A social media prank is likely responsible for a rash of Siri-based 911 calls made over the weekend in the Canadian city of Regina, Saskatchewan, local police said on Tuesday.
On Sunday morning alone, regional emergency services received 114 hang-up calls to 911 in a span of just two hours, the CBC reported. In an official statement, police blamed a meme circulating on networks like Twitter and Facebook, asking people to say “9/11” to Siri, referring to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Siri is believed to have interpreted the messages as a command to dial 911, connecting iPhone owners with real operators who they then quickly hung up on, presumably out of panic.
The issue is being treated as serious, as local 911 services are required to call back on such hang-ups, preventing them from responding to real emergencies. In some instances an operator could have to call back several times to be sure there’s no actual crisis.
Although Apple has worked to improve Siri since it was integrated into iOS, it remains the subject of jokes about its occasional misinterpretations — or literal interpretations — of voice commands.