After the Paris terrorist attacks last week, some of you may have noticed among the expressions of grief, shock and support for France on your Facebook and Twitter feeds a certain amount of criticism over what one might call selective empathy, noting the far more muted reaction to suicide bombings killing at least 43 people in Beirut, Lebanon, just a day before the Paris attacks.
Where are the social media apps to change people’s profile pics to the colors of the Lebanon flag in the aftermath of the #BeirutAttacks?
— Jason Chesnut (@crazypastor) November 15, 2015
Some of that criticism was levied at Facebook for activating its "Safety Check" feature for the horrific events in Paris but not for Beirut. Safety Check asks users in a danger zone to indicate they're safe so their friends on the social media network can rest assured.
And to answer many comments: yes, global outrage is selective. No Facebook safety check or Obama address for #Beirut yesterday.Sad but true.
— Mohamed El Dahshan (@eldahshan) November 14, 2015
Facebook took the criticism to heart. Last night, it activated Safety Check in Nigeria after explosions killed more than 30 people and injured dozens more in the city of Yola.
"After the Paris attacks last week, we made the decision to use Safety Check for more tragic events like this going forward," Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. "We're now working quickly to develop criteria for the new policy and determine when and how this service can be most useful." (Full post below.)