Facebook Launches “Safety Check”

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As technology has become increasingly integrated into our daily lives, interpersonal communication has become instant. Within seconds we can send a message to a friend whether it be via telephone, social media or text message. Taking this into account, it is no wonder families and friends expect to hear from loved ones immediately in the case of an emergency. Back in the day families couldn’t expect any level of this quick paced communication and may have to wait days or weeks to find out if their loved ones are okay. Facebook wants to provide a solution for the worrisome in the case of disaster.

This app was inspired by the devastation of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. This affected 12.5 people across the country, the world saw how people used social media to connect with loved ones. Facebook wanted to make this experience as easy as possible.

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Facebook uses the location services feature of your phone to determine your location by looking at your listed residing city and the last locations you have used the Internet. Using this GPS, your Facebook app send you a notification asking if you are safe after a natural disaster. The app also offers for you to opt out if they get your location wrong and you are outside of the affected area.

If you respond that you are safe, a post will show on your profile to only your Facebook friends. If there is a disaster that affects friends of yours, Facebook will send you a notification as the friends mark themselves as safe. This will be rolled out globally for desktops, iPhones and Android phones.

Gleit, Naomi. http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/10/introducing-safety-check/

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