Facebook Safety Check is a very noble feature by the social networking giant. During a disaster, people become separated in a way and it is of critical importance to find the people to care about. The beauty of social media is that it is able to connect people easily and this is what Facebook was aiming to do.
When they activate Safety Check, you can be able to mark yourself as “safe” so as to inform people you are okay to those that know you. Alternatively you could look for your friends and mark them as “safe” if you know they are okay. A Facebook Safety Check was issued for Paris after the unfortunate terrorist attack in the city and these caused a row in that it seemed the company was favouring them and there were other cities that experienced calamities like Beirut.
This prompted Mark Zuckerberg to respond where he said that “Until yesterday, Safety Check was only activated for natural disasters. We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well.” From the Facebook Safety page, they gave a reason for deciding to use Safety Check for Paris where they said that they “observed a lot of activity on Facebook as the events were unfolding”. Apparently in some launches, there were people who used the tool for spamming services which led to the notification system for Safety Check to be overwhelmed. They have assured that it will be activated for “other serious and tragic incidents in the future” which is a good thing.
Although Facebook Safety Check is a “work in progress” as they say, it is an invaluable tool for connecting people in times of a natural or man made disaster. It is high time other social networks come up with such tools in times of humanitarian crisis.