Swatting: The new and very illegal trend

Trends are very fun to follow. With the outbreak of social media, it seems like there is a new one each day. All you have to do is log onto Twitter and check the trending topics, scroll down your Facebook News Feed, or see what’s hot on Reddit, and bam, in a matter of seconds — you’re up to date on what’s popular right now.

For the most part, trends and Internet memes are pretty harmless. Doppelganger week. Tebowing. YOLO.

Are they annoying as hell? Yes. But do they actually cause physical harm to anybody? Of course not. They’re all just fun and games over the Internet, and they don’t make anybody’s lives any worse.

Until now.

There’s a new trend that has recently come about, and it is called “swatting.”

What does it involve? Swatting occurs when somebody — using an untraceable phone — fakes a distressing 911 call, and provides the address of a celebrity. The result, of course, are SWAT teams invading the homes of famous people, unaware of who actually lives there.

The victims of this new phenomenon include P. Diddy, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Seacrest, to name a few.

Aww, how funny! You see the joke? By making such a believable 911 call, you’re actually taking valuable police manpower and having them assemble at celebrities’ houses, wasting precious time that could otherwise be spent solving crimes and saving lives, all while wasting thousands of tax dollars on made-up emergencies! That’s hysterical! That’s hilarious! That’s —

The most fucking ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

First of all, calling this a trend is not correct. The only similarity this has to things like Tebowing or planking is that they end with “ing.” In actuality, this new “trend” is actually a crime. It’s illegal in every state in the U.S. to deceive police in such a manner. Calling this a trend would be like saying murder is a trend.

“Hey guys, look, I just killed this dude! Everybody’s doing it!”

I just can’t fathom what is going through the minds of these idiots who dial 911 and shamefully act is if they are in the middle of an emergency. If you watch the video on the link I posted, it plays one of these swatting 911 calls, and the dude who talks to the police tells that them he murdered his wife. That’s disgusting.

Obviously the rationale of the prank is to bring about an extremely large inconvenience upon celebrities, who live in luxurious mansions and are placed on a different level of society than those who are not rich and famous. Therefore, it must give people some kind of thrill to be able to ruin their day by “swatting” them.

Swatting has become such a problem that new legislation is currently being drafted to inflict harsher punishments against those who commit it. The law would require the perpetrators to reimburse the amount of money that the police spent responding to their mock call, which reportedly could cost as much as $10,000.

I have no problem with that. It would probably bankrupt anybody who is caught doing it, but hey, they’d deserve it.

But again, it’s just appalling to me that there are people out there who actually think this is funny. I bet the guy who made the 911 call on Ashton Kutcher actually hung up the phone and yelled, “You just got Punk’d, Ashton! Punk’d!” And then gave his buddy a high-five like he just accomplished something great.

And hey, don’t get me wrong, I understand how some people could be peeved that celebrities live so luxuriously, when a great number of our population is barely making ends meet. But this is not the way to go about it. If you’re unhappy with the system, then maybe send an angry Tweet to Justin Timberlake or Justin Bieber. Call them douchebags. That’s fine. But calling 911 and having SWAT teams deployed to their house does a hell of a lot more harm than good. If you can’t figure that out yourself, it means you’re probably pretty dumb, and will also soon be out $10,000.

Heck, if you need to get your swatting fix, then go slap Justin Bieber in the face with a fly swatter. That would still be identified as swatting, wouldn’t it? Now that is something I can actually get behind, because just imagining somebody approaching Bieber and smacking him in the face with a fly swatter is a hilarious image.

Or just make them watch the movie S.W.A.T starring Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Ferrell.

That would be punishment enough.

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