Facebook is handing over its Safety Check reins to its members.
Now, when disaster strikes, Safety Check will be automatically activated by Facebook users rather than by the social networking firm.
“Facebook has always been about building community and relationships,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “And in recent years, it’s become clear, that a core part of helping a community is helping to keep you safe. That’s a fundamental responsibility and something we take very seriously.”
Safety Check, a feature to help people stay in touch with loved ones in the wake of disaster, now enables those that are “closest to a disaster” to “play a bigger role in deciding when Safety Check is most helpful.” Now, when a large number of Facebook users post about a particular incident from an affected area, they may be asked if they’re safe. Once a person is marked as being safe, he or she can then invite friends to do the same.
Building on that theme, Facebook next year will launch Community Help, a tool allowing you to ask for or offer help — such as shelter, food and supplies — after a natural disaster.
“This spring we saw this in the aftermath of the fires in Fort McMurray, Canada, when people took to Facebook to help one another find a place to stay,” Facebook vice-president of social good Naomi Gleit said in a blog post. “After a natural disaster, someone can check in as safe and also ask for and offer help to those around them.”
Facebook is also making it easier for people to fundraise for more than 750,000 non-profit agencies. The move expands the scope of Fundraisers, the tool launched last year to help not-for-profit agencies to raise funds on their Facebook pages for specific campaigns. Facebook has also added a donate button to Live videos and posts.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.