Facebook users dial 911 over social network outage

August 1, 2014, 8:38 PM UTC
Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images

When Facebook crashes, what’s a disgruntled user to do? For some, it means calling the authorities, apparently.

Such was the case on Friday morning when the popular social network suffered its second brief outage in two months. Some users in Los Angeles, after getting an error message, called 911, prompting L.A. County Sheriff sergeant Burton Brink to shoot off the following tweet:

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According to Sgt. Brink, the Crescenta Valley Station in La Crescenta, Calif. has received “several” calls from dissatisfied Facebook users seeking a solution, although the exact number of phone-in complaints had not be tallied as of press time.

“We get phone calls all the time, whether it be Facebook going down, people getting wrong orders at fast food restaurants, or their cable TV went out,” Sgt. Brink told Fortune. “But with Facebook in particular, we get calls probably because it’s such a widely-used thing.” Of his now-viral tweet, Sgt. Brink explains it was largely done to prevent more people from calling about the problem.

That Facebook’s (FB) outage – which impacted just some of its users – prompted some people to dial 911 in a panic is comical, obviously, but the chain-of-events also speaks to the sheer ubiquity of the social network itself. Since its founding in 2004, Facebook has evolved into the second-most popular Internet destination in the world, with over 1.3 billion users logging in monthly — second only to Google.