Skip to main content

Nigeria Get's Facebook Safety Check Feature After Facing Criticism From Its Black Users

For the second time in less than a week Facebook's safety-check feature has been used after a terrorist attack. Only this time it wasn't a western country. Last week's two bombings in Yola and Kano, Nigeria killed at least 44 people and left many wounded.  News reporters say officials will more than likely blame Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram as the culprit.

The safety-check feature was implemented for Nigeria only after Facebook was excessively criticized by its black users of various nationalities

for activating it after the attacks on Paris which left a death toll of 130, but not after the April 2, Garissa University College attacks in Kenya which left 147 dead. Neither did Mali, Somalia, or Lebanon get safety checks or solidarity flag filters.

April 2, Islamic terrorist attack on Garissa University College killing 147

According to the Global Terrorism Index 32,000 people were killed last year; with 7,512 of those deaths coming from Nigeria.

The safety-check feature allows Facebook users to check-in with their families and friends; marking themselves safe, and was first implemented for natural disasters.

Facebook critics argue that the decision showed an inequality in the value of life; that the western world is more important and worth mentioning.

“After the Paris attacks last week, we made the decision to use Safety Check for more tragic events like this going forward.
We're now working quickly to develop criteria for the new policy and determine when and how this service can be most useful." - Mark Zuckerberg

Does this mean that Facebook will offer solidarity flags for African and Eastern countries too
, or will users have to resort to third party apps?