Why Facebook's Safety Check Was Activated for Paris Attacks But Not Beirut

Nov 15, 2015

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the social media site's decision to enact Safety Check for the attacks on Paris, but not for a deadly bombing in Beirut, in a post on the site.

Safety Check, which allows users to mark themselves and others as safe in the wake of tragedies, had previously been activated by Facebook only during natural disasters. It was only after the Paris attack, he said, that the company decided it will be activated "for more human disasters going forward as well."

Many on social media were outraged that the feature had been enabled in Paris, where terrorist attacks killed more than 120 people on Friday, but not in Beirut, where more than 40 were killed in bombings the day before. Zuckerberg said people were right to ask about the discrepancy, adding, "We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can."

The Eiffel Tower turns off its lights in memory of the more than 120 victims the day after the terrorist attack on Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower turns off its lights in memory of the more than 120 victims the day after the terrorist attack on Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris.Marc Piasecki—Getty Images
The Eiffel Tower turns off its lights in memory of the more than 120 victims the day after the terrorist attack on Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris.
Bono and band members from the band U2 place flowers on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on Nov. 14, 2015 in Paris.
A woman is comforted by others outside the Carillon cafe and the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris on Nov. 14, 2015.
France Paris Attacks
Significant Death Toll Feared In Paris Terror Attacks
Dozens of burnt motorbikes and bikes are pictured on the corner of Albert Thomas Lancry streets, in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, on November 14, 2015, few hours after a series of terror attacks that occurred across the city.  ©MAXIME JOUY/NEWZULU/Al
France Paris Attacks
France Paris Attacks
France Paris Attacks
France Paris Attacks
The Eiffel Tower turns off its lights in memory of the more than 120 victims the day after the terrorist attack on Nov.
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Marc Piasecki—Getty Images
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The post was a comment on his change of profile picture to one in which the colors of the French flag are overlaid across his photograph. Facebook implemented this tool to allow users to show solidarity with the people of Paris.

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday, November 14, 2015

Read next: France Mourns and Seeks Clues to Those Behind Deadly Paris Attacks

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