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Swatting

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  • Swatting is a word that has taken on a new meaning in the twenty-first century. We will examine the definition of swatting, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

     

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    Swatting is the practice of making a call to emergency services in order to report a fictitious emergency situation that results in the dispatch of police officers to a particular address. Swatting is extremely dangerous as it diverts resources that may be needed in a real emergency situation, and causes officers to take actions based on false assumptions. Innocent people have died because of swatting. People engage in swatting as a very dangerous prank or as a way to exact revenge on someone. The term swatting is derived from a particular type of law enforcement unit in the United States known as SWAT, an acronym of Special Weapons and Tactics unit. An acronym is a word that is an abbreviation formed from the first letters of the words in a phrase. The term swatting was first used by the FBI in 2008, and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015.

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    Examples

    A Los Angeles man accused of making a hoax phone call that caused a fatal police shooting in Kansas is now wanted in Canada for a similar alleged “swatting” call made a week before. (The Los Angeles Times)

    Demanding answers to Wichita’s most wrenching police shooting in years, residents berated City Hall and its police department on Tuesday over a “swatting” hoax that left an innocent man dead. (The Wichita Eagle)

    Unbeknownst to Hercules and Pinole police as they drew their rifles on a confused and scared family, the call was made up, a textbook example of the troubling trend of “swatting,” where someone calls 911 to report a dire situation occurring at another address, ostensibly to exact revenge on someone, or simply to prank unsuspecting citizens or celebrities. (The Mercury News)

     

     

     

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