Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ feature has been praised for its role in connecting loved ones after the Daesh-coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday night. However many have the raised the question: What about Beirut?
A series of social media posts have brought to light the fact that Facebook did not activate the Safety Check feature after the Daesh bombings in Beirut which killed over 40 people on Thursday - one night before the Paris attacks. Some have also asked why there was no Safety Check for those in Baghdad, concerned about loved ones after Daesh suicide bombings killed 26 on Friday.
Among Facebook’s critics was Anne Barnard, New York Times' bureau chief in Beirut. Her Facebook post echoes the thoughts of many Beirutis who are seeking answers from the social network:
Yes, why don't we? Hey zuckerberg, we are a small country in the med. just next to Palestine and Syria ... https://t.co/N21y9QaEaa— Sonya Sabbah (@SonyaSEtiq) November 14, 2015
Apparently Beirut doesn't deserve a safety check on Facebook.— DenniS the menace (@densection) November 15, 2015
Facebook responded in a statement which explained that this was the first time the feature had been activated for a crisis which was not the result of a natural disaster. The company also stated that it now plans to use Safety Check more often in the future, “whenever and wherever it can help”. See the full statement below:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself responded to the questions, writing: “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.”
By Kane Hippisley-Gatherum
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