Facebook Updates Safety Check Feature

By Tracey Dowdy

Facebook has made an important change to its Safety Check feature.

If you’re not familiar with the feature, Safety Check sends a message to Facebook users within a geographic area of immediate danger such as natural disaster, terrorist attack or a mass shooting. Users can then notify friends and family that they are safe and sound.

Initially, Facebook manually controlled Safety Check and determined whether an event was alert-worthy. In response, they would send a message to users in the affected area based on the city listed in your profile, your last location listed if you had activated Nearby Friends, and the city where you are currently using the Internet. Users who were safe selected “I’m safe” and an automatically generated notification would be posted to your Timeline.

Since its introduction in late 2014, Facebook had activated Safety Check 39 times. However, they faced criticism for failing to activate the tool in certain areas of the world. For example, it was activated for the Paris attacks in November of 2015, but not for bombings in Beirut the day before.

In response to the criticism, Facebook handed control over to the Facebook community. Instead of Facebook staff far removed from an event determining whether an alert should be sent, users themselves can activate Safety Check. The Orlando Nightclub shooting back in June was one of the first times it was activated by users instead of Facebook staff.

Now, Facebook algorithms search for keywords like “tsunami”, “shooting”, or “fire” in real-time and then fact-check the veracity of the posts through a third-party security firm. If the information is verified, Safety Check is activated.

Allowing the community to control activation is seen as a smart move. Peter Cottle, lead engineer on crisis response for Facebook, explained their motivation for the change. “A typhoon in the Philippines might have six inches of water in your house, and in California, that’d be a big deal. But in the Philippines, we did research there, and people said this wasn’t a big deal.”

“We can tell how many people are spreading this and marking themselves safe, and how quickly it’s growing,” Cottle said. “There’s a real strong measure of urgency based on the rapidness of the people who are using the tool.”

As follow up, Facebook is in beta stages of a Community Help page users can look to after checking in as safe. It will be a forum for those looking for or offering support in the form of supplies, medical aid or counseling services and was born from the #PorteOuverte (Open Door) hashtag after the Paris attacks.

For more information about Safety check, follow this link.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

 

Comments:

  1. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your website.
    It appears as if some of the text within your content are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Cheers

  2. excellent put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t understand this.
    You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  3. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but
    after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  4. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was
    hoping maybe you would have some experience with something
    like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  5. Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it!

    Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice article.

  6. Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too.
    Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys
    to our blogroll.

  7. Hello, its good piece of writing concerning media print, we all understand
    media is a fantastic source of data.

  8. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites
    I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always interesting to read through content from other writers and
    use something from their websites.

  9. Magnificent items from you, man. I’ve take note your stuff prior to and you are simply too magnificent.
    I actually like what you have bought right here,
    certainly like what you are stating and the best way wherein you say it.
    You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it
    sensible. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is
    actually a terrific website.

  10. I got this website from my buddy who told me concerning this web site and now this time
    I am visiting this site and reading very informative articles or reviews at
    this place.

  11. I am really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you
    ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great
    in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  12. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and
    I was curious about your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we
    are looking to swap methods with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  13. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring
    on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you
    share some stories/information. I know my audience would appreciate your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  14. Attractive element of content. I simply stumbled
    upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact loved account your weblog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I success you get
    admission to consistently quickly.

  15. That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate info… Many thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read article!

  16. Hi, this weekend is pleasant for me, as this point in time i am reading this
    wonderful informative article here at my home.

  17. Post writing is also a excitement, if you know then you can write or else it is difficult to write.

  18. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of
    your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  19. I am sure this post has touched all the internet viewers, its really really nice post on building up new web site.

  20. excellent post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of
    this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing.
    I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.