Facebook activates Safety Check for First Time in US following Orlando Shootings

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Facebook turned on its Safety Check feature following the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, the first time the tool was ever used in the US.

The feature, which allows users to mark themselves as safe in an emergency situation, was activated on Sunday as more than half of the victims’ families were still trying to pinpoint their loved ones’ whereabouts.

“We hope the people in the area find the tool a helpful way to let their friends and family know they are okay,’ Facebook said in a statement.”

Safety Check automatically sends Facebook users in an affected area a note asking if they’re safe.

When a user clicks on ‘yes, let my friends know,’ the tool notifies their Facebook friends.
A spokeswoman said this is the first ‘Facebook-initiated Safety Check in the US’, according to KCCI.
Family members have been desperately posting to social media and calling friends as they have trouble finding loved ones today in the aftermath of the shooting.

The safety check was sent out to people in the Orlando area after gunman Omar Mateen, 29, slaughtered at least 50 people with an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun. In total, 39 people were killed inside the club, two outside, and nine others died after being rushed to the hospital.

At least 53 more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

The first Facebook Safety Check was used in 2014 and focused on natural disasters including earthquakes in Chile and Nepal. The Paris attack marked the first time Facebook used the featured for a crisis other than a natural disaster. The Safety Check feature was also used in March after the terror attacks in Brussels.

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