Facebook activates Safety Check for Paris Terror Attacks
As people turn to social media to check on loved ones and get updates for the recent terror attacks on Paris, Facebook immediately activates its Safety Check tool.
Started by Japanese Facebook engineers as a disaster message board in 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it has evolved now to a useful tool that provides Facebook users an avenue to inform others that they are safe in disaster affected areas. It also enables users to check on their network of friends who are in those areas. Facebook determines who are in the crisis areas by looking at the city users have listed in their profiles and the last location if users have checked-in to places in the city.
People whose profiles listed the affected cities as their location will receive notification asking them if they are safe. If the location is wrong users can check the “I am not in the area” tab.
If a user in the affected area is safe, he can select “I’m Safe” and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with the user’s update stating that he has been “marked” as safe. Facebook friends could also mark a user in the affected area as safe.
Any user however, could mark himself as safe even if he is not in the affected area and any user who listed the affected area as his location even if he’s not there would also get a notification from Facebook.