Facebook the New 911


Police have expressed concern after a pair of young girls trapped down a dangerous storm drain used their phones to update their Facebook profiles rather than call for assistance.

The girls, aged 10 and 12, became lost down a storm drain in the Australian city of Adelaide. Just why they were inspecting the city’s protection against flash floods is not made clear.

Realising their predicament, they quickly updated their Facebook profiles to let friends know they were currently stuck down a storm drain, using their fully functional mobile phones.

Eventually someone noticed their update (or at least took it seriously), and called 000 (911) in their stead, and the fire department was soon on its way to extricate them.

The local fire department politely skirts round the issue of their decision making prowess in selecting Facebook over the emergency services:

“It is a worry for us because it causes a delay on us being able to rescue the girls. If they were able to access Facebook from their mobile phones, they could have called 000, so the point being they could have called us directly and we could have got there quicker than relying on someone being online and replying to them and eventually having to call us via 000 anyway.”

The girls were rescued without injury.

A professor at the Queensland University of Technology also verbosely dances around the issue:

“For these kids, by the sounds of it, being on Facebook is just such a pervasive part of their lives that it seems the first line of response if they need to communicate a message to others.

I guess for these people the natural way to send a message out to their friends and others is via Facebook, unfortunately in this case the message was that they were stuck in a stormwater drain.”

Via the Telegraph.

Facebook seems to have narrowly averted its first fatalities, though sadly Twitter has not been so lucky

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    Comment by Anonymous
    17:13 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Why would a ten and a twelve year old need facebook anyway O_o

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:03 12/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is was i tought first.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:44 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    2 pre-packaged loli advertising themselves on facebook... and the best we can do is call for a rescue? Australia is lame.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:25 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    (From IT Crowd, Season:1 Episode:2)

    "Dear Sir stroke Madam, I am writing to inform you of a fire which has broken out at the premises of..."

    No, that's too formal. [Deletes]

    "Dear Sir stroke Madam. Fire, exclamation mark. Fire, exclamation mark. Help me, exclamation mark. 123 Carrendon Road.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    All the best, Maurice Moss"

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:35 02/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    man I understand the worry in police but frankly emergency numbers can get so blocked up and its kinda smart when you think about it to update facebook. I mean it would be best if it was becuz there was no emergency numbers it does seem little pointless if there are. (maybe they didnt know the emergency numbers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:17 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    internet attention whores

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:38 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The story said they were *lost*, _not_ trapped.

    Okay, dumb-asses. It's a rainwater *overflow* tunnel system.

    Going downhill takes you closer to a lake, river, or ocean (and deeper standing water in the pipes).

    Going uphill takes you closer to safety. If your flashlights (you took a minimum of three flashlights per person, plus additional batteries and bulbs, right? No? Dumb-asses) are dead, trail your hand along the overhead as you walk uphill. When you feel "air", there's likely a vertical section with ladder and/or manhole cover.

    Yes, I and a friend have partially explored our city's rainwater overflow system. We were duck-walking (the cement pipes are inconveniently-sized for adults), and I noticed the standing water getting noticably higher. I said, "Dude, check the water level. Considering how far we've come, and the slope of the tunnel, I think the water is going to be uncomforably high before we get to the river. And, I'm not interested in swimming or even getting into water over my boots." He said, "Yeah."

    We turned around and came back out, slightly disappointed, but uninjured.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:29 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    facebook really, big fail, these girls would be better off dead, the world would be a better place less 10yr old face book assholes, what they dont teach you to dial 911 in the first grade anymore. maybe when they are caught in a burning building they can post about that shit while the their skin becomes a healthy shade of black.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:28 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It just goes to show how powerful the stranglehold the internet has on some people, kind of like how (an extreme) someone may kill because of a stolen game account.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:00 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can already tell that those girls will grow up to be fine women one of these days...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:52 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know why. It's because they were 10 and 12 and had prepaid mobile packages that come with free Facebook access. They were probably out of credit

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    You do realise that almost everywhere a condition of offering mobile phone service is offering free emergency calls?

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:05 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you do realised that most retards probably wont know that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:51 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    facebook in adelaide is huge everywhere a look everyone is on facebook. Its has killed society in adelaide generation Y are very stupid and up themselves arse holes. I live in adelaide i should know. idiot kids should have been washed away

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:58 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    To be fair there was no society in Adelaide to begin with. Speaking as a resident of SA here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:12 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Adelaide is called the "city of churches", you can imagine what they think about lolicon's heh...

    Avatar of kajunbowser
    Comment by kajunbowser
    15:54 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Quiz time, idjits! Which of these forms of communication is more effective in saving your life:

    Calling 911 (000 in this case) OR updating your fukken Facebook page until help is called for?

    Choose wisely.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:01 12/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I pick the third option.

    Avatar of GHS
    Comment by GHS
    18:38 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How did they get stuck in a storm drain in the first place anyway?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:10 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol If face book, twitter and all that shit were like the main streets of the web which all the straight laced people walk along we would be the guys who hang out in the dark alleys doing questionable shit and having a fucking great time for it. lol :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:31 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What the fuck are we teaching kids today??

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:19 13/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Facebook is a disease that must be purged

    Avatar of Yhuingg
    Comment by Yhuingg
    22:58 26/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    facebook is satan!!!

    Avatar of Plagus777
    Comment by Plagus777
    16:37 26/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, this is sad. Facebook before 911?

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    07:03 15/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's sad.
    These days people just WANT bad news to happen. Everyone here WANTED these girls to die for some sick reason. Maybe it's their hatred for the youth, maybe it's their hatred for sites like Facebook, maybe it's both, I don't know.
    But society has gotten use to hearing tragic news so much that you expect it to happen, and even WANT it to happen and wish it did when it turns out to be a happy ending.

    However these kids made it out their situation alive, I'm just glad for them and their family that they ARE alive. They're kids so they can learn from this experience, but for now they're safe and sound. Isn't that enough? Can't people be happy for once when good news comes around instead of trying to find and envision ways to make it bad?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:55 22/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Australians jus keep getting dumber by the minute

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:33 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    using facebook to call 911 instead of just calling 911. nowadays, children are so smart.

    Avatar of mrt9
    Comment by mrt9
    22:19 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is why i don't like lolis

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:50 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fist of all I didn't know us Australians were so stupid and secondly what are 10 -12 yr olds doing on facebook, its a requirement to be 15 or something.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:10 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uh... they lied on the sign-up page?

    They got fake IDs (potentially useful later on for under-age drinking)?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:08 12/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    10 yr like to drink nowadays?
    Man i feel so old

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:29 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And Im just living in Adelaide atm LOL!

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:04 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol, wow. You kids sure are lacking in common sense these days. Guess all this book smarts is useless without street smarts. xD

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:04 12/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    To those of you saying such evil things "they shoul have died for being so stupid" etc, remember that these girls were only 11 and 12! seriously if anyone should be wiped from the genepool it should be those who make such comments.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:20 11/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No one is mentioning the fact that using Facebook actually worked for them....

    And we all know how bullshitty 911 and the police is when it comes to young people (i.e. they fucking hate them). They would've probably thought the girls were prank calling or something.

    Whatever works works. Good for them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:00 11/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    In response to your first point, it only worked for them because someone else ended up calling 911 for them.

    And in response to your second point, that doesn't mean it's smart for them to not call at all. That's just plain silly. That argument would make sense if they'd called 911, not been taken seriously, and THEN posted an update on Facebook asking for help.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:11 12/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly or they could do both things at the same time one repeatedly calls 911(000 in Australia) while the other ask for help in facebook.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:43 11/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    that was pretty stupid they should have just called, dumbasses

    Avatar of mi
    Comment by mi
    10:04 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe they're playing farmville
    i hate farmville

    once there's a time, my prof is playing that stupid game while im having trouble. you know, passing my project >_>

    Avatar of MidnightTide
    Comment by MidnightTide
    10:04 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    pedobear needs to pay more attention to facebook, he could have gotten there faster then the fire dept

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of a lolicon
    Comment by a lolicon
    11:29 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pedobear is nearly omnipresent. The reason why he didn't get to 'em first was because they weren't worth going to.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:08 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So--- early bloomers, were they? No DFC to attract pedobear.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:01 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dumb bitches.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:14 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    what a retards instead of call directly they do something risky ???

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:36 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Facebook is fully of security holes and probably easy ID theft.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:38 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the firefighter should have leave comment on their post such as "on my way, jk ^^" and then wait for their reply

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:26 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They would rather die than NOT let all their friends know what they are doing every moment of every day. Flood waters are coming, and rather than grab the rope, they finish updating and drown. Hahaha

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:22 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'll keep in mind to update my status whenever my life is in danger.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:54 10/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Too many people have bad priorities.

    Stupid female priorities:

    Him: "Wake up! I smell smoke! Follow our fireplan -- out the bedroom window!"

    Her: "Wait! I gotta put on my makeup!"

    Stupid male priorities:

    Her (I'm being generous and presuming the otaku as a 3-D GF): "Honey! Wake up! Fire!" (opens window) "Let's go!"

    Him: "Wait! My models and DVDs! I must save them!"


    A friend of mine was woken by his wife; their German Shepard, in the back yard, was barking, freaking out. He grabbed his sword and sidearm, jacked a round in, and charged - bare-ass naked - out into his backyard.

    There was somebody out there, and that somebody was plenty intimidated; he didn't give my friend a bit of problem.

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