We recently told you that Facebook has a really admirable way to help victims of terrorist attacks. Its Safety Check system lets victims and people near a terrorist attack to quickly let their family and friends know they're OK.
It's a real-time system that's triggered by Facebook. If you're near an attack, Facebook sends you an alert, asking if you're all right. If you are, just say you're fine, and that good news is posted on your Facebook page for your friends to see.
Except, as people nowhere near this past weekend's Easter attack found out, Safety Check has a major problem to work out. Facebook inadvertently sent the Safety Check alarm to people as far away as New York City when terrorists killed dozens of Christians celebrating Easter in Pakistan.
Some Facebook users were sent this alarming text message: "Are you affected by the explosion?"
There was no indication of where the explosion had taken place. Although, Facebook users using a computer were told that it occurred in Pakistan.
Facebook confirmed the blunder, in a statement: "We activated Safety Check [in] Lahore, Pakistan, after a bombing that took place there. Unfortunately, many people not affected by the crisis received a notification asking if they were okay. We worked to resolve the issue and we apologize to anyone who mistakenly received the notification."
As you can imagine, some people who weren't in Pakistan who received the message panicked. (See social media post below.)
Note: You don't need to sign up for Facebook Safety Check. Facebook will automatically send you an alert, if it knows where you are. However, if you want to tell people that a friend is safe, go to Facebook's Safety Check page >> click on your friend's name >> click Mark Safe next to their name.
Here's how Safety Check is supposed to work, according to Facebook. First, Facebook sends you an alert if the affected city is listed in your profile, or if you've given Facebook access to your smartphone or tablet, or you're using the Internet in the affected area.
If you're in that area, Facebook will send an alert. "Are you safe?" If you are, and you want your answer posted on your Facebook page, you click on "I'm safe." (See photo above.)