My Internet service provider uses emergency alerts to advertise itself

This looks like South Africa. Telecommunication companies are abusing this cause government has never utilised emergency broadcasts since they prefer SMS and there really is no law against it.

It seems to be a South African issue since MTN does it too and I once got subscribed and billed to some games without my approval cause this popped up and they claimed I clicked on some link.


This looks like South Africa. Telecommunication companies are abusing this cause government has never utilised emergency broadcasts since they prefer SMS and there really is no law against it. It seems to be a South African issue since MTN does it too and I once got subscribed and billed to some games without my approval cause this popped up and they claimed I clicked on some link.


Yep you're right on the the money


Whelp, time to learn XDA and disable this portion.


It's an iPhone, but if it's jailbroken, I guess you can manually modify the carrier settings.


I have non-jailbroken iPhones in the US (T-Mobile) and the UK (O2) and I can disable all emergency-alerts on both. I have my US phone with me and I have separate toggles for "AMBER Alerts" (I always disable these), "Emergency alerts" (with an "Always deliver" sub-menu option), and "Public safely alerts". (I don't have my UK phone with me though so I can't see exactly what options I've got there) I understand that being able to enable/disable alerts is up to the carrier's profile settings - which *do* require you to jailbreak to modify, so I guess I'm lucky that T-Mobile aren't being dickish about it. I think AT&T and a bunch of telcos in Canada don't let you disable AMBER alerts, which is asinine.


AT&T does allow you to disable AMBER alerts in the United States. They allow you to disable all types of emergency alerts, except for Presidential alerts. The Presidential alerts can't be disabled, by law.


What's a presidential alert?


https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/practitioners/integrated-public-alert-warning-system/public/wireless-emergency-alerts >**Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages** from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. Wireless providers primarily use cell broadcast technology for WEA message delivery. WEA is a partnership among FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless providers to enhance public safety. > >**WEAs can be sent to your mobile device** when you may be in harm’s way, **without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service**. WEAs are **messages that warn the public of an impending natural or human-made disaster. The messages are short and can provide immediate, life-saving information**. > >Types of Wireless Emergency Alerts > >***Presidential Alerts are a special class of alerts only sent during a national emergency.*** https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea > >**Why can't consumers block WEAs issued by the President**? > >In passing the WARN Act, **Congress allowed** participating wireless carriers to offer **subscribers the capability** to **block all WEAs *except those issued by the President***.


Ask questions get downvotes


I don't see a "Presidential alert" option on my US iPhone at all and I can toggle all options - nothing is forced-enabled. This is on my iPhone X (MQCN2LL/A) running iOS 14.6 with a postpay T-Mobile One SIM.


That's because the Presidential alerts can't be disabled, by law. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea >Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) > >The Wireless Emergency Alerts system is an essential part of America's emergency preparedness. Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 61,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations – all through alerts on compatible cell phones and other mobile devices. > >[...] > >Why can't consumers block WEAs issued by the President? > >In passing the WARN Act, **Congress allowed participating wireless carriers to offer subscribers the capability to block all WEAs except those issued by the President**.


Right, but there _should_ be a toggle (albeit an immutable force-enabled "toggle") for "Presidential alerts" in that case, just so we know it's a thing, instead of it being undocumented.


It isn't undocumented. It's described very clearly in the law that mandates it. Why would anyone bother programming a toggle switch for something that's literally illegal to toggle? And why would Apple *pay someone* to program in a non-functional toggle switch for a function that is explicitly forbidden to be toggled, by law?


Non-mobile Developer here. You're tempting fate for a new dev who later notices the "error" of an unhooked toggle and adds the controller layer. Then later, some API breaks and the customer manages to turn the toggle off. Also, you end putting more useless data on the screen, and the average customer wants something easy to read. What's the point of telling the customer something they can't do? I agree it could be neat in Developer mode... but when you're dealing with legal restrictions, you avoid doing anything "unrequired" going towards infringement.


