When Paris was bombed, more of the world learned about Facebook's Safety Check Feature. This feature let Parisian users easily confirm whether they were safe, unsafe or outside the affected area. Following the Orlando shooting, the company has done the same for the first time in the United States.
After the shooting in an Orlando nightclub, which killed 50 individuals and injured another 53, Facebook debuted its Safety First feature on U.S, shores. As reported by Fox News, the tool is only made available in times of disaster or during a crisis and lets Facebook users in a certain area report their status to friends. Likewise, it also allows users outside of the area to check how their friends are doing.
"We hope the people in the area find the tool a helpful way to let their friends and family know they are okay," Facebook said in a statement. The feature was also made available in Brussels and Ankara after the terror attack and bombings.
According to CNN, Facebook got scrutinized after activating the feature once the Paris attacks were made public, because only Facebook had the power to turn on the tool. Following such, the company started testing a public version of the feature earlier this month. Considering the events that occurred, the testing could not have come at a better time.
Many Orlando natives are grateful for the feature, but there are still those that find the experience a little unbelievable. One user shared how she was thankful for the safe alerts from her friends and family, but another shared, "I never thought I would have to mark myself 'safe' on Facebook."
Social media has cemented itself as the means to make announcements abaout anything to anyone on a certain network. Some argue that social media is not all great but for all its bad parts, there is certainly still good parts. Those present at the shooting turned to Facebook and Twitter to share the news and seek help looking for their friends and family.