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An Anonymous Domino’s App Order Delivered a SWAT Team to a California Home

Plus, it’s not totally clear if the Impossible Burger is kosher, and more news to start your day

An smartphone with the Domino’s logo on its screen is held up with a restaurant in the background. Shutterstock

Gamers are now making Domino’s do their dirty work

Have yourself a feel-bad-Friday with this story: A SWAT team showed up to a home in Sherman Oaks, California, after an unknown person sent a message via the Domino’s delivery app, claiming that a hostage situation was in progress. Police arrested one person and interviewed others, only to find that there was no violent crime, and this was a version of the ol’ “swatting” harassment tactic, where people (often gamers) would phone in false reports of sometimes-violent crimes, prompting police to send SWAT teams to the homes of unsuspecting individuals.

Whereas earlier swatting attempts usually involved the perpetrator making a direct call to the police, it seems somehow more obnoxious to prompt an unwitting third party to call the cops, prompting them to respond with potentially deadly force. After all, how can you expect Domino’s staff to figure out if an anonymous order containing a “help me” message is real or a hoax, particularly given that their jobs are “making pizza” and not “investigating kidnappings”. (then again, Domino’s staff have been the heroes before in hostage situations, so it isn’t totally implausible.) In short, it’s like an even-worse inversion of that story about a woman calling 911 because her pizza took too long.

And in other news...

  • The Washington Post dug into questions about where fake meats like the Impossible Burger fit under religious dietary restrictions. The short answer is that they are generally halal and kosher, but the long answer is that it’s kind of complicated. [WaPo]
  • The dairy industry is out here saying that non-milk-milks like soy and almond milk cause nutritional deficiencies in kids, but some doctors disagree. [New Food Economy]
  • Investigators have cleared Housing Secretary and former presidential candidate Ben Carson of misconduct after he ordered (then cancelled) a fancy-pants $31,000 dining room set for his Washington office. [NYT]
  • Chipotle will cash out $6.5 million after settling a lawsuit that found it falsely advertised that it did not use genetically-modified foods in its restaurants. [Law360]
  • Former Mets player Lenny Dykstra is going to fight “angry Bagel Boss guy” Chris Morgan later this month, but the two got in a scuffle weeks before the official event. [NYPost]
  • Chick-fil-A says it has succeeded in eliminating all antibiotics from its supply chain. [Restaurant Business Online]
  • Don’t expect KFC to dip its toes into healthy menu items soon: the chain revealed that an attempt to offer lower-calorie options like grilled chicken were a total failure. [The Times]
  • “Famous robot” Sophia is praising Starbucks for eliminating the pay gap between men and women at its stores, raising the question: How much does Sophia get paid in comparison to the male-coded androids? [Yahoo]
  • This Friday, treat yourself to a conveyor belt loaded with cheese (only available in London). [Instagram]