STATES CHRONICLE – The world is praying for Paris in the aftermath of several violent attacks that left at least 120 people dead in the famous City of Lights. As response to the tragic events, Facebook activates Safety Check feature for Paris attacks.
Friday night brought again the shadow of terrorism not just over France, but over the entire Europe and beyond as French president Francois Hollande closed the nation’s borders and declared a national state of emergency in light of the events.
While official lists revealing the identities of the victims have yet to be released, Parisians are trying to find their friends, family and acquaintances by turning to social media. One of the easiest ways to do that has been provided by Facebook through its “Safety Check” feature, which has been activated the third time this year.
Safety Check has also been used during the Chile and Nepal earthquakes, helping people connect with those who could’ve been affected by the calamities. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the tool launched in 2014 had used 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan as inspiration for the system.
While people usually complain about the effect of social media – and technology in general – over our behaviors, recent times of distress have proved that it can also be a useful tool. During many of the crises and disasters that have hit the world over the last few years, Internet has been the one tool that people kept turning to for help.
Seeing that Facebook is rather a bit part of the Internet – boasting 1.19 billion users – its Safety Check feature has a broad reach, helping people connect with friends and family in one place by simply checking the “I’m safe” option. For Friday night’s event, all users who had set “Paris, France” as their current location were asked by Facebook if they’re in the affected area, and if they were safe.
If they marked themselves as “safe,” Facebook sent out a notification to all of their Facebook friends. If you have friends or family in Paris and you haven’t received yet a notification, head to the Safety Check page on Facebook to see whether they’ve been marked safe or not.
Solidarity was expressed by many influential people – including US President Barack Obama – and Zuckerberg also posted on Facebook that his “thoughts are with everyone in Paris tonight. Violence like this has no place in any city or country in the world.”
Image Source: Mic