Repeat after me: you should be very careful when running tests not to accidentally “go live.”
Just ask the folks at the Texas Department of Public Safety, who sent out an accidental Amber Alert.
Normally Amber Alert messages are used to warn of genuinely missing children.
But in this case, the child abduction emergency alert warned recipients to be on the lookout for the horror movie doll killer Chucky, dressed in blue denim overalls and carrying a kitchen knife.
Chucky Age: 28 year(s) Hair: Red or Auburn Height: 3'1" Race: Other: Doll Weight (Lbs): 16 Gender: Male Eyes: Blue Additional information: Blue denim overalls with multi-colored striped long sleeve shirt wielding a huge kitchen knife
The warning about Chucky was accompanied by the description and snapshot of his supposed victim, a spooky-looking character called Glen.
In a statement issued to the media, the Texas Department of Public Safety explained what had gone wrong:
“This was actually a test we were running on a dev server and it accidentally went out. We appreciate you reaching out to us to verify this. We do apologize for this inconvenience (to) you.”
I suppose as cock-ups go, things could have been worse.
At least they didn’t send out an emergency alert to every mobile phone in Hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile.