Regina police getting many Siri-generated 911 calls

Regina police say they're getting lots of unwanted 911 calls from Siri, Apple's "intelligent personal assistant".

Police service urges public to ignore social media messages

Regina police say people should not say "Nine eleven" to Siri, because it will dial the emergency number 911. (CBC)

Regina police say they're getting lots of unwanted 911 calls from Siri, Apple's "intelligent personal assistant".

People with iPhones use Siri to do things like order pizza or get answers to questions.

However, on the weekend, police received an unusually high number of 911 hangup calls to their communications centre.

In just two hours on Sunday morning, 114 hang up 911 calls came in.

They believe the calls came in response to a widely circulated social media message telling people to ask Siri about "9/11" (pronounced nine-eleven) — a reference to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"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'," a news release from the police said.

What happens next is not hilarious, however. Siri dials 911, accessing a 911 communications officer.

Many of the callers, when they hear a live operator on the line asking about the emergency, panic and hang up.

However, the communications officer is obliged to call back to see whether or not it's a real emergency.

Sometimes, several calls have to be made to confirm it's a non-emergency, police said.

It's tying up resources that might be needed for real emergencies, they say.

Police are asking people "to be good citizens and not ask Siri about 9/11".


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