Facebook activates Safety Check in Nigeria following market bombing
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces activation of service on his official account
Facebook has activated Safety Check again, this time in the city of Yola, located in north-eastern Nigeria, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his official account this morning.
The feature activation follows last night's bombing of a market in the city, which killed at least 32 people and injured dozens more, according to Al Jazeera. Zuckerberg had previously announced that Facebook would expand the use of Safety Check, after the social network received criticism over its decision to implement the service following last week's Paris terror attacks.
"After the Paris attacks last week, we made the decision to use Safety Check for more tragic events like this going forward. We're now working quickly to develop criteria for the new policy and determine when and how this service can be most useful," Zuckerberg said in his Facebook post.
"Unfortunately, these kinds of events are all too common, so I won't post about all of them. A loss of human life anywhere is a tragedy, and we're committed to doing our part to help people in more of these situations."
Safety Check is still in its early days, and was first rolled out in October last year. It allows Facebook users to ‘check in' as safe if they are in an area experiencing a disaster. Once someone has checked in as safe, their friends are given a notification saying that the user is safe. It has only been activated a handful of times since it was launched as, previously, it was reserved only for natural disasters.
In his post about activating Safety Check in Nigeria, Zuckerberg offered words of encouragement to his followers, explaining that while the frequency of these terror events is alarming, violence, on the whole, is declining.
"In times like this, it's important to remind ourselves that despite the alarming frequency of these terrible events, violence is actually at an all-time low in history and continues to decline," he said.
"Deaths from war are lower than ever, murder rates are generally dropping around the world, and - although it's hard to believe - even terrorist attacks are declining. Please don't let a small minority of extremists make you pessimistic about our future."