On Monday, October 26, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. Hundreds were reported killed, and as I’m writing this blog, we still don’t know the full extent of the damage or the complete death toll.

I was eating lunch when I received a Facebook notification that my friend, deployed in Afghanistan, was safe.

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I have never seen this feature before, so I did some digging. It turns out that, motivated by the 2011 earthquake in Japan, Facebook launched the Safety Check feature when Nepal’s earthquake hit in April 2015.

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According to Facebook’s blog post, based on your location, if there’s a natural disaster in the area, Facebook will prompt you to:

  •  Let friends and family know you’re safe
  •  Check on others in the affected area
  •  Mark your friends as safe

Safety Check lets users know how many of their Facebook friends are in a natural disaster area and how many have indicated their safety.

Since I don’t know anyone in Nepal, I didn’t see this feature until the Afghanistan disaster. I think it’s great, and I would love to see other social media tools follow suit.

What do you think? Have you ever been prompted to use this tool?

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Laura LeeAccount Manager

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