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Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response based on the false report of an ongoing critical incident. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a specialized type of police unit in the United States carrying equipment such as door breaching equipment and powerful firearms.
Swatting has been associated with online harassment campaigns, and episodes range from large to small — from the deployment of bomb squads, SWAT units and other police units and the concurrent evacuations of schools and businesses, to a single fabricated police report meant to discredit an individual as a prank or personal vendetta.