Facebook powers 1.2 bn daily users to launch 'Safety Check'

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​New York, Nov 18 (IANS) Giving more power to its 1.2 billion daily users, Facebook will now allow them to automatically launch its crisis response tool "Safety Check" in case of an earthquake, terror attack, tsunami and so on.

Facebook has been criticised for being selective when it comes to launching "Safety Check" tool during a crisis.

"Safety Check will be turned on by our community instead of Facebook's Social Good Forum. When a lot of people post about an incident from the affected area, they may be asked if they're safe. Once marked safe, a person can then invite friends to do the same," Naomi Gleit, Vice President, Social Good Forum, said in a post on Thursday.

According to CNET website, Facebook will roll out a Community Help page by January 2017 that "users can access after checking in as safe. There, users can post if they need shelter, food or supplies, or if they can provide any of those resources".

In the areas of immediate danger, Safety Check allows people to notify their family and friends that they are safe.

This feature of Facebook was launched in 2014 and has been used during natural calamities and terrorist attacks across world

"When Facebook had control of Safety Check, it had a high standard of what counted as a disaster. A typhoon in the Philippines might have six inches of water in your house, and in California, that'd be a big deal. But in the Philippines, we did research there, and people said this wasn't a big deal," cnet.com quoted Peter Cottle, Facebook's lead engineer on crisis response, as saying.

"In the past two years, Facebook turned on Safety Check 39 times. Compare that to 335 dangerous events flagged by its community-based Safety Check tool since the company began testing it in June. One of the first instances of a community-generated Safety Check was the Orlando nightclub shooting in June," the report said.

Facebook considers an event as not being an emergency if the users ignore the Safety Check, which then fades itself.

"We can tell how many people are spreading this and marking themselves safe and how quickly it's growing. There's a real strong measure of urgency based on the rapidness of the people who are using the tool," Cotte said.

In November 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had responded with a facebook post saying, "We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can."

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