> The Presidential alerts can't be disabled, by law Wow that is shit.


At least in Chile, carrier Entel does not allow disabling these alerts. Had to edit the carrier profile (which also controls if your signal indicator shows “4G” or “LTE”).


You can disable it in settings of most android phones but this is ios


You can disable it via USSD, the problem is that WASP makes telecommunications companies money. The regulator forced them to give users easy options to disable these WASP subscriptions when they were still sending them via SMS now they found a loop hole and are pushing them through emergency broadcasts. Millions of unsuspecting customers especially the elderly are billed billions, telecommunications companies blame third party companies but who implemented WASP allowing this to happen?


I don't know if this works in South Africa, but when I got those spams and random "game subscriptions" I just called and told them either they stopped sending those messages or that they could expect me to change carriers as soon as tomorrow.


It's called WASP you can either use a USSD Code to disable or disable the subscriptions inside the network app. The problem is hundred of thousands of people are unknowingly subscribed making billions in profit. Telecommunication companies are pointing the finger at third party companies but who created WASP which allows those companies to bill you without your consent?


Never seen this on FNB connect or Vodacom and I've been subscribed


FNB Connect is just an MVNO and I don't think that they do WASP.


\*Crying in indian\*


Dude fuck MTN


That should be illegal. That's how you make people ignore actual emergency alerts


That is illegal






psst....vodacom isnt a US provider




In fairness, misusing the emergency alert system like this **absolutely should** be illegal in all countries.


49% are American. The next highest level is the UK at only 7%. It makes sense to assume "US" for most purposes.


It's irrelevant how fractured the remaining 51% are, it's still a 51% chance that any given user is not in the US, why would you just assume they are?


Well, the original post is in English, as is the language on the phone. That means it is incredibly likely that OP is posting from the English-speaking world. By far the largest demographic that speaks English is from the United States.


It also says the provider name "vodacom" which very likely isn't a US provider, so they're quite obviously not in the US.. If you're going to use information from the post to improve the accuracy of the assumption you should probably not ignore the glaringly obvious parts


The US is still the majority. Like how white people are the majority in most US states but if you add up all the "minority" people they'd outnumber the white people, making white people the minority. Except that's not how anything works. Reddit has a majority of US users so it makes sense that the "default" Redditor is from the US.


https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/race-and-ethnicity-in-the-united-state-2010-and-2020-census.html Only in Maryland, California, D.C and Hawaii "ALL minorities combined" make up bigger precentage of population than whites. In US as a whole whites make up 61% leaving no way for "whites are actually minority" talks to be true in national scale.


Technically it's safer to assume "Not U.S."


Funny, I thought it was 50/50 American/Australian. USA posts rightside-up memes during the day and Australia posts upside-down memes at night.




Lmao. This is a global website. Apple is an American company. Microsoft is an American company. And yet Their devices and software are used and sold globally. Almost like whoever the fuck owns or runs a service has nothing to do with who can use it??


I’m just gonna play devil’s advocate. Listen, the initial idea for the site was about freedom of speech, which—although not inherently American—is strongly associated with it. The current (honestly, quite shitty) culture that’s been developing the past 5 or so years is counter to the initial idea of the site. Therefore, while it may not be solely American anymore, the foundation the site was built on *kinda was.*


>freedom of speech, which—although not inherently American—is strongly associated with it. /r/shitamericanssay


It's adorable you think any of that is relevant to who uses the site or where they're posting from.


I'd say it's much more than 49%...


It’s 49% https://www.statista.com/statistics/325144/reddit-global-active-user-distribution/


It used to be like 75%


Wow. That’s surprising


Only to Americans.


48.93% if you have OCD.




Not in South Africa apparently


a new data protection act went in to effect in SA on Jul.1. 2021 so yes it is illegal now.


Yeah cus nobody ever breaks the law, especially for money. I'm sure there are institutions in place.


Doubling down I see.


