Volume 31 Issue 4, 2016

Facebook ‘Safety Check’: let friends know you’re OK

EM Online

By the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience


Article

www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/

Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ feature gives Facebook users a way to check on family and friends during natural disasters.

During a disaster, Safety Check helps users:

  • let friends and family know they are safe
  • check on friends and family in an affected area
  • share information about a friend or family member’s status.

The feature uses the location information provided to Facebook. This includes:

  • the city listed in the Facebook profile
  • Facebook friends’ nearby check-ins
  • the city in which a user is connected to the internet.

If there is a major event in an area a user has checked in from, Facebook sends a push notification asking if they are okay. Users can specify that they are safe (which will post a status their friends can see) or say they are not in the affected area.

A simple I’m safe / I’m not in the area message (and optional comments) will be visible to people in the user’s friends list.

An image of a mobile phone showing the Safety Check app.An image of a mobile phone showing the Safety Check app, and a laptop showing the Safety Check Facebook page.