FEMA and the FCC will test a nationwide emergency alert on Wednesday, October 4, sending a message to phones nationwide at 2:20 p.m. ET. But conspiracy theorists on TikTok and X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, are convinced there’s something more nefarious behind the plan. In fact, they insist the nationwide test will activate something within the covid-19 vaccines that could turn people into walking zombies.
“October 4th 2023 FEMA activates 5G zombie apocalypse. If you got the clot shot, you are screwed. For those of us who did not bend the knee, real estate is about to become much cheaper. We’ll need lots of ammo though. Don’t say I did not warn you,” one typical tweet reads.
The video shared by that account has been viewed over 150,000 times and counting, insisting that 5G cell phone networks were all part of the plot of harm Americans.
Over on TikTok, the conspiracy theory is spreading even faster, with some videos falsely claiming the cell phone alert will be “one of the loudest sounds ever recorded in history.” Other TikTokers are making “dark predictions” using similarly exaggerated claims about the “real” purpose for this emergency alert test.
As FEMA explains in a press release from this past August, tests of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts, are crucial for alerting the public in the event of severe weather or any other serious event.
“The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test to all cellular devices. The test message will display in either English or in Spanish, depending on the language settings of the wireless handset,” FEMA said in a press release.
Conspiracy theorists have long been spreading misinformation about 5G wireless technology, which is simply technology that allows for faster data speeds on wireless networks. And while the 5G conspiracy theories died down in the late 2010s they found new life after the covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Some people have even claimed the covid-19 vaccines contained a small microchip, an assertion that isn’t true, which would be activated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates at some point in the future.
It makes sense, then, that some of the wildest conspiracy theorists are trying to give meaning to this new emergency alert. But, needless to say, there’s no evidence that the emergency alert on October 4 is anything but a test of the system. The zombie apocalypse isn’t going to start anytime soon, with or without 5G networks, which are humming along nicely across the U.S., providing data service to millions of people.
Neither the FCC nor FEMA responded to emailed questions this week. I’ll update this post if I hear back.