This is called swatting, and it has become a problem. It is also already carries a jail sentence and in a few places a fine. A number of states are already tightening the laws and penalties for swatting to include the cost of the call which can get up to $10,000. Using a computer based phone or other technical skills which prevents caller ID, a swatting caller will convince the operator that someone is about to be killed, usually a celebrity. This will cause 911 to dispatch police, swat, emergency teams - in short, the entirety of emergency services. So suddenly, a usually public figure finds their home invaded by armed officers who may have entered by breaking down doors, and maybe throwing in flash-bangs and tear gas. It is not just the public person affected by this, though. Their spouse and children and staff also get all the wonders of what would be a truly traumatic experience. If the celebrity is not home then just family and staff get experience.
The LAPD announced this week that they will no longer be releasing information of swatting events. In other words, because it gets so much attention in the press causing more morons to prank call 911, in an effort to get it under control, they are going to down play the calls. Now, with paparazzi camped out around many a celebrity home, it is not likely that responses to these calls will go unnoticed, but it is at least an attempt to stop the outbreak which has affected a number of celebrities like Ryan Seacrest, Tom Cruise, Ashton Cutcher, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Justin Timberlake just to mention a few.
There is a certain amount of irony that the story isn't about swatting for the press now, but that they will no longer be getting information from the police. Here's the deal...
1. These folks are celebrities and no more world leaders than Dennis Rodman.
2. Even they should have some privacy.
3. The press is covering a usually juvenile, impractical joke. Most swattings are done by teens.
4. If celebrities were not involved, it would probably not be news
5. Ergo, the continued coverage of swatting is not news.
Cover the important stuff and quit giving these deliquents anymore press than you would any other stupid prankster. If you want to make a difference, cover the jailing and fining of these callers, not their childish and dangerous act.