Facebook Safety Check Activated After Nigerian Bombing

November 18, 2015, 3:27 PM UTC

The Facebook Safety Check feature went into effect on Tuesday following a bomb explosion in Nigeria.

The blast occurred in the northeastern city of Yola and killed at least 31 people while injuring more than 70 others, CNN reports. Though no one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, it will likely be attributed to Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group that has been terrorizing the area for over a decade.

Before this past weekend, Facebook’s policy was to deploy the feature exclusively for natural disasters; the company received criticism last week for activating it during the Paris attacks after failing to do so in Beirut when the city was attacked by ISIS just one day earlier.

Facebook defended its use of Safety Check, stating that it had noticed high levels of activity on the social network focused on Paris. Mark Zuckerberg then pledged to use the feature more often for human disasters as well as natural ones.

Zuckerberg posted on Facebook regarding the company’s decision to activate Safety Check in Nigeria last night:

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.

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