Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Mass Shooting Prompts Facebook to Activate First U.S. Safety Check


facebook safetycheck
Facebook, for the first time, activated its Safety Check in the U.S. Sunday after a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida left 50 people dead.

A 29-year-old man armed with an assault rifle murdered 50 people and injured at least 53 others at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. The shooter, who police identified as Omar Mateen, was shot and killed by police, according to news reports.

Mateen was a Florida resident and U.S. citizen who is thou
ght to have ties to radical Islam. That being said, police, thus far have been unable to find any evidence that Mateen was in touch with Islamic terrorists and some officials have said it appears to have been a self-planned attack.

Facebook quickly got Safety Check up and running in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
“We hope the people in the area find the tool a helpful way to let their friends and family know they are OK,” Facebook said in a statement.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg also took to Facebook to announce Safety Check had been activated.
“Waking up this morning, I was deeply saddened to hear about the shooting in Orlando,” Zuckerberg added. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the LGBT community.”
Safety Check enables Facebook members to notify family and friends they are safe with just a single tap of the finger. The tool also allows users to mark friends as safe after they have checked in. Once the tool is activated after a disaster, those who are in an affected area will receive a Facebook notification asking if they are safe.

Originally, Safety Check, which was launched in 2014, was meant to be activated after a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. But that changed last November when Facebook decided to use the tool in cases of “human disasters” as well.