy aims to target “spamming activity” by limiting how many posts an account can automatically schedule to be released, according to the platform’s help center. This means that because the NWS uses an automated system to post new weather alerts on X, it will now only be able to release a certain amount per day and the rest will have to be posted one by one, which Brady says may prove to be more difficult with staffing.

“It depends on resources,” Brady said. “Our office, we may not have enough resources because the warnings are our number one priority to get out, so we hope to also distribute it through X, but the automated tweets were really helpful because we didn’t really have manpower to be doing it.”

X users like @ShamarDBradley replied to the NWS post writing, “@elonmusk please fix this asap” and @GHamm21 echoed saying, “@elonmusk this literally effects you and tesla on a day to day basis. Your employees could be unsafe and they’re using x!”

@VincentHart also tagged Musk in the comment section adding, “@elonmusk Elon, Please allow emergency services to automate on  @X It’s an early warning service and fabulous solution, especially at the bottom of tornado alley, where we live. Fast notice saves lives. Respectfully,  A concerned user in Central Texas.”

The post limit X has set is 50 automated tweets in a 24-hour period, according to NOAA, which could easily be surpassed, especially during active weather situations, CNN reports. Although X can be a good tool to use in releasing timely weather information to the public, Brady advised people not solely use social media for their news, but also local media and weather radios as they hope the platform can resolve this issue soon. 

“It’s really good to have multiple ways to receive alerts, not just one one way,” Brady said. “Hopefully, it does get resolved soon via X and so that we do not have to do manual postings of warnings on Twitter.”

Original News Source

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