Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > TECH TALK -

In the af­ter­math of the Paris at­tacks, Face­book ac­ti­vated its Safety Check fea­ture, which hith­erto it had been us­ing dur­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. Users must ac­ti­vate the func­tion, which sends a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to any­one in the area of an earth­quake, tsunami, bomb­ing, or other nat­u­ral or hu­man dis­as­ter. Then they choose from two op­tions - ”I'm safe” or “I'm not in the area”- for friends and fam­ily to see. Those with friends liv­ing in an af­fected area will also re­ceive a no­ti­fi­ca­tion when they have marked them­selves as safe.

Soon the so­cial net­work­ing gi­ant found it­self de­fend­ing its de­ci­sion not to ac­ti­vate it a day ear­lier for the Beirut bomb­ings. “Many peo­ple have right­fully asked why we turned on Safety Check for Paris but not for bomb­ings in Beirut and other places,” Face­book chief Mark Zucker­berg re­sponded in a Face­book post. “Un­til [Fri­day], our pol­icy was only to ac­ti­vate Safety Check for nat­u­ral dis­as­ters,” Zucker­berg added. “We just changed this and now plan to ac­ti­vate Safety Check for more hu­man dis­as­ters go­ing for­ward as well.”

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