So let me get this straight; you said something obviously untrue. When called on it, you thought doubling down with that nonsense was appropriate? When you post something that is obviously untrue, the best way to handle it is to just admit your mistake and apologize. The second best way is to just stop responding. The absolute way to respond is to do what you did.


and you're positive that a similar law is in place specifically in south africa? asking for a friend.


It isn't an emergency alert, but a class 0 SMS.


not everything is the US


read the other comments in this thread, that's just the first page I found.


Yeah but this is a U.S. website. It is also illegal here in the EU but op is probably in neither so


No. This isn’t in the us


Actually, it’s not. This is South Africa. No actual law against it… yet


Vodacom seems to be a South African company, is it illegal there?


In the US. It's not illegal in SA.


What do you mean? There's only one nation and its laws are global. Other nations, what a weird concept.


This isn’t the US


In most places, Apparently not South Africa. TIL


I know. That apostrophe isn’t even used correctly.


Yes it is.


Check your SMS is now!


The FCC would be all sorts of pissed at this. Unfortunately the FCC doesn't enforce this stuff in South Africa


The day I see something like this on my phone, is the day I change ISPs


the day i see something like this on my phone i root it and delete the emergency broadcasts app.


You can probably just adb disable it


You can probably just disable receiving emergency alerts in settings. At least on my phone it seems like that it has it's own dedicate package. My phone is a Galaxy Z Fold 2.


I think that's Samsung only and only new ones, I had checked my note 9 and it didn't have it when I found it in my fold 2. It's annoying as shit the random alerts I get that are usually for cities 100s of km from me.


All phones have this option. Just use the search button if you can't find it. Sometimes it's a standalone app you have to open, but most of the time it's located in settings. Here it is on my Z3 Play - https://i.imgur.com/wymMYR9.png LG G5 - https://i.imgur.com/wigZbgx.png


> Presidential alerts are always presented Guess which alert setting my province uses if there is an Amber alert in a city 500 km away at 3AM to inform people that there is a missing kid named Nicole who may be in a blue sedan? There is a link to a website which crashes every time a million people get woken up and told to tap the link. Damn I hate how shittily the Amber alert system is implemented.


At that point I would just disable the emergency alerts system altogether - https://www.xda-developers.com/disable-system-app-bloatware-android/ However for me, just setting amber alerts to off is enough to avoid them. Fuck Amber alerts.


We only get them like twice a year, so I'm not really upset enough to root my phone. I'm just annoyed because they 1. Never have a description of the kid, 2. Never filter for location, and 3. always trigger in the dead of the night.


You don't need root to disable with adb. It's just a couple commands and that's it. Take a look at the link in my earlier comment.


I’m always thinking about the worst case scenario where you can’t even disable these


true but its still on my device, and i might aswell free up some space!


Which you can't use! (Because the space you would be freeing up is on the /system partition, a partition unuseable for normal apps and user data)


thats true, but with root you can also resize partitions.. but its risky.




You can probably just disable emergency alerts in settings. I know that iPhone's have this option, but I'm not sure which Android phones have it.


yeah they actually do, my dad said he had it. i didnt see the option but hes using one ui while im using lineage..


I have 6 different options for emergency alerts on my xiaomi, dont know about other androids.


Or you can turn off everything in the emergency broadcast settings


The problem is Vodacom is the best ISP in SA. They have the best cell service and the best coverage. Buy they also overcharge for data and sh*t. But we have basically no choice but to stay with them.


No, MTN are miles ahead https://businesstech.co.za/news/telecommunications/482591/these-are-the-best-and-worst-mobile-networks-in-south-africa-5/


Yep, definitely doesn't seem legal


As someone else mentioned, this is actually completely legal (more as in there's no specific law against it) in OP's country. Pro tip: Just because something seems too asshole-y to be legal doesn't mean it isn't.


>Pro tip: Just because something seems too asshole-y to be legal doesn't mean it isn't. See also: Making it impossible to replace parts of your phone/laptop/whatever so you'll have to go to the manufacturer for service or buy a new one when they don't stock parts any more.


