Facebook enables Safety Check after Orlando shooting for the first time in US

Last Updated: 13 June, 2016
Facebook enables Safety Check after Orlando shooting for the first time in US

After Orlando massacre that resulted in killing at least 50 people, Facebook has activated its “Safety Check” tool for the first time in the United States history. The tool helps people near the shooting site in Orlando, Florida let family, friends and loved ones know they are safe. This tool was first introduced back in October 2014 and has been live for the first time in the country.

A gunman armed with an assault rifle killed at least 50 people at a gay night club in Orlando on early Sunday, the worst and deadliest mass shooting in US history. At least another 53 were injured according to Orlando’s mayor and police chief. The police killed the shooter, who has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, a 29-year old American-born Florida resident.

“Waking up this morning, I was horrified to hear about the shooting in Orlando. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the LGBT community,” said Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on his official account.

Facebook Safety Check Orlando shooting“Earlier this month, we began testing features that allow people to both initiate and share Safety Check on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. “Over the last few months, we have improved the launch process to make it easier for our team to activate more frequently and faster, while testing ways to empower people to identify and elevate local crises as well.”

This is the second time Safety Check was activated as a response to terrorism after the Paris attack in November. It was only used in natural disasters, until then. A note asking Facebook users if they’re safe will be automatically turned up on users’ account who live in or near the affected area, and if the user clicks on “yes, let my friends know,” the tool lets their Facebook friends that the user is safe.