Some pranks are fun, others not so much.

We have all played pranks on people at some point. Whether it's ding-dong-ditching our neighbors or prank phone calls. Most of the time, these pranks are harmless. But one longstanding prank is only getting worse with social media and technology and lawmakers are cracking down on it.

KCCI reports that the Iowa Senate unanimously passed a bill that would have serious consequences (as in a felony and a decade of jail time) for people who try swatting.

The Trend Is Back, With More Tech


Swatting is the stupid (it can and has been deadly) idea to stage a fake dangerous situation and get law enforcement and the SWAT team on the scene. Prankers will tell dispatchers that there's a huge imminent threat, like a mass shooting, a bomb threat, or a hostage situation and responders have no way of knowing if it's a hoax or not.

For obvious reasons, this is a terrible idea. For one, it's very possible to be killed accidentally. It's also wasting valuable time and resources and just being incredibly disrespectful to first responders. Those incidents aren't funny things to lie about.

Swatting has been around for years, but with posting anything on social media for views and AI disguising callers' voices, there's been a huge uptick in it recently.

What Iowa Wants To Do About It

Right now, swatting in Iowa is considered a misdemeanor. The bill would make it a Class D felony, which carries 5 years in jail. If the swatting call results in someone getting hurt, the perpetrator will get a Class C felony, which is 10 years in jail.

The bill is headed to Governor Reynolds' desk to be signed into law.

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