Through Facebook’s Safety Check, users can quickly send an all-clear signal to their friends during a crisis. In future, the check will be anchored firmly in the system, but the help of the feature is still limited.
In 2014, Facebook introduced the “Safety Check” feature to help people in crisis situations communicate. For example, in natural catastrophes or terrorist attacks, users can inform their relatives and friends that they are safe with a single click. So far, Facebook has enabled the corresponding function only for individual regions. Now the company has announced to make the feature a solid part of the smartphone apps for iOS and Android, as well as for the browser version.
The best tool for dangerous situations?
Facebook users will soon find the security check feature below the favorites; in the next few weeks, this function will reach all users. How does the function work? With the tool, Facebook checks the location of the user. If he or she is in a hazardous, or affected area, the Safety-Check asks if the user is safe. In response, the user has the choice between “I am safe” or “I am outside the danger zone.” So users currently do not have the option to tell that they are doing well but need help. The safety check is currently only intended to send a warning.
A comment on the location?
If Facebook has been informed by a global crisis reporting agency about any potential danger or if many users in the affected region post something about the incident, only then they trigger the safety check feature. Whether the new permanent function allow users to activate the security check itself is still unclear. At a conference in Rome in mid-2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg already announced that such user-triggered safety check is expected to arrive soon. If it is true, then users and local authorities have the opportunity to use this function at any time and at their own discretion. With the firm involvement of the Safety Check, Facebook appears to be responding to the current wave of terrorist attacks, conflicts, and natural catastrophes.