Facebook’s ‘Community Help’ connects locals in a crisis

Saudi Arabia one of six countries to have the feature in first phase of testing

Tags: Facebook Incorporation
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Facebook’s ‘Community Help’ connects locals in a crisis Facebook has created a virtual classified advertising section where those who need assistance can search through the specified posts (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 9, 2017

Facebook has launched ‘Community Help', a tool that automatically activates after a natural disaster or crisis enabling Facebook users to find others locally and offer assistance.

The new feature expands on Facebook's Safety Check, which allows users to announce that they are safe during such disasters. However with Community Help, Facebook users can take this one step further and provide food, shelter and transportation.

According to Reuters, Facebook has created a virtual classified advertising section where those who need assistance can search through the specified posts and connect with providers via Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Safety Check product designer Preethi Chetan, said: "We want to create a space on Facebook...that connects communities in the aftermath of a crisis and helps people feel safe faster, recover, and rebuild."

Facebook began rolling out Community Help on Wednesday and will initially be available to Facebook users in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Saudi Arabia. The social media company does have plans to expand to other countries.

Facebook has also provided safety guidelines to advise users to meet with strangers in public places.

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