Facebook Accidentally Pushes Lahore Safety Check Notification to U.S., U.K.
As it often does after natural or human-caused disasters, Facebook enabled its safety check feature so people who were near an explosion in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, could notify their friends and family that they were unharmed. But today, more than two years after the company launched the feature, people thousands of miles away from the horrific attacks received a push notification asking them if they were okay and whether they wanted to notify their friends on Facebook as such.
Facebook thinks I am in Pakistan and wants to know if I’m safe.
(I am safe, but I’m in Brooklyn.) pic.twitter.com/6h5QgyZ4Vs
— Jeremy B. Merrill (@jeremybmerrill) March 27, 2016
Facebook is still unclear about what caused the glitch but is working to determine why it happened. According to reports, a suicide bomber killed 65 people and injured more than 280 others, many of whom where woman and children.
“We have activated Safety Check in Lahore,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We apologize to anyone who mistakenly received a notification outside of Pakistan and are working to resolve the issue.”
Several people in New York, the Bay Area and England tweeted screenshots of the notification, expressing their confusion over why they received it. However, not all users in these areas received the notification; the company is also still working to determine whether people outside of these areas received the notification.
Not quite Facebook. Though it’s good to see they care, my thoughts go out to the people of Lahore, what a vile act. pic.twitter.com/4CLvz146Nk
— jemma (@gl0ryhallelujah) March 27, 2016
— Conorr (@blitzduk) March 27, 2016
— Nick Andersen (@nicktheandersen) March 27, 2016
This is the second safety check Facebook has had to enable in a week — the first being during the attack on Brussels a few days ago — and the fourth this month after the bombings in Ankara, Turkey, two weeks ago and the floods in Sao Paolo, Brazil, earlier this month. This is the seventh time the company has had to enable the safety check in 2016. (The first four were activated during the India earthquake in Manipur on Jan. 3, the Taiwan earthquake on Feb. 5, the Turkey bombing in Ankara on Feb. 17 and Cyclone Winston in Fiji on Feb. 20.)
In light of public criticism of a lack of media coverage of recent attacks in places like Ankara, Istanbul and Nigeria and a lack of a public outcry of support for the victims of those attacks, there appears to be a silver lining to today’s Facebook glitch. As many have pointed out on Twitter, more people are paying attention to the attacks in Pakistan because of this notification.
— Raju Narisetti (@raju) March 27, 2016
— Sioned Treharne (@SionedTreharne) March 27, 2016
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