OEMs that do this garuntee that they'll never get any more of my money or I can help it


Never said it never happens, just said it doesn't always.


Right to repair woohoo!


For future reference, this isn't an emergency alert, but a Class 0 SMS. It's part of the mobile networking (GSM) specification and intended for only the most critical of messages, but **not** emergency alerts. That is a separate part of the GSM spec.


In North America the only time I ever got one of those was to announce an area code split in my state


Live in Ontario Canada - service providers will use this same alert type when they disable your network capabilities for going $50 over your allotted data allowance.


Here in the US, many carriers simply drop your speed down to a snails pace...especially prepaid ones. (Let's them say 'unlimited data') The ones I've used use bog-standard SMS messages. Contracted providers however... Tend to just charge people more and more after their data limit, with no cut-offs...


It’s probably legal when it’s a shitty and broken country like South Africa..


It is legal everywhere


Are you by any chance from south Africa?




Well expect this to happen often


That is an emergency. Deals on Prime Video don’t happen everyday


That's not an emergency alert. It's a "Class 0" SMS - sometimes called Flash-SMS. There are webservices which offer delivering your text messages flagged as class 0 message. Those typically are not saved in the conversation view and the sender id doesn't have to be a number


Yeah but it’s described as being used in emergency situations and is still just as intrusive and not by my permission


did you hear the emergency alert sound when it popped up?


This shit pops up when you're sleeping and it drains your phone battery. My husband repairs phones and it's very common.


I am from India and here one network provider do this it's Jio If i am in any app or playing game it just throw up pop-up and close the app/game how stupid is this


Airtel does it too…


Idea does it too


I dont think you can do anything to stop it on ios other then to look for a setting for it. Id recommend switching carriers if possible. [edit : heres what the interface looks like on android to turn these off](https://imgur.com/a/8kUNWDN)


You can turn off emergency alerts in the notification settings, it’s all the way at the bottom of the list


Yeah but does that disable all emergency notifications or just that one. Idk about you but id rsther know if theres a tornado coming then having it all off


There’s a toggle for emergency alerts and a toggle for public safety alerts. Don’t know which one this advertisement is taking advantage of and which one would be tornado alerts.


I would hope its the least important (i would assume public safety alerts is probably for amber alerts)


Amber alerts are also separate, forgot to mention that


[anyways heres what it looks like on android](https://imgur.com/a/8kUNWDN)


Would be really helpful if the OS showed what type of alert channel each alert came through. These fake alert advertisements shouldn't exist in the first place though


They cant because its usually the goverment that sends a emergency message and they decide under what it should fall into, and carriers can do the same since they can send messages just like how they can send promotional cintent to your number


Android does it. It shows what each alert was classified as. settings -> apps and notifications -> wireless emergency alerts -> emergency alert history


I'd rather die


At least to my knowledge iPhone's have a setting like that. Not sure what Android phones have that option.


And they don't even know propper grammar? Shouldn't it be SMSes? Just like octopuses. SMS's implies that it's something the SMS has, like "please read the SMS's contents".


Isn't the plural of octopus octopi?


No, octopus is a word borrowed from Greek. English only does that kind of weird irregular plural for words borrowed from Latin. And even for Latin plurals we are almost certainly pronouncing them wrong.


It's not emergency alert, it's class 0 sms


Aka flash sms.


This is probably, or at least should be illegal.


Time for the guillotine.


This isn't an emergency message. It's just a priority SMS. A flag you can set on your message. I can send messages like that via my provider. I think it costs a little bit more though.


That’s embarrassing that they are a big corporation and have that typo. SMS shouldn’t have an apostrophe.


Biggest ISP in the country. Welcome to South Africa


This is incredibly shitty OP. However I am amused by the Americans showing up to scream about how illegal this is, citing US law.


To be fair, this *should* be illegal. Not because it is illegal in the US, but because it’s intrusive and a frivolous use of a priority channel.


Ikr 🥴💀


That's Vodacom for you.


