Facebook Activates 'Safety Check' for First Time in U.S. in Wake of Orlando Mass Shooting

Facebook has faced criticism for its selective activation of the system, most recently for its failure to do so during the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

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From The Jerusalem Post:

In a blog posted November 15, 2015, Facebook’s VP of growth, Alex Schultz, laid out the criteria under which the tool would be deployed.

For natural disasters, it would depend on the “scope, scale and impact” of the event.

“During an ongoing crisis, like war or epidemic, Safety Check in its current form is not that useful for people, because there isn’t a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it’s impossible to know when someone is truly ‘safe,’” he wrote.

In other words, barring a mass casualty event, Israel may be left off the safety check list because terrorism is frequent. In Chicago, when 64 people were shot over Memorial Day weekend leaving six dead, and in the recent shooting incident at UCLA, the tool also remained unused. The company has also said, however, that it is still learning how to best deploy the tool, and has been sensitive to criticism in the past.

However, individuals who were concerned about their loved ones in the wake of the horrific attack on the gay nightclub Sunday morning praised Safety Check for helping them to connect with friends.