Facebook Safety Check Matters

By Sarah Lagro


Back in fall 2016 Facebook revealed the Safety Check feature. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Safety Check was developed because of the growing numbers of people “turning to the internet” during disasters or emergencies. Safety Check has been used in numerous disasters and attacks across the globe since its inception.

Safety Check works by alerting people in the area of a disaster by asking them to “mark” themselves as safe. You can also view lists of Facebook friends in the area to see if they have updated to safe status. Safety Check has been used in the Paris terror attacks, Orlando nightclub shooting and is currently being used for Hurricane Matthew.


Since the dawn of social media people have begun posting updates, photos, videos and sharing information about natural disasters or mass emergencies. It’s as easy as a couple taps on a smartphone to share a video of major flooding or post a picture of the aftermath of a tornado. To accompany this demand for information Safety Check was born.

Safety Check allows people to make sure loved ones are safe or unaffected by disaster. Instead of waiting on a phone call, text or news report people have the option to check Facebook. This puts even more importance on social media when it comes to life-threatening situations. Maybe Safety Check will become more advanced in the future, but for now it’s a comfort to millions of Facebook users.

Screenshot source: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism