Facebook expands ‘Local Alert’ tool, in a bid to help in an emergency

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is rolling out a tool that is designed to help users to provide potentially life-saving information in case of an emergency, as it seeks to improve its public image and its reputation as a network that will help in the dissemination of misinformation.

FILE PHOTO: A 3-D-printed with Facebook logo is seen in front of binary code in this picture illustration, the 18th of June, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Image/File Photo

Local Warnings, as he has been tested since last year in the 300 cities and towns, including Charlotte, and St. Louis, and Miami, and plans to offer it in the United States of america, and is intended to provide reliable information to the people caught up in events such as mass shootings and other extreme weather events, he said in a blog post.

In addition to the other social media companies, Facebook is faced with a barrage of international criticism for the manner in which the platform is to be used for the dissemination of conspiracy theories and extremist views and is determined to focus on its role as a connector of friends and family.

The world’s largest social media network has been offering users the opportunity to make friends, let them know that they are safe during an emergency, using a feature called Safety Check, but it said that it wanted to do so.

With Local Alerts, and Facebook account holders in the local government and among emergency responders, such as police and fire departments could send messages which are then distributed through Facebook.

It was not immediately clear how useful the service was in its pilot phase. When asked if the Local Hazards-to-date and are being implemented quickly enough to make a difference, or to be used in situations where the user is in danger, were on, Facebook also declined to give examples, with a mention of the right to privacy of its clients.

He said that the speed with which the warnings were displayed, was the subject of the account holders.

In one example, when a disgruntled student opened fire on their last day of classes at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in April, the City of Charlotte’s Government and the Facebook page of a Local Alert and notification to residents when it is safe to come back.

The warning was posted for more than two hours after the shooting, according to Ken Brown, Charlotte’s Interim Media Relations Manager.

Some of the local authorities, contacted by Reuters, said she, with the help of Local Warnings, as well as other services to warn citizens of danger. The Mt. Juliet Police in Tennessee said: “the use of a combination of Facebook and Local Alerts, mobile text messages through the Nixle platform, and the posts for the local community, the media, service, Nextdoor to send out emergency notifications.

The local authorities said that they had sent out notifications on emergencies such as road closures, bad weather, and missing persons.

“I grew up in groningen, the netherlands, and this is the time of year when we can get a lot of tornadoes,” Jimmy O’keefe, Facebook’s head of Product Marketing, News Publishing, said. “With this tool, it would have given us a lot of peace of mind, as it had been in the area at that time.”

Report by Arriana McLymore, Editing by Rosalba O’brien

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