A New York City hotline for citizens to report coronavirus lockdown violators has instead been flooded with prank calls, including people posting “dick pics,” waiving their middle fingers, and sending memes comparing Mayor Bill de Blasio to Hitler.
De Blasio recently announced the creation of a 3-1-1 hotline for reporting violations of orders in place to keep people at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. NYPD sources told the New York Post that since the launch of the hotline they had received a flood of prank complaints, including texted photos of real penises, as well as phone tip which reported Mayor de Blasio performing oral sex on someone “in an alleyway behind a 7-11” on Sunday.
Twitter users have posted pictures of some of the texts they’ve sent to the hotline, along with calls for others to continue to flood the hotline.
Start flooding their reporting text number with these pics! pic.twitter.com/Sek203VVba
— Morgan L Schmidt (@MorganLSchmidt1) April 18, 2020
In his original video announcement for the hotline, de Blasio called on New Yorkers to take photos of lockdown order violators and to send them to the hotline.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 18, 2020
“Now it is easier than ever. When you see a crowd, when you see a line that is not distanced, when you see a supermarket that’s too crowded – anything – you can report it right away so we can get there to fix the problem,” he said. “And now its as simple as taking a photo. All you’ve got to do is take the photo and put the location with it and bang, send a photo like this and we will make sure that enforcement comes right away.”
A Twitter user later tracked a Hitler-style mustache onto de Blasio’s face in a doctored version of the same video.
Ladies and gentlemen……Your very own Furor of New York pic.twitter.com/PMdzOzeUft
— Sol 🎬 (@Solmemes1) April 18, 2020
Other responses to de Blasio’s video message included a user texting into the hotline, “EAT A BAG OF DICKS.”
— Lizzy Lou Who 🇺🇸 (@_wintergirl93) April 18, 2020
The flood of prank complaints reportedly became so bad on Sunday that the city had to temporarily shut down the hotline to clear out a backlog of false complaints.
“The city has begun vetting everything before dispersing the information to precincts,” an NYPD source told the New York Post.
There has been a growing number of protests throughout the U.S. in response to various state and local level lockdown orders. Last week in Michigan, protesters formed a traffic jam around the state capitol building in Lansing in protest of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown orders.
Protests similarly formed in Kentucky in response to Gov. Andy Beshear’s lockdown orders.