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Facebook is introducing a new feature targeted at users it believes are in or near a disaster zone to let their loved ones know they are okay, according to The Independent.
‘Safety Check’ works via push notifications, sending one to your handset if you’re in an area the site has identified as dangerous, working off information like cities listed in profiles, last locations on Nearby Friends and the city you’re connecting to the internet from.
The notification will encourage you to select either ‘I’m Safe’ or ‘I’m not in this area’, which will then post a news feed story to your friends informing them that you are indeed safe, allowing them to rest easy, the official Facebook post explains.
Hacker News reports that the plans to include this feature were first considered after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, “where Facebook emerged out to be an effective tool in connecting loved ones and notifying family members of their safety.”
Safety Check is promised globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktop to ensure that all devices in a disaster zone are likely to be reachable.
“If you’re ever in a situation that would require you to use Safety Check, we hope it’s a tool that helps you stay connected to those you care about, and gives you the comfort of knowing your loved ones are safe,” concludes the Facebook announcement.
Author Alan Martin, ESET