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#TBT: The Y2K panic

How did people prepare for the big Y2K tech scare 20 years ago?

The real threat never materialized

January 1st, 2000 was supposed to see the modern world collapse like one long string of broken code. This was supposedly the mad scientist story for the Information Age: a fateful reckoning with the technology we had ourselves created. Panicked reports of the bug had begun as far back as 1996, and the year after that the British Standards Institute developed its “Year 2000 Conformity Requirements.” Governments around the world set up task forces to deal with the specter of Y2K collapse, and in 1998 Bill Clinton did a press conference on the issue.

Big concerns

People worried about missing work when their digital alarm clocks malfunctioned. On the other end they worried over atomic power plants shutting down, planes crashing, and the triggering of an unintended nuclear war. Traffic lights were supposedly going to cause pile ups and cash machines would stop working. The American Red Cross didn’t help by issuing warnings and advice telling people to withdraw and keep cash in a safe place, fill their gas tanks, have alternative cooking methods planned and extra warm clothes in abundance. From drug production and delivery to pharmacies and their electronic point of service systems, to any potential points of failure in the drug supply chain. Another big concern was that prisoners would be released early or that criminals would somehow use the glitch to get away with more crime. The FBI put out a warning, telling criminals there was no chance they would “‘slip through the cracks.”

Hype died down

As the new millennium neared conspiracy pushing shock jocks like Alex Jones declared this the end of civilized order over internet radio. Large lines began forming at cash machines all over the world. Of course, the real threat never materialized. The year 2000 came in peaceably and free of apocalypse.

Brut.

12/26/2019 10:33 PMupdated: 12/27/2019 11:00 PM
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111 comments

  • Ashley C.
    01/08/2020 00:50

    And not a fuxking thing happened!!! Such chaos for no reason

  • Katherine R.
    01/03/2020 05:51

    what you were telling me about 😂😂

  • Ana L.
    01/03/2020 02:57

    Pork and beans 😭😩😩😩💀e Zamudio

  • Alexis S.
    01/02/2020 21:00

    I was too little to remember this but were people really this scared? 💀😂

  • Ruperto O.
    01/02/2020 17:55

    Janet Nacho y’all remember this 😂

  • Donald L.
    01/01/2020 15:38

    Another hoax

  • Edgar C.
    01/01/2020 04:24

    I think those are the very same people that voted for Trump

  • Ben J.
    01/01/2020 04:17

    Boy this aged like milk 😂.

  • Keith B.
    01/01/2020 04:12

    I was living the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE..

  • Cody F.
    01/01/2020 04:09

    Ahh, back when our problems in society were simpler.

  • HunterPatrick T.
    01/01/2020 04:03

    What if the virus hasn’t completely gotten done downloading and this year it finally becomes active

  • Natalie C.
    01/01/2020 03:48

    all these people getting ready to meet my alter ego. Classic

  • Canchito P.
    01/01/2020 03:39

    Happy new years

  • Ridwan W.
    01/01/2020 03:38

    Dumb asses😂😂😂

  • Neal S.
    01/01/2020 03:26

    People were so stupid-

  • Keith A.
    01/01/2020 03:16

    I wish I could have been my age now and established because I would have found a way to profit off of them.

  • Timothy J.
    01/01/2020 02:43

    Yeah the F’n sky is falling What a bunch of idiots That fat F’er with the round glasses is F’d in the head bad

  • Michael C.
    01/01/2020 02:41

    y2k was as real as global warming

  • Lauren G.
    01/01/2020 02:32

    😭

  • Gerald J.
    01/01/2020 02:29

    Trustin on the most high realize hes in control.