Facebook's "Safety Check" Lets You Locate Loved Ones in Paris

Illustration for article titled Facebooks Safety Check Lets You Locate Loved Ones in Paris

A Facebook feature implemented to help track people after natural disasters has been launched tonight to help people connect with their friends and family after the Paris attacks.

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If you’re looking for the status of friends who might be in Paris, head to the Safety Check page on your Facebook account. The page will list your friends who last checked in around Paris and give you a running tally of who is marked safe.

Illustration for article titled Facebooks Safety Check Lets You Locate Loved Ones in Paris
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People who are in Paris can either mark themselves safe or be marked safe by another friend, and the update is added to their Facebook feed.

Illustration for article titled Facebooks Safety Check Lets You Locate Loved Ones in Paris

In addition to the check-in process, the Safety Check page allows you to subscribe to notifications, which will alert you as your friends check in. Obviously not everyone knows about this feature but the service seems like a smart way to keep track of people with travel restricted and a state of emergency declared.

[Facebook Safety Check]

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DISCUSSION

While I agree this has promise, it also has a downside. This was posted from a friend of a friend on FB:

Dear friends. First of all, what is happening here is horrible and devastating.

Secondly, Facebook has decided to intervene in our lives in a time of catastrophe and escalate our anguish. A few hours ago one of my friends got a notification that 272 of his friends hadn’t checked in with Facebook (WTF???) to mark themselves as “safe”, as opposed to a 90 who had. Since when is this a thing, that in a time of crisis Facebook decides it’s the clearinghouse for all communication???

Fearmongering motherfuckers, get the fuck out of our lives. As if things aren’t bad enough. And for the record, I didn’t even personally vouch for my safety. So you can’t trust it.