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How Social Media Helps Us in Emergencies

Soon after the devastating terror attacks in Paris on Friday that left at least 129 people killed and countless others wounded, Facebook launched a “Safety Check” tool that allowed users located in Paris to identify themselves as “safe.” Their Facebook friends then received notifications that they were unharmed.

Facebook created this service after the Nepal earthquake earlier this year. “This morning we activated Safety Check for people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. It's a simple way to let family and friends know you're okay,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page after the Nepal disaster. “If you're in one of the areas affected by the earthquake, you'll get a notification asking if you're safe, and whether you want to check on any of your friends.”  The service can be linked to geo-location of the user and an additional feature allows individuals to “mark safe” others as safe too.

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