Facebook has once again activated its Safety Check feature in the wake of the deadliest attack on US soil since 9/11. At least 50 people lost their lives after 29-year-old Omar Mateen stormed the LGBT Pulse Nightclub at approximately 2AM last night.
Facebook set up a safety check so you can let your friends know you're okay following the Orlando mass shooting. pic.twitter.com/yy3kXqPuk7
— News4JAX (@wjxt4) June 12, 2016
Safety Check allows people nearby to “check in” on Facebook and let their friends and family know that they are safe from harm. First introduced in October 2014, Safety Check had its origins as a response to the disastrous earthquake and subsequent tsunami that year in Japan.
It was developed as a tool to support people in times of natural disasters, but after the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, decided that it would be used in “many other important conflicts.” The criteria as to when Safety Check is activated is based on “scope, scale and impact” of the event in question.
Safety Check was used most recently in the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks in March, with some complaining that the service was activated too slowly during the crucial hours directly after the bombings, despite “repeated requests” for it to be turned on.
With a state of emergency now declared in Florida, this feature is greatly assisting worried families who know that their loved ones are okay.
Jack Hadfield is a student at the University of Warwick and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter here: @ToryBastard_.