In the wake of Friday’s terror attack in Paris, Facebook has launched a new tool to help users’ alert friends about their safety and remain connected during both natural and human disasters.
The feature called “Safety Check” has been designed to let Facebook users know their loved ones have checked in as safe during disasters or crises, with a large number of users reporting they had benefited from it.
The button works by using various location tools such as the home city you have listed and the place you are using the internet.
If you are near a place where there has been a disaster, you will be sent a Facebook notification asking if you’re safe.
If you are, you can select the option and your news feed will be updated. Your friends can also make you as safe.
Similarly, if you have friends in the area, you will get a notification if they mark themselves as safe.
The move drew widespread criticism online that Facebook had not activated the Safety Check tool in other locations recently hit in terror attacks, the suicide bombings in Beirut, or the Garissa University attack in Kenya that left 147 people dead.
In the wake of the controversy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg assured its users that the tool would be turned on more frequently in the future during human disasters.
Via a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg said: “Many people have rightfully asked why we turned on Safety Check for Paris but not for bombings in Beirut and other places.
“Until yesterday, 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.”