Facebook's Safety Check Now Includes Community Help Features

Facebook Safety Check now lets locals find and offer Community Help like shelter

Facebook adds Community Help feature to Safety Check to help folks in crisis

Facebook launched a new tool that will assist people to find help during emergencies.

Facebook says Community Help was inspired by people already trying to provide aid during a crisis - the new feature simply makes it easier for helpers and victims to communicate with each other.

Facebook is making Safety Check more useful in times of crisis, allowing users to seek and offer help in cases of emergency. The second thing that needs to happen for Safety Check to activate is a high number of people talking about the incident, which may lead them to mark themselves safe and invite other users to do so as well.

"We've also seen lots of examples of community members self-organising during recent disasters - see for example Tassie Fires We Can Help Facebook page, the Farmy Army after the Queensland floods, and the Student Volunteer Army after the Christchurch earthquakes". Facebook is testing the tool first in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Saudi Arabia before deciding whether to expand it globally. Those in a position to help can then search this feed or post what they can offer, and get connected to victims over Messenger who can mark their requests as completed.

Community Help will initially support natural disasters and accidents, Gleit said.

Facebook's Safety Check feature makes it possible for users to let friends and family know that they're safe after an incident has occurred in their area.

However, starting on Wednesday, Facebook is making the feature available for another goal: Helping users access food, shelter, transportation, baby supplies, toiletries, equipment and other resources after a crisis. Brand new accounts or ones Facebook finds suspicious aren't allowed on Community Help.

Safety Check was originally created to facilitate an existing user behavior on the social network.

The team who developed Safety Check visited India previous year after flooding in Chennai to learn about how Safety Check was used.

We wanted to solve some of these fundamental problems by designing a tool that would connect people who needed help with those who could offer help in the community more seamlessly and efficiently.

Slightly different than Airbnb's tool, Facebook's Community Help focuses on connecting people on its platform through a "virtual classified advertising section". Posts can be viewed by category or location. And if you are willing to help someone in similar conditions, you may directly post to him/her with all you have to offer through the service.

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