Facebook to widen the use of its Safety Check tool after Paris attacks, as they faced the brunt of online activists for not using the tool in earlier attacks.
Facebook’s new Safety Check feature has been facing immense criticism online for what many deem as unfair on the part of the networking giant in lieu of the recent horrific attacks in Paris.
The feature was essentially introduced in an event of a natural disaster to let users know that their friends are safe. However, it was activated for the first time in case of a terror attack that took place in Paris on Friday.
Initially, Facebook garnered quite a lot of praise for acting fast, though a few minutes later Facebook faced immense backlash from online activists asking the company why wasn’t the feature activated after the suicide bombings in Beirut killed more than 40 people, or where was Safety Check feature after an attack at Garissa University College in Kenya killed 147 people. Facebook is facing the brunt of online activists obviously makes one question such disparity on the part of the social networking giant.
Facebook founder and CEO inevitably had to respond to such criticism and agreed to the fact that the Safety Check feature from now on will take into account a wider range of human disasters.
“You are right that there are many other important conflicts in the world,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Facebook. “We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can.”
Hence from now on, given Zuckerberg’s promise Facebook will have to take into account a broader range of human casualties with its Safety Check feature. The networking giant will now have to keep track of any disastrous events around the world, irrespective of the media hype or even if the company has not got a substantially larger user base in the affected area as compared to other parts of the globe.
To recall, Facebook introduced the Safety Check feature back in 2011 in response to the massive Tsunami quake that shook Japan. Later the feature was deployed for earthquakes in Nepal, Chile and Afghanistan. Facebook says it goes through the criteria to decide whether or not to use the feature that primarily depends on the ‘scope, scale and impact’ of the disaster.