People Called 911 About the Facebook Outage. Maybe.

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 1 2014 2:45 PM

People Called 911 About the Facebook Outage. Maybe.

copcar
Initiate emergency Facebook outage action plan!

Photo from Shutterstock/Mikhail Olykaine.

At midday on Friday Facebook was down for about an hour. Needless to say it was a crisis and everyone was devastated.

One Los Angeles police officer, Sgt. Burton Brink, took to Twitter to admonish the masses for their hysteria: Stop calling 911 just because Facebook is down!

Advertisement

And this really resonated. It's clearly easy to believe that people would be so upset without Facebook—and so confused about how the Internet works—that they would call the police about the situation.

But LAPD Communications tweeted that it's not true. Which is just sad, because it seems like it could be true!

And news outlets either haven't noticed the LAPD Communications tweet or aren't letting it slow them down.

But Sgt. Brink still maintains that the LAPD gets 911 calls all the time for silly things that it doesn't control.

So far the LAPD hasn't responded to our requests for clarification. But it seems like a lot of people actually coped well with the outage. There are always some alarmists, but maybe people have finally learned how to play it cool when Facebook goes down.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.