Facebook activates ‘Safety Check’ after Nigeria attack


Facebook activated its “Safety Check” feature in Nigeria after more than 30 people were killed and dozens wounded in a blast at a market in the northeastern city of Yola.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the social network, made the announcement in a post on his account early Wednesday.

“We’ve activated Safety Check again after the bombing in Nigeria this evening,” Zuckerberg said after Tuesday’s attack.

Facebook’s decision to implement the feature – which allows users to “check-in” and let family and friends know they’re safe – comes after the network received a heavy backlash for activating it for the attacks in Paris on Friday – but not after bomb blasts hit the Lebanese capital, Beirut, a day earlier.

Critics accused the San Francisco-based website of valuing the lives of Western victims more than those in other regions – a charge denied by Facebook.

“After the Paris attacks last week, we made the decision to use Safety Check for more tragic events like this going forward. We’re now working quickly to develop criteria for the new policy and determine when and how this service can be most useful,” Zuckerberg said.

Social media users were quick to demand Facebook activate the feature following the bombing in Nigeria.

A #bombing  happened today in #Nigeria  . Where is the #Facebook “marked safe” feature for that? #PrayForTheWorld  @facebook #SafetyCheck

— Ava Vanderstarren (@AVAnderstarren) November 18, 2015
The activation of the safety feature after the deadly Nigeria blast was welcomed by some users on social media.

Glad Facebook activated safety check in for what just happened in Nigeria

— Josh (@JoshuaOgundu) November 18, 2015
But Facebook’s move was not enough for other social media users. Unlike after Friday’s attacks in France, the social network did not activate the “flag filter tool”, which allows users to overlay a particular flag on their profile picture as a way of expressing solidarity.

32 killed in Nigeria. Will we get an option to add a Nigerian Flag Filter on Facebook to display solidarity with Nigeria? #PrayForNigeria

— Dumi Mdluli (@DumiMdluli) November 18, 2015
Now we sit & wait for Facebook’s safety app for #Yola or perhaps the option to put #Nigeria’s flag as profile pic? No empathy hashtag?

— Imad Mesdoua (@ImadMesdoua) November 17, 2015
No one claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in Yola. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for both the Beirut and Paris attacks.



Categories: Technology

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