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Facebook to widen use of Safety Check tool beyond Paris attacks

John Ribeiro | Nov. 16, 2015
The social networking site was criticized for not using the tool in earlier attacks in Beirut and other locations.

The company decided to use the tool in a terror attack for the first time in Paris after it was observed that "Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones," according to Schultz.

The company after talking to its employees on the ground, found that there was still a need the tool could fill, and decided to activate Safety Check for the first time for an emergency other than a natural disaster. Schultz said the activation would change the company's policy on when it activates the tool for other serious and tragic incidents in the future. "We want this tool to be available whenever and wherever it can help," he said.

He cautioned, however, that the tool was not useful in its current form for ongoing crisis such as wars and epidemics, because "there isn't a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it's impossible to know when someone is truly 'safe.'"

The Facebook Safety Check for the Paris crisis has meanwhile been turned off.

 

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