Facebook Messes Up Safety Check for Pakistan Bombing
For some reason, a number of people nowhere near Pakistan were asked to confirm they were safe today.
Facebook triggered its Safety Check tool today in response to an suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, which left at least 56 killed and many more injured this evening.
However, there are reports of many people receiving a notification from Facebook asking them about their condition, even though they are actually nowhere near Lahore, Pakistan—or even Pakistan itself.
— Lilly Maier (@lillymmaier) March 27, 2016
I am not in Lahore, Facebook. pic.twitter.com/cqKfYGB6Sl
— Left Outside (@leftoutside) March 27, 2016
It’s unclear why Facebook’s algorithm went wonky, and Facebook hasn’t provided much of an explanation. We also don’t know if this has hampered the actual Safety Check that Facebook was intending for the area around Lahore, Pakistan. Presumably, it’s just a lot of extra data in the mix, and that shouldn’t affect anyone actually trying to use Safety Check for its intended purpose.
“We have activated Safety Check in Lahore. We apologize to anyone who mistakenly received a notification outside of Pakistan and are working to resolve the issue,” reads a statement Facebook sent to Gawker.
Normally, Facebook’s Safety Check allows those near the location of a major event—like a natural disaster—to provide a brief update as to their condition (or if they’re even in the area). A notification then goes out to a person’s friends that they’re safe. Facebook users can also look up lists of friends who might be affected by the event to find out whether they’re OK or not.