With so much going on in the world today, Facebook have announced updates to their Safety Check feature.
What is Safety Check?
Safety Check is a feature within Facebook that allows users to connect with friends and family during a time of crisis. Considering the numerous terrorist attacks that have happened recently, should you be within the affected area you can tell your friends that you’re safe. You can also check to see if your friends are safe too.
Safety Check is activated once enough people within an affected area post about the incident. You’ll then be prompted to let your friends know that you are out of harms way, you’ll also be able to see who else has marked themselves as safe.
Facebook has recently announced updates to this critical feature, a move of social responsibility in a tumultuous and unpredictable period we are currently experiencing, most recently with the terror attack in Brussels on Tuesday.
As part of their ongoing commitment to building a safe community, Facebook announced several updates.
Introducing Fundraisers in Safety Check
Having the option to start a fundraiser following a crisis will initially be rolled out to users across the US. They’ll be able to create or donate to a fundraiser for charitable and personal causes to help those in need. This allows people outside of the affected area to offer much needed help.
Expanding Community Help
Community Help is a feature within Safety Check that helps people find and give help including food, shelter and transportation following a crisis. It was released earlier this year on iOS and Android and now Facebook plan to make it available on desktop, giving people another way of accessing the tool. Community Help will be available within all affected areas once Safety Check is activated.
Adding More Context with a Personal Note
After letting friends and family know you are safe during a crisis, you will now be able to give more details about the situation to help reassure them. People can now add a personal note to tell their friends more about what is happening all from within the Safety Check tool. This note will appear within the News Feed story which is automatically generated when you mark yourself as safe.
Introducing Crisis Descriptions
When you receive a Safety Check notification there may be limited information about the crisis within the news etc. To help provide additional context on crises and to ensure people have the information they need, Facebook has started to add descriptions about the crisis from their trusted third party global crisis reporting agency, NC4.
To put all of that into context, Safety Check has been activated more than 600 times in 2 years and notified friends and family that their loved ones are safe over a billion times.
These Facebook updates are shaping the way people react to crises and together building a stronger community to overcome adversity. Well done Facebook.