Facebook updates Safety Check feature to assuage friends and families’ fears

Crisis Response Hub
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Facebook has updated its Safety Check feature in hopes of making it easier for users to keep their friends and family up to speed in times of crisis. The social media giant has introduced Fundraisers, expanded Community Help, and introduced crisis descriptions to Safety Check. It will also allow users to add more context about their status in the case of an emergency, giving their loved ones crucial status updates as they become necessary.

The company’s Fundraisers addition will allow users to create or donate to a fundraiser for either a charitable or personal cause, thereby directly aiding those in need following a disaster — natural or otherwise. Given that many crises often call for financial aid in the immediate aftermath, Facebook is making this process a bit more efficient by allowing folks to create Fundraisers almost immediately. The company notes that the feature will also allow people who are otherwise removed from the crisis to help in some capacity. Fundraiser is slated to roll out in the next few weeks in the United States.

Facebook will also be expanding Community Help to desktop. Originally launched in early 2017 on iOS and Android, the feature is meant to help people in disaster zones find one another more easily and provide or ask for help. The feature has also been made available for all crises in which Safety Check has been activated.

Crisis descriptions are meant to help Facebook users, both in affected areas and around the world, obtain more information about the situation at hand. Thanks to a partnership with NC4, a third-party global crisis reporting agency, Facebook will begin adding additional context on crises and providing people with important data that could save their lives.

Finally, Facebook users will now be able to share additional information with friends and family after marking themselves as safe. Should they choose to, they can attach a personal note from within the Safety Check tool, which will appear automatically in their friends’ News Feed stories.

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