Wireless Emergency Alerts are part of a program created by a 2006 act of Congress. WEAs can be targeted messages sent to all mobile phones in a particular area, like Amber alerts, or to all phones nationally, like an alert issued by the president, according to a report by New York Magazine's Select/All blog.
The Trump office didn't immediately return a request seeking comment as to how the incoming president might use the system. The FCC, which provides a guide to the WEA program, also didn't respond to a request for comment.
There's no evidence to suggest Trump would use the system for anything other than it's intended purpose despite a Twitter habit that borders on addiction. Trump used tweets and other social missives as a direct mouthpiece to his supporters, bolstering his campaign and circumventing traditional media that he sometimes claimed was treating him unfairly.
Tweets have landed Trump in hot water, too. Critics have said his informal tweeting is unpresidential, pointing to such behavior as an early-morning rant lashing out at a former beauty-pangeant winner, retweets with media linked to white supremecists and messages that promote unsubstantiated news, among others.
WEAs are limited to 90 characters, though! Trump will need to recalibrate from the 140-character Twitter standard if he wants to shoot all Americans an unblockable text.
First published Nov. 30, 10:08 a.m. PT.
Update, Dec. 1 at 4:03 p.m. PT: Adds context, background.