A woman in Indiana called 911 because she felt Facebook was too slow in removing a "nude self-portrait photograph" from its site. People. This is not what 911 is for. Let's review.

The woman in question, Angelica Nicholson, had sent her nudie pics to "a male acquaintance." This male acquaintance had—as so many of them do!—a girlfriend, who promptly posted Ms. Nicholson's naughty photo to her Facebook account. This was, naturally, distressing to Ms. Nicholson, who thought that if she called 911 and told the dispatcher she was 17 it might hasten the photograph's removal. It did not—Ms. Nicholson is 18—and instead, Ms. Nicholson was promptly arrested.

Which brings us to the "teachable moment." (The one besides "do not send nude photos to anyone, ever, ever, seriously.") There are appropriate uses for the 911 emergency hotline, and inappropriate uses. Follow this guide:

Appropriate Uses for 911

  • Something is on fire! Almost anything, really. Your house, say. Or a person! But not a cigarette, or a piece of wood in a fireplace.
  • You can't breathe! Maybe because you swallowed something weird, or you have a disease? But not because you are choking yourself for sexual satisfaction, unless it went wrong somehow.
  • There is a robber in your house! Or a violent criminal, doing violent criminal-type things! Note that it has to be an actual crime, that's against the law, and not something that bothers you or that you think should be against the law, even if it's really annoying.

Inappropriate Uses for 911

[Gary Post-Tribune]