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Facebook Security Software

Facebook Makes Safety Check a Permanent Feature (techcrunch.com) 109

Facebook announced today that its "Safety Check" feature will be permanent in its app and on the desktop. The feature lets you check to see whether friends and family are safe following a crisis. TechCrunch reports: The change comes following new terrorist attacks, including one in Barcelona, where a vehicle was driven into a crowd, as well as the attack in Charlottesville, here in the U.S. According to Facebook, the dedicated button is gradually rolling out to users starting today, and will complete over the upcoming weeks. That means you may not see the option right away, but likely will soon. When Safety Check is accessed by way of the new button, you'll be able to view a feed of disasters, updates from friends who marked themselves as safe and offers of help. An "around the world" section will display where Safety Check has been recently enabled, too.
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Facebook Makes Safety Check a Permanent Feature

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  • ... but fear itself.

    • by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:36AM (#55061937)

      One more every-day feature designed to heighten people's fear of something statistically very unlike to happen to them. I look forward to it being extended to an feature where every time you log in, it automatically messages all your Facebook 'friends' that you haven't been struck by a bus, fallen in a lake, choked on your sandwich or 101 other possible ways someone, somewhere may have died recently.

      Hang on, it's been a full 10 minutes since I reassured everyone on Facebook I'm still living, and I hear someone fell off their bike in Australia. They need to know it wasn't me. Be right back....

      Stay safe everyone. I worry about you and it's be a while.

      • Hang on, it's been a full 10 minutes since I reassured everyone on Facebook I'm still living, and I hear someone fell off their bike in Australia. They need to know it wasn't me. Be right back...

        That's exactly the way some people already use the Facebook, constantly posting up to the minute, mundane little details about their special little lives.

      • One more every-day feature designed to heighten people's fear of something statistically very unlike to happen to them.

        I know people who live in, or are visiting, all sorts of places around the world, and I'm not alone in this. I suspect that this feature might actually help cut the paranoia.

        Next time some arsehole does something violent in Rome or Melbourne or wherever, it's good to be reminded that the vast majority of people there are largely unaffected. Perhaps a little inconvenienced if they happen to be in the middle of the city, but otherwise perfectly fine.

    • Knowing Facebook it will have a Like button
  • by simplypeachy ( 706253 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:33AM (#55061925)
    Wow. I had no idea just how deeply social media's infection had reached into people's lives. People carry around "disaster alerts" in their pockets now? They expect their friends and family to actively mark themselves as "safe"? I can't fathom what it must be like to live such a life of fear.
    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:49AM (#55061975)

      You completely failed to get the point. Facebook is a primary method of mass communication for many, as is twitter. Much of the news of the day now happens on these networks first. With everyone being a producer of the content it also makes it the most easy to get word out about people's status.

      We're not living lives of fear, we're living lives of anxiety. We always have. You may not remember the bombings in Manchester in 1996. I do. I had a lump in my throat for about 10 hours while I was wondering if my cousin who worked in the area was still alive before a family member finally managed to get him on the phone.

      Compared to that last week while we were at work when news broke of the Barcelona attack we all wondered if one of our colleagues was okay. Not 10min passed before her Facebook status was marked as "safe" even though she was on Las Ramblas at the time of the attack.

      Thinking that this is a bad feature doesn't show the world is afraid, it shows you lack empathy.

      • I do empathise. I feel sadness that you and your "we" are living lives of anxiety.
        • I do empathise. I feel sadness that you and your "we" are living lives of anxiety.

          You not having anxiety when a friend / family member is known to be in the mediate vicinity of a terrorist attack shows that you do in fact not empathise at all.

      • We're not living lives of fear, we're living lives of anxiety. We always have. You may not remember the bombings in Manchester in 1996. I do. I had a lump in my throat for about 10 hours while I was wondering if my cousin who worked in the area was still alive before a family member finally managed to get him on the phone.

        You're just playing idiotic semantic games by trying to substitute "anxiety" for "fear" and trying to pretend the latter is different while demonstrating that you treat them as equivalent.

        • You're just playing idiotic semantic games by trying to substitute "anxiety" for "fear" and trying to pretend the latter is different while demonstrating that you treat them as equivalent.

          No. "Fear" in the context of terrorism has a very specific meaning. The fear of the terrorist. The fear to the personal self.
          Anxiety due to not knowing status of someone is not a fear. I don't* fear that someone may be dead, but I'm anxious to know if they are alive. Calling it semantics is just a failure of understanding of language.

          *unless they own me lots of money. :-)

          Except for something large scale

          Interesting qualification given that this is generally what the feature has been used for.

          • Except for something large scale

            Interesting qualification given that this is generally what the feature has been used for.

            No. This feature's use hasn't been limited to large scale disasters - it's mostly used for very small scale and localized things (such as Charlottesville or various shootings).

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      You don't think that it's common to make a Facebook post to let everyone who cares about you know that you're alright if you've been in the vicinity of some sort of disaster? You might call your partner & close relatives, but Facebook has replaced email lists and such. Of course by disaster I mean more like the 2004 Indonesian earthquake (280,000 dead) than ten people dead in a million plus city. That's really the crazy part here, it puts Facebook in charge of what's a disaster.

      And it creates a form of

      • I don't know if it's common, I do not use Facebook. I wouldn't use an email list to tell anyone about my safeness if I was in the vicinity of an accident. My friends and family don't tend to be aware of my daily whereabouts so why would they have any reason to worry about me if something happened somewhere?

        You make an interesting point about Facebook deciding how to classify a disaster - but then I suppose, differing countries, states etc. probably all have their own criteria, as well as individuals. In our

        • As someone who comes from a country that has a history of terror attacks, I can tell you that calling someone to make sure they were not hurt is not something new. People have been doing this here (both calling to say they're safe and calling to check if others are safe) before we even had internet.

    • The button will disappear until FB realizes terrorists can use a small disaster to lure more folks into a bigger disaster.
  • /:

    "where a vehicle was driven into a crowd"

    Swedish media:
    "a vehicle drove through a crowd."

    Or vehicles don't have drivers. They are simply vehicles driving over people. (and only racists think it's terrorists attacks committed by Muslims and even if they are it haven't got anything to do with Islam. And that only make sense, because where in the Quran and Hadiths may you find any example whatsoever of hatred of non-Muslims, orders to fight enemies of Islam and capital punishment for breaking its laws?!)

    • by umghhh ( 965931 )
      This was an autonomous vehicle so it drove itself into the crowd. Besides if it had a driver the actual event could not have anything to do with the book you mentioned as motor vehicles were not invented yet at the time of writing.
  • The feature made perfect sense when it was first used for large-scale disaster, e.g. tsunamis affecting the majority of people in a given area. Nowadays, I'm flooded with alerts about some guy who ran around with a knife, as if there's any chance that the people I know in the same city were affected.

    Now that they're making it permanent, maybe they'll finally implement a setting to turn the whole thing off.

  • I'm not too convinced this will be useful, especially for casual facebook users. that are actually safe during a crisis but fail to mark themselves as "safe" with this feature. Say there is a crisis in your location, and you're using this to see who's OK in your friend list. 75/100 friends are safe. Phew. What about the other 25? Or even if it's only 8/10 that you really care about. Are they dead because they didn't check in? Or maybe they just forgot their phone that day. As this feature becomes mo
  • I don't do Facebook. That's even safer.

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