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.

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!


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.



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