Facebook has added a new feature to its Safety Check service, called Community Help, that lets people find and give help such as food, shelter and transportation after a crisis.
The company says it feels the community can teach it new ways to use the platform. The company saw people using Facebook to tell friends and family they were OK after crises, so in 2014 Safety Check was launched to make that behavior even easier. Since then, Safety Check has been activated hundreds of times, and Facebook is looking to do more to empower the community to help one another.
With Community Help people can find and give help, and message others directly to connect after a crisis. Posts can be viewed by category and location, making it easier for people to find the help they need.
Community Help is available for natural and accidental incidents, such as an earthquake or building fire. The feature will launch in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Saudi Arabia for the first couple of weeks, and will soon be available for all countries and additional types of incidents after testing.
For the community to use Community Help after an incident, Safety Check must first be activated. For Safety Check to activate, two things need to happen:
- First, global crisis reporting agencies NC4 and iJET International alert Facebook that an incident has occurred and give it a title, and we begin monitoring for posts about the incident in the area.
- Second, if a lot of people are talking about the incident, they may be prompted to mark themselves safe, and invite others to do the same.
- And starting today, if an incident is a natural or accidental disaster, people will see Community Help. They can find or give help, and message others directly to connect from within Safety Check.