Amber Alert video

Viral comedy sketch about Amber Alerts gets Toronto talking

When Canada's national emergency alert system started pushing notifications to cellphones last year, citizens were quick to note that the tone they used was unsettling — scary, even.

That jarring, loud-as-heck air raid siren noise is exactly what one would expect to hear in the event of say, an impending hurricane, or a nuclear blast.

Fortunately, neither of these things have taken place in Ontario. Emergency sirens have nonetheless blasted out from phones across the province en masse this year at least half a dozen times thanks to Amber Alerts for missing kids.

While pretty much everyone can agree that Amber Alerts are important (they work) and that people who call 911 to complain about them are idiots (they are), plenty of people have criticized the phone alerts as a bit... intense.

YouTube star Mark Phillips just did so in the funniest way possible, and the people of Toronto are absolutely loving it:

Phillips' video, published to his own Instagram account on Thursday, was quickly reposted by the popular, Toronto-centric Instagram account 6ixBuzz TV (along with dozens of other accounts) where it has now been viewed more than half a million times.

"This is how mans should react to an Amber Alert" reads a text overlay on the 6ixBuzz version.

"FACTS!!!" reads the post's caption. "Do this and stop calling 9-1-1." 

Phillips, who hails from Texas, likely wasn't addressing any specific abduction case in his video, but Amber Alerts (and the reactions they inspire) are fresh on the minds of people in Ontario this week.

On Tuesday, an alert was issued across the province for five children who had allegedly been abducted by their father in the Niagara Region.

The children were found safe, but police were once again forced to ask that people not call them to complain about the sound or frequency of their phone notifications.

A 70 year-old Hamilton man was actually charged with mischief for calling 911 this time around, much to the delight of people on Twitter who love to hate those who complain about Amber Alerts.

The success of Phillips' video, not only in Ontario but across the viral web, suggests that a lot of North Americans feel the Amber Alert tone is pretty hardcore sounding... almost like it demands an unrealistic level of action from citizens.

Most would agree, however, that the appropriate reaction to an Amber Alert lies somewhere in the middle — somewhere between calling 911 to complain and going full on vigilante to find a missing child.

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