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Facebook goes down; Facebookers call cops

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department would like residents to understand it can't help people regain contact with Facebook.

Yes, really. Sgt.Brink/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's worse than a cyclops losing an eye.

It's worse than members of the Westboro Baptist Church realizing they're not being written about.

When Facebook goes down, as it did for some today, the panic isn't in the streets. It's in every home, office, school, dentist's surgery, and kennel.

The inability to one-up one's friends with a pulsating status update may have caused more than one incidence of psychological trauma and even incendiary intentions.

As my evidence, might I present the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Sgt. Burton Brink? He found it necessary to take to Twitter to explain to the mentally confused masses that when Facebook disappears, you don't call 911.

He wrote: "#Facebook is not a Law Enforcement issue, please don't call us about it being down, we don't know when FB will be back up!"

It's a quaint thought process that must lead people to call in an emergency when their social networking is in not-work mode.

What did they think the sheriff would do? Hotfoot it to Northern California and arrest Mark Zuckerberg? Explain that law enforcement has a secret method, learned from the NSA, for never allowing Facebook to leave its screens?

Perhaps these people merely wanted a friend they didn't know until Facebook returned.

As Slate reported, the LAPD Communications Twitter account insisted: "For the record: No 1 called 911 about #Facebook. That was a statement in regards to the Q&A, we're doing & the questions we are answering ;)"

Sgt. Brink, however, tweeted, presumably also for the record: "Yes we got calls #facebookdown That is why I sent out my previous msg to prevent them. Unk number received on 911 or reg number TY #LASD."

My dear brethren of Los Angeles County, Facebook is neither oxygen, nor water. It's neither air, nor electricity.

It's just like your average LA party where no one knows anyone and everyone's showing off.

Who are these people? Sgt.Brink/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET