Facebook Inc.’s Safety Check has become a significant tool within its namesake social network, helping people find out if their friends and family are safe in situations of widespread emergency, such as terrorist attacks or floods. Now, Facebook is expanding Safety Check to offer help to people who are not safe.
On Wednesday, it announced Community Help, a Safety Check feature that connects people in need with urgent resources such as food, shelter and transportation.
In the event of a widespread emergency in your area, Facebook activates Safety Check, prompting nearby users to respond. The only options Safety Check offers are “tell friends you’re safe” or “not in the area.” The page also lists friends who’ve either market themselves safe or not.
Going forward, users will also see a Community Help map, with options to request for, locate or offer help. Requests and offers for help will appear on the map of the affected area. Available help will be categorized by food, transportation, baby supplies, pet supplies, shelter, water and other needs. Users can message those who are offering assistance.
Facebook won’t be moderating any of the help offers or requests, or any other Community Help comments. Safety Check lasts 60 days and after that point the Community Help board disappears. Due to safety concerns, Facebook will restrict the use of Community Help to those 18 years old and up, and will blacklist “extremely new accounts” and “anyone we have questions about,” a Facebook representative said. The company will remind people to play it safe, for instance, by meeting up in public places, and not going alone.Read More...
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