Facebook creates 'Safety Check' tool for disasters

Facebook creates 'Safety Check' tool for disasters
A Facebook log is displayed on the screen of an iPad, in this Wednesday, May 16, 2012 file photo taken in New York. Facebook Inc. is launching a tool that lets users notify friends and family that they are safe during or after natural disasters. The tool, called "Safety Check," will be available worldwide to the social network's 1.32 billion users on computers and mobile devices. This includes the basic "feature" phones many people still use to access Facebook, especially in developing countries. (AP Photo/James H. Collins)

(AP)—Facebook Inc. is launching a tool that lets users notify friends and family that they are safe during or after natural disasters.

The tool, called "Safety Check," will be available worldwide to the social network's 1.32 billion users on computers and mobile devices. This includes the basic "feature" phones many people still use to access Facebook, especially in developing countries.

People already use Facebook to tell people they are OK after earthquakes and other disasters but Facebook says the Safety Check tool will make it easier. It grew out of a disaster message board that Facebook engineers created in 2011 following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Once users activate the tool, it will determine their location using the city they have listed in their profile, the last location they've shared or the city where they are using the Internet. If they are in an area affected by a natural disaster, Safety Check will send them a notification asking if they're safe.

If they say yes, their Facebook friends will be notified. There's no option to say no. Users can also mark their friends as safe, but the friends have to approve it.


Explore further

Facebook lets users squirrel items away

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Facebook creates 'Safety Check' tool for disasters (2014, October 16) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-facebook-safety-tool-disasters.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more