Facebook has launched a “Safety Check” tool which allows users to quickly alert family and friends that they are safe.
Previously only available in Japan, if Facebook designates a particular geographical area as a crisis zone, it will activate this tool for users it believes are in the area. The service attempts to detect your location via Facebook’s “Nearby Friends” tool, the city listed in your profile, or where you’ve recently logged in. It then sends a push notification asking if you are safe, and if you respond “yes,” friends and family will be notified via their Facebook News Feeds.
The company did not partner with any outside organisations on the tool, so Safety Check cannot be relied on to let authorities know about the status of someone’s security and will not work if you lose internet access.
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