MENLO PARK (KPIX 5) – Facebook users frustrated with the social media giant have voiced their disputes to emergency dispatchers in Menlo Park, where the company is headquartered.
Police said this all started about five years ago, when the company moved its headquarters from Palo Alto. Since then, dispatchers said people from all over the world are treating the city’s police department like it’s some kind of Facebook police.
In one 911 call, a person who said someone was impersonating him on Facebook was asking how to get in touch with the social media company.
Another caller, who said his business was hacked was looking for the legal department and wanted to talk to CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly. He claimed he was also in front of company headquarters, near the sign with the company’s trademark thumbs up logo.
“People just naturally think that calling the police department we are part of Facebook, we’re Facebook Police, which we are not. We’re Menlo Park Police Department,” police spokesperson Nicole Acker told KPIX 5.
Emergency dispatchers are getting calls from Facebook users around the world about five to 10 times each week.
Every time, dispatchers still try to help.
“We try to deal with it and give them some direction. We give them instructions. We may log into Facebook and we may walk them through the process of reporting the issue.” said dispatcher Charleen Manning.
The big question is whether these 911 calls about Facebook could keep dispatchers from handling a real emergency call.
“You just take the highest priority one and the other people have to go on hold, and so forth, so it’s not a real huge issue for them,” Manning said.
The most common calls are about accounts being hacked, passwords not working, scams or phony giveaways, and occasionally worry about someone hurting themselves after posting something concerning on Facebook.
“We’ll try to track down that person and make sure they’re ok,” Manning said.
Dispatchers told KPIX 5 said the most interesting calls come in overnight, when calls to the department’s main line roll over directly to the dispatch center.