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Facebook asks WNYers if they're OK after overseas bombing

Facebook asks WNYers if they’re OK after overseas bombing

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – On Sunday morning, Facebook users all over the world, including right here in Western New York may have woken up to a disturbing notification. The notification asked users if they were OK, and if they wanted to tell friends and family that they’re safe after the fatal Easter bombings in Pakistan. The notification was a Facebook Safety Check, it was supposed to only go out to those who are near the site of the blast, on the opposite side of the world.

Facebook acknowledged the mistake, and released a statement on the mix-up. The social media giant says the miscommunication with their safety check feature was caused by a technical bug. The company did not elaborate any further, but said they corrected the issue as soon as possible.

The feature was unveiled in 2014 as a way for people to let friends and family know that they’re OK. Safety Check, when it works correctly, is supposed to notify users based off their device or profile location.

Most recently, safety check was used in last week’s Brussels attack, and it appeared to work as designed.

The full scope of the misdirected notification is not known. Reports of the notification have shown up across the world, the country, and right here in New York State.

On a @news4buffalo Twitter survey, out of more than 360 people, 21% said they received the notification.