Starting 2014, Facebook offered people the chance to let their loved ones know they are okay with the help of Safety Check. However, this service is vulnerable to the attacks or those seeking to spread misinformation on the platform. After the Las Vegas shooting, the Safety Check page was, again, full of people who wanted to benefit from the tragic event.
Safety Checks lets people check on their loved ones
Facebook launched Safety Check to let people tell others if they have been victims or natural disasters or tragic events. When such an event takes place, Facebook triggers such an option for all users in the area of the disaster. There, people can mark themselves as safe, and the Safety Check will post an update on the news feed letting the others know who managed to escape the terrible event.
Apart from Safety Check, Facebook also generates a special page where people can go and look for news of the event, and see if their friends have marked themselves as safe or not. However, this feed is often the target of fake news. Many scammers want to take advantage of the tragic event to drive traffic to their websites, so they launch fake stories to make people click on their services and sites.
The Las Vegas event didn’t escape the scam attack
The Las Vegas shooting was also followed by a Safety Check feed, which quickly got full of misinformation. People who came to check on their friends could see videos which requested donations, fake news regarding the attacker, or photos which weren’t even related to the event.
Fortunately, most of the fake links were removed. Now, the special Safety Check feed shows only recent stories and, as soon as one turns one-hour old, it gets replaced by new articles. Facebook is currently working on the issue, and wants to prevent similar events from happening again.
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