The Facebook Safety Check has been turned over to the users, which means they would have the discretion to say what is an emergency or not.
According to the news report from CNET, Facebook was oftentimes hit-and-miss in turning on the Facebook Safety Check during emergency situations. For instance, during the Paris terror attacks in November last year, it managed to activate the feature, but then missed during the Beirut bombing.
Back then, Mark Zuckerberg had to explain why it activated the check in Paris but not in other places.
"Our policy was only to activate Safety Check for natural disasters. We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well," he wrote in a post.
"We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can," he added.
Based on monitoring for the past couple of years, the Facebook Safety Check was activated 39 times, but then again there were 335 significant events that were reported by the social media's community on testing tool by Facebook.
The Facebook Safety Check has three major features:
- If it looks like you may be near a major crisis, we'll ask if you're safe.
- If you're OK, click or tap the "I'm Safe" button to let friends and loved ones know right away.
- We'll let you know when friends say they're safe. You can also check a list of friends who may be affected by the disaster.