Facebook activates Safety Check for 'human disaster' for first time

Facebook activated its Safety Check feature for the Paris attacks, allowing people in the city to quickly let their loved ones know they were safe.

The feature was created in 2011 during the Tokyo tsunami, and until this weekend had been activated only during natural disasters.

What many people wanted to know was: Why was Safety Check available for the Paris attacks but not for the two suicide attacks a day earlier in Beirut?

Alex Schultz, vice president of growth at Facebook, responded: "... In the middle of a complex, uncertain situation affecting many people, Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones. ... So we made the decision to try something we've never done before: activating Safety Check for something other than a natural disaster. There has to be a first time for trying something new, even in complex and sensitive times, and for us that was Paris."

Even Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue (on Facebook, of course): "We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can."