Facebook apologized on Monday after a bug turned its Safety Check feature into a breaking news alert for all users around the world, even though the suicide bomb it was triggered by went off in Pakistan, killing around 69 people and injuring over 250 people. The social networking giant apologized for causing mass confusion.
Facebook’s Safety Check fails again
The social media giant turns on its Safety Check feature to allow users to let their friends and family know they are safe in the event of being trapped after a terror attack or a natural disaster. However, according to Quartz, people nowhere near Pakistan received notifications regarding the Lahore terror attack. In fact, users as far as South Africa, Canada, Sydney, Honolulu, Brussels, Ontario, Cairo, Hong Kong, New York and Nepal tweeted that they received a Safety Check notification which was activated after the Lahore bombing.
“Have you been affected by the explosion?” read the notification some users received on the social networking site. The notification didn’t even indicate where the danger actually was.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “We activated Safety Check in Lahore, Pakistan, after a bombing 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.”
“This kind of bug is counter to the product’s intent,” reads a post written by the social networking site’s disaster response team.
This is not the first time Facebook has been criticized for its Safety Check feature. Many users have slammed the social media firm for being biased by not activating the tool when needed, like during the recent massacre at an Ivory Coast beach resort.
About the Lahore Blast
The blast in Pakistan that took many innocent lives was caused by a suicide bomber, and it occurred in a parking lot at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, one of the largest parks in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The responsibility of the blast was taken by the splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban.
A spokesperson for the terrorist group was quoted by The Telegraph as saying, “We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter.” The group warned that more attacks would follow and, “It was part of our annual martyrdom attacks we have started this year.”