Facebook Apologizes For Lahore Safety Check Glitch After Dozens Killed In Pakistan Blast413 views
Facebook apologized for sending out Safety Check messages to users who stayed miles away from Lahore, Pakistan, where at least 69 people were killed and hundreds injured due to a suicide bombing Sunday. Following the blasts, Facebook users as far as New York, Brussels, Ontario and Hong Kong received notifications asking them if they were safe.
“Unfortunately, many people not affected by the crisis received a notification asking if they were okay,” Facebook said in a post on its site. “This kind of bug is counter to the product’s intent. We worked quickly to resolve the issue and we apologize to anyone who mistakenly received the notification.”
Some of the notices reportedly asked users “Are you affected by the explosion?” without giving any indication as to where the explosion had occurred.
According to reports, Facebook is still unclear about what caused the glitch and is said to be working to determine why it happened.
Facebook’s Safety Check feature was launched in 2014, based on a location tool built after the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, with the intention of being used in case of natural disasters.
However, the social networking site changed its policy last year in November, after it was criticized for activating the check for the multiple terror attacks in Paris but not for bombings in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, a day earlier.
Jamaat ul-Ahrar, a militant offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, reportedly claimed responsibility for Sunday’s blasts in Lahore’s Gulshan e-Iqbal Park. This was the second safety check initiated by Facebook in a week — after the suicide bombing in Brussels on Tuesday – and fourth this month after bombings in Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, and floods in Sao Paulo, Brazil.