Facebook apologizes after Safety Check asks users across the world if they are safe after Lahore …
- A suicide bomb went off in a park in Pakistan on Sunday killing at least 65
- In the aftermath of the blast, Facebook activated its Safety Check feature
- But users in countries across the world received the alert by mistake
- People posted screenshots of the alert from countries, including the United States, England, Russia, Lebanon and Israel
- Facebook apologized for the error and said it was caused by a bug in the tool
Facebook activated its Safety Check tool in the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Pakistan that killed at least 65 people on Sunday – but a glitch asked users nowhere near the area if they had been affected by the blast.
The company apologized after the urgent notification was mistakenly sent to people in countries thousands of miles away, sparking fear and confusion online.
‘Are you OK?’ the message read. ‘It looks like you’re in the area affected by The Explosion in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, Lahore, Pakistan. Let friends know that you’re safe.’
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Facebook apologized after an error with its Safety Check tool mistakenly sent alerts to people in countries thousands of miles from the Lahore bombing
The feature was used in the wake of the Paris and Brussels attacks without problems, but the glitch led to fear and confusion
Some people whose phone numbers are linked to their Facebook accounts also received the alert through text message.
The social network launched the feature in October 2014 so users caught up in disaster-struck areas would be able to quickly let family and friends know they area safe.
In recent months, Safety Check has been activated several times, including during the floods in Chennai (India), after earthquakes in northeast India and southern Taiwan, and after terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, Yola, and Ankara.
But today, users nowhere near the blasts in Lahore were sent the message by mistake.with people from countries including the United States, Russia, England, Lebanon,France and Israel, taking to Twitter to share the notification in different languages.
Facebook said the error was sparked by a bug in the Safety Check tool, but said the company worked to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
The alert was sent to Facebook users in countries across the world, including the United States and Russia
People in Israel reported receiving the message in Hebrew – even though Pakistan, like many Muslim-majority nations, does not recognize the country’s existence
Some people whose phone numbers are linked to their Facebook accounts received the safety alert via text
‘We activated Safety Check today in Lahore, Pakistan, after a bombing that took place there,’ a Facebook spokesman told Daily Mail Online.
‘Unfortunately, many people not affected by the crisis received a notification asking if they were okay.
‘We worked to resolve the issue and we apologize to anyone who mistakenly received the notification.’
Suicide bombers targeted Christians celebrating Easter in a park in the Pakistani city, killing at least 65 people and injuring more than 300, authorities said.
The blast went off in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, near some children’s swings, with most of the victims believed to be women and children.
Authorities have so far confirmed 65 dead, but said they expect the death toll to rise as many of the wounded were in a critical condition.
Pakistan has been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency since 2004, with groups such as the Pakistani Taliban routinely carrying out attacks as part of their struggle to overthrow the government.
But Lahore, the country’s cultural capital that lies on the nation’s eastern border with India, has been relatively more peaceful in recent years.
The blast went off in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, where Christians were celebrating Easter
Authorities have so far confirmed 65 dead, but said they expect the death toll to rise as many of the wounded were in a critical condition