The controversy over Facebook’s “Safety Check” feature that was enabled during the Paris attacks has risen all the way to the head of Facebook. So much so that Mark Zuckerberg responded to what some claim were double-standards created by the social networking site, with users wondering why there was no “Safety Check” offered during other tragedies — nor offers to turn profile photos on Facebook into the colors of other countries’ flags besides the blue, white, and red colors of the French flag. Apparently, Facebook felt the heat. Zuckerberg explained the rationale behind the Facebook “Safety Check” for Paris and not during other tragedies in a Facebook post that has gone viral since it was posted on Saturday, November 14, at 5:54 p.m.
As reported by CBS, Facebook users noted that other recent tragedies, such a suicide bombings in Lebanon that killed approximately 43 people in Beirut on Thursday — and injured more — didn’t get the Facebook “Safety Check” special treatment.
“Many people have rightfully asked why we turned on Safety Check for Paris but not for bombings in Beirut and other places. Until yesterday, our policy was only to activate Safety Check for natural disasters. We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well.
“Here’s more detail on Safety Check and our policy for deploying it from the Facebook Safety page: https://www.facebook.com/fbsafety/posts/930229667014872
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out with questions and concerns about this. You are right that there are many other important conflicts in the world. We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can.”
Mark didn’t seem to directly address the disparity felt by some Facebook users between Facebook offering folks the choice to drape their profile photos in the colors of the French flag, and not the colors of flags from other countries.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Facebook offered users the opportunity to change their profile photos into ones that had an overlay of the colors of the French flag. Apparently the feature was so popular that it stopped working — at least for a time — and Facebook offered apologies to users who wrote comments about not being able to use the feature.
Facebook is still trying to determine how their “Safety Check” feature will be used going forward, reports Business Insider, with Zuckerberg turning to his own social media site to ensure users that Facebook cares about all human beings.
Zuckerberg has come a long way since his days at Harvard found him as a curious college student seeking to create an online book of faces, initially called “The Facebook.” Since that time, Mark has found himself the become subject of lawsuits, at least one movie, and an influential thought leader. Zuckerberg recently met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, at a meeting of CEOs who gathered together in Redmond, Washington. The main campus of Microsoft was the gathering location for big wigs like Zuckerberg and other executives on Wednesday, September 23, prior to the Paris attacks and melee over Facebook’s “Safety Check” feature.
The “Safety Check” feature enabled for Parisians to check on the safety of their loved ones was apparently very helpful, as reported by Mashable. More than 4 million people used the “Safety Check” featured offered by Facebook to check on other people in the 24 hours directly following the attacks. No doubt Facebook’s “Safety Check” feature will continue to be very helpful in times of distress to help others find their loved ones when needed going forward.
[AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool]