The 1.3 billion users of Facebook now have a way to tell their friends and family whether they’re safe during a natural disaster. It might also help Facebook save face, as it were.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of a new platform feature, Facebook Safety, which enables people to see the status of loved ones and mark themselves as safe during large-scale natural disasters.
A statement issued on Facebook’s newsroom began:
In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones and get updates. It is in these moments that communication is most critical both for people in the affected areas and for their friends and families anxious for news.
A member of Facebook’s newsroom team said the tool’s application will occur in the event of natural disasters only, not for campus shootings and the like.