Facebook’s Safety Check app was triggered by some users who wrongfully alarmed thousands of people in Bangkok, talking by an fake explosion. The false alarm started after Facebook activated its Safety Check feature due to some uninformed users who spread a false rumor. This app allows Facebook users to mark the safe function if they are located in areas affected by several disasters.
This time, there only was a false alarm triggered by a protester who used firecrackers. Those who were in the area thought they heard an explosion and started talking about an fake disaster on their Facebook pages, also using the original feature. Even if the rumor was not verified or confirmed, people still believed that it was true, being scared.
Nevertheless, Facebook argued that the source of this alert was from a trusted party which apparently confirmed the incident. Some say that this is not the first time when Facebook allows this kind of behavior from their users, who wrongfully used a feature which is only meant to be used in emergency cases. The social network was recently criticized because it permitted people to spread false news.
Last Tuesday, on December 27, a protestor used some firecrackers to express his anger and disagreement with the government, throwing them at a government building in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok. Based on the data published and shared several times on Facebook, the Safety Check feature showed that the unpleasant event happened at approximately 21:00 local time, being granted as “The Explosion in Bangkok, Thailand.”
People who frequently use Facebook and who saw the feature activated, they marked themselves as being safe to inform their relatives and friends that they have nothing to worry about. The social network also used as a reference an article from BBC which was alerting people in Bangkok about a real explosion which happened back in 2015 at the Erawan shrine.
It is evident that users of Facebook continued to share that article disregarding the fact that it was an article about last year events. The Safety Check feature was deactivated. Back in 2014, when Facebook implemented the new app, it could even be activated manually. Last November, Facebook decided to change that, allowing the community of users to enable it. Now, apparently, a third party source is responsible for announcing Facebook whenever such an incident happens.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia