On Friday, November 13, the world was stunned by terrorist attacks that took place in Paris. While social media users took it to Twitter to offer shelter to the victims, Facebook activated a new Safety Check tool to mark themselves as safe . It allowed people in Paris to tell their family and friends that they were safe. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
While the Safety Check tool was used by a lot of users, there are a handful of those who have been criticizing the Facebook for not activating it during the recent attacks. One example is the twin suicide bombing that took place in Beirut and killing over 40 people. According to the critics, Facebook is being biased towards western people, valuing their life more than those in other regions. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook was quick enough to respond to those allegations. In a post, Facebook VP of Growth, Alex Schultz wrote, there has to be a first time for trying something new, even in complex and sensitive times, and for us that was Paris. He pointed out that the Safety Check tool was designed to use in case of a natural disaster and this is the first time they used it for anything other than that.
“Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones,” Schultz added. After discussing with Facebook employees, the company thought it was a good idea to activate the tool. He also noted that in places where violence is more common, the team may not have enabled the feature.
After setting an example on how to use the Safety Check tool for violent events, such as terrorist attacks, the social media giant will determine when and where to use this feature in future.