Facebook Asks Many Far From Pakistan if They Are in Harm's Way

Mar 29, 2016, 00:48
Facebook Asks Many Far From Pakistan if They Are in Harm's Way

Ordinarily, the system would've sent a notification to Facebook users located in and around Lahore asking if they were affected by the bombing.

Facebook's users from as far as Virginia and NY showed notification they had received on Twitter a social media competitor.

The messages resulted from a bug in Facebook's "safety check" feature, which, when activated, allows Facebook users to mark themselves as safe on their profiles if they are near a natural disaster or bombing.

The messages reportedly went out as text messages asking people if they were "affected by the explosion".

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Facebook has not clarified what sparked the error, but said the company is working to resolve the issue. Reason being the non-activated nature of the feature for earlier attacks in other locations as well as in the Beirut bombing, which happened a day before the Paris attacks and had killed 43 people.

According to Reuters, the Lahore explosion was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since December 2014. If a user responds that they're fine, a message relaying the news would then be automatically sent to their Facebook friends. Others with a softer side were less judgemental and waived it off as a minor goof up, stating that it was acceptable, because Facebook was making it possible for anxious families across the globe to ascertain the safety of the loved ones; something being done for the benefit of people around the world could not be looked upon so harshly.

"Are you affected by the explosion?"

Those users who received the notification through the Facebook app knew it was a mistake, as they were informed of where the blast had taken place. The social media company seems to have overestimated the range of the attack, sending out alerts to people worldwide.

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Facebook apologised for the mishap in a post on the Disaster Response on Facebook page, explaining the glitch was caused by a bug.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has added a host of new features over the past few months and one of its recent additions, the "Safety Check" feature, has been widely appreciated by its 1.5 billion monthly users. The mission was to give "you an easy and simple way to say you're safe and check on all your friends and family in one place".

The feature, which has been criticised in the past for only being turned on for disasters in the West, was launched during bombings that shook Brussels on Tuesday.

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