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Facebook’s Safety Check feature gets a permanent place on its app

facebook safety check new tab
Facebook is following through on a commitment it made last year to give Safety Check its own dedicated section in its mobile and web offerings.

Launched in 2014, Safety Check helps Facebook users to connect in the event of a calamitous incident, offering an easy way for those caught up in an unfolding disaster to let loved ones know they’re safe.

“There’s now a single place to go to see where Safety Check has recently been activated, get the information you need, and potentially be able to help affected areas,” Facebook said on Monday, August 21, adding that it’s gradually rolling it out over the coming weeks, starting now.

The new section shows — as you’d expect — a somewhat somber list of awful events, with Facebook’s own screenshot offering Safety Check links to everything from fires to typhoons to train accidents.

You’ll see any recent activity by friends who have marked themselves as safe, as well as a page showing major incidents from around the world that you can tap on for more information.

There are details, too, on how many personal offers of help have been made, and how many people have made donations to fundraisers.

Facebook users have been able to offer help via Safety Check since February. It means that if Safety Check activates close to your location, you have the opportunity to assist with relevant support, which could mean offering food, clothing, and temporary accommodation, as well as donating cash to causes.

The social networking giant has also been working to fine tune Safety Check to make sure its alerts are used for real disasters and emergencies rather than as the result of rumors, which happened for an explosion that never occurred, in Thailand, in December, 2016. With such false alarms having the potential to cause great distress for those with friends and family in the area, Facebook is now working with a number of response agencies to ensure an incident is real whenever Safety Check is activated.

The company also recently teamed up with NC4, a third-party global crisis reporting agency, to provide those using Safety Check with more detailed information about an unfolding event. Facebook users can add a note, too, when they (hopefully) mark themselves as safe, offering more information on their whereabouts or simply a few words of reassurance.

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Trevor Mogg
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