Technology with attitude

Facebook Enables “Safety Check” Tool for Victims of Paris Terror Attack


It was game night: the host nation France playing against 2014 World Cup Winners Germany in a soccer match and a bunch of other tourists enjoying their time in the French capital, when horror struck in an extraordinary manner.

Terrorists came out storming with AK-47s, with some of them wearing bombs and attacked up to six different locations inside and just outside the capital, including the stadium where the soccer match was being played.

According to CNN, at least 153 people have died from this terror attack, and it is still to be determined who masterminded it.

As an off-shoot of this tragic happening, Facebook has moved in swiftly to try and offer some help and a way for users who were in Paris to offer their condolences as well as confirm their safety. Using a tool known as Safety Check, users of this globe-popular social networking platform can notify their loved ones about their situation.

The feature started working on the same Friday that the attack happened and for those who were in the affected area, they could easily check in to the tool. This feature is not new as Facebook unveiled it back in 2014 and it has already been put to use on at least five occasions. However, the Paris terror attack will mark the first time the tool is being used on non-natural disaster matters.

“We are shocked and very saddened with the Paris events”, Facebook said in a post. “Communication is crucial in such moments, both for people on the ground and those anxious for news”.

“People turn to Facebook when they want to check on their loved ones and get the latest updates and it is why we have come up with the Safety Check tool and we have enabled it today for people in the French capital”, Facebook continued.

According to the company’s spokeswoman, there are currently no exact figures of the people who are safe available via Safety Check thanks to the fact that the tool has just been activated. During its release, Facebook said that the tool will be helpful when it comes to letting others know you are safe, check on other people in the area as well as mark friends as safe.

Facebook finds out where someone is located by checking out the city the user has listed in their profile, last location and the city from where you are accessing the internet.