Why Facebook opened safety check after Paris attack?


After the horrific Paris terrorist attacks, which has left over 129 people dead, social media site Facebook activated its safety check feature for the Paris victims.

The safety check, which allows users to mark themselves and others as safe in the wake of tragedies, had previously been activated by Facebook only during natural disasters.

The tool has since then been used in times of natural disasters like earthquakes in Afghanistan, Chile and Nepal.

While Facebook’s decision received positive response from most users, others have raised questions on being racist, asking as to why the social media giant did not activate the tool when Beirut was attacked just a day before the Paris attack where 43 people lost their lives.

Critics accused Facebook for comparing values of the lives of western victims more than those in the Middle East and other regions, a charge disputed by some others who have said there were certain factors at play.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the criticism and said that Facebook would change its policy on activating the Safety Check tool during human disasters.

He said that People rightfully asked why we activated safety feature after Paris attack.

He added that till the Paris attack, safety feature was only for natural disaster.

Now, after the Nigerian attack, Facebook safety check was activated.

Mark Zukerberg also said, “We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well”.

Facebook launched a new profile picture tool, where people can add the French flag filter to their profile picture to show support for Paris and France after the Paris attack.