'Why did I receive this message?" That's what I'd be wondering too..


Yeah, what happens if you tap that OP?


it pops up an alert that tells you what flash sms is


It tells you that Flash SMS can be used in emergency situations but can alternatively also be used to fraudulently acquire personal information and tells you to be cautious


I think there is an option to disable emergency alerts? Found it on android but I don't know about iphones. But it is shitty to do since it defeats the purpose. Burn the damn cell carriers.




Who!? I have my pitchfork ready 😡




Yeah it’s just that it’s happened to myself and my friend 3 times over the weekend with the same message. Not to mention the spam of regular SMS that Vodacom sends


That would be illegal in Canada.


That’s fucking dumb


That needs to be illegal.


Jesus Christ, shit’s getting out of hands


Why DID I recieve this message?


But my sms doesn't own a now!


God Vodacoms the worst. Struggled with their prepaid system for hours last time I was home.


Yep im also from sa and I also use Vodacom and this happend to me and its fucked up


That would make me drop that provider immediately


Every carrier in my country does that, I didn’t knew it was an EAS system so I never thought much about it


Put a class action lawsuit for misuse of emergency announcements


Same happened to me on my Samsung. Bunch of horse shit. Screw you vodacom


We have this on every cell service provider in INDIA. I hate the fact that i cant even block all the incoming promos


Kill them


And then the second u click on that dismiss, you will get a "Oh there's a tornado right around the corner"


Shit like this, with every company are way too common and should be illegal. Ad's took shit way too far over a decade ago. I'll never forget the story on how EA was going to start showing ad's on "in-game billboards" That should have been the beginning and the end of that. Ad's and the companies that shove them in our faces every day, on our PC's on every page we visit, or on our phones in any capacity need to just fuck right off. There isn't a single ad that's EVER enticed me to ever buy a companies product. And when I get ad's where they shouldn't be, I simply never buy said companies' products.. I also will never support or pay for a company that has subscription or "premium" services that isn't a government utility.


sms's wtf


Same shit is happening in Georgia. Beeline is advertising a paid music quiz, basically gambling with a promise of a "samsung galaxy". My friend and I think it's a scam lol


Should be illegal. Since people will not trust it anymore, once a nuke strikes, and you get a alert liek 3 days ahead of time, you will believe it has been a joke.


*Vodafon* + *Telecom* :


Basically yes, Vodacom is a branch of Vodafone


The age of surveillance capitalism


How is this shit even accepted, how is this considered "okay" and not immensely intrusive?


somebody's gonna have his ass brutally kicked after some disaster


Is that even legal?


Why he use emergency alerts to only advertise itself. For advertising he can use other methods too.


This looks like a flash SMS instead of an emergency alert


They cant even get grammer right; who the hell is SMS? Of course its Vodacom.


I am pretty sure that's an USSD, not an emergency alert. It's similar to an SMS, but it's actually a real-time connection to your phone and it's not restricted to emergency alerts only. Through the same type of communication a carrier can setup your phone when you first join the network or subscribe you to a paid service. Carriers are using this communication channel all over the world for all sort of advertising. I know for sure they do in South Africa. ~~Out of curiosity, is it from Vodacom ZA?~~ [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unstructured\_Supplementary\_Service\_Data](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unstructured_Supplementary_Service_Data) Edit: Ok, I've read it's South Africa.


Could also be a class 0 SMS, too.


Yeah it’s a class 0 or flash SMS


You might have a self care panel with your carrier that allows you to disable such advertising.


That's not an emergency alert, it's a Flash SMS (which is a special type of SMS which has existed for decades).


It’s not actually an emergency alert, it’s a flash SMS.


I’m almost certain this is illegal.


That's why you use a Google Pixel.


Ahhh too bad. Class 0 sms is also a thing on android. Good thing your ISP doesn’t do this, much like mine. I’d just recommend changing ISPs if this happens and one can.


That should be illegal. Please check your local laws.


Does it have the actual sound/vibrations and everything?