People Called 911 About the Facebook Outage. Maybe.

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

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.