The Regina Police Service issued a request today directed at iPhone users to stop asking Siri about 9/11, as a result of messages posted on social media claiming the voice assistant’s response “is hilarious.”
What actually happens is your iPhone will dial 9-1-1 within five seconds, which for many is not enough time to figure it out and hang up in time after they realize a real operator has answered. This resulted in a surge of 114 hang up calls within two hours on Sunday morning:
The messages on twitter, Facebook and other social media prompt people with a teaser like, “Say 9/11 into Siri and you’ll be amazed”, or “When you say 9/11 to Siri, her response is hilarious”.
The response isn’t hilarious. What happens next is: the iPhone dials 9-1-1, accessing a 911 Communications Officer, who answers the phone call with, “9-1-1…where is your emergency?” At that point, the iPhone user often panics and hangs up, but the consequences don’t end there.
DON’T Ask Siri about 9/11…Please. http://t.co/ZWc91hC6jz
— Regina Police (@reginapolice) June 23, 2015
Emergency operators are obliged to call back to verify whether there is a real emergency, sometimes taking multiple calls to confirm it was just a prank. This ties up lines for real emergencies. Regina Police Service are asking the public to “please, choose to be a good citizen and DON’T ask Siri about 9/11.”
[via CBC News]