Facebook to launch “safety check” feature, helpful during natural disaster or emergency

Social media giant Facebook will soon unveil a “safety check” feature which will let users inform their family, relatives, colleagues and friends that they are safe shortly after a natural disaster (hurricane, cyclone, earthquake, typhoons and among others) or an emergency has just materialized. This tool will soon cater to the mammoth social media site’s 1.32 billion users.

Facebook has been developing the tool after a powerful and deadly earthquake and tsunami pummeled Japan in 2011.

Facebook stated in a blog post last Wednesday that they wanted to provide a useful tool that people can employ when natural disasters surfaces out, so they come up with a user-friendly in notifying their contacts that they are safe.

The post also said that people sought Facebook during the Japan crisis and added that they witnessed how people employed technology and the social media to get connected with their beloved ones,

Facebook software engineers subsequently created the Disaster Message Board to pave the way for seamless and fast communications for those who are affected by the natural disaster. This undertaking later evolved into Safety Check.

The Safety Check feature will be accessible worldwide on different platforms such as pc desktop, iOS, Android, and among other phones. Subscribers in a certain region that has been affected by a disaster will be given a notification inquiring, “Are you OK?”

Users may reply with “I’m safe” and their friends will then receive notifications on their news feed.

However, there is no option on replying with a “No” for an answer and users cannot be able to say if they have survived the disaster but they needed rescue or any form of help.

Facebook will confirm the locations of the affected users by looking at their profile. Facebook will also utilize smartphone locations to determine if a user has been affected by a disaster.

Facebook stated: “Unfortunately, these kinds of disasters happen all too frequently. Each time, we see people, relief organizations and first responders turn to Facebook in the aftermath of a major natural disaster.”



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