Facebook Safety Check
Facebook, as with many social media platforms can play an important part in the early stages of an emergency or major incident. Social media is often they first place the public turn to find out information following a major incident such as a terrorist attack. Unfortunately in the immediate aftermath of an incident, reliable information is often drowned out by rumour and speculation leaving the public unsure of circumstances, locations and causalities.
Facebook now allow their ‘Safety Check’ feature to be activated following such incidents and it is important VOST teams have an awareness of the system and process. It was first introduced in 2014 and was initially only activated during natural disasters however following the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 the feature has been expanded. Since then it has also been used following terror attacks in Nice, Berlin and Westminster.
Facebook state the feature is activated if “If enough people in an affected area post about an incident and an they receive an alert from one of Facebook’s third-party sources”. If you’re in the affected area, you can tell your friends that you’re safe and check to see if they’re safe, too. Those that check in will send a notification to friends confirming they have been marked as safe. Users in the area are also able to offer their help to anyone in need.
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