The website for the Amber Alert program was recently shutdown until workers could return to their offices. While the Amber Alert system was up and running on Sunday the AmberAlerts.gov and all the websites that the Office of Justice maintain were taken offline.
IT workers for that department are furloughed and before leaving they placed federal websites behind a firewall so they wouldn’t be hacked.
The closure of the AmberAlerts.gov website immediately led to mass confusion as Fox News and other mainstream news outlets reported the systems closure.
On its website Fox News wrote, “The Amber alert system, the national missing-child warning program, has been shut off due to the government shutdown, according to the Department of Justice.”
Fox News then attempted to call out President Obama for allowing Union Workers to return to their jobs, while failing to protect children.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is in charge of compiling the DOJ’s national Amber Alert information and that website is still up and running. It should be noted that there are no active Amber Alerts to report at this time.
The AmberAlerts.gov website was quickly restored after public outcry. Unfortunately the early report from Fox News led to Twitter users sharing incorrect information with followers while blaming President Obama for the GOP led shutdown of the political system.
Wonder if Obama shut down Amber Alert as his ESSENTIAL White House chef served him Fairness Fries.
— John Nolte (@NolteNC) October 7, 2013
O shuts Amber Alert system. Obama throws kidnapped kids into the political pot. Give me what I want or we won’t save your kidnapped child.
— Sugar Ray (@Raymcgillicuddy) October 7, 2013
It doesn’t help that even Glenn Beck was reporting the incorrect information as fact:
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) October 7, 2013
Just to reiterate, the Amber Alert S ystem has not been temporarily closed. Although I’ll admit it’s kind of fun to watch uneducated Twitter users once again attacking Obama over a made up fact from Fox News.