Just Askin' | Facebook's Safety Check feature

Just Askin' | Facebook's Safety Check feature

Q: Who decided to activate the Facebook's Safety Check feature during the storms on June 10?

A: That would be Facebook, without input from local public-safety officials.

Officials at the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency and the sheriff's office said they had nothing to do with it.

During the June 10 storm, Facebook asked users in the C-U area to mark whether they were safe because of a "possible tornado."

The National Weather Service later confirmed that two weak tornadoes briefly touched down in southwest Champaign, ripping the roofs off two homes, but no one was injured.

Facebook's Safety Check feature is typically used during mass shootings, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. While useful for letting friends know you're safe, it has also been criticized for unnecessarily causing concern.

Facebook says Safety Check may be activated after a global crisis-reporting agency called NC4 reports an incident to it.

"If a lot of people in the affected area are posting about the incident, Safety Check will be activated," Facebook says in a help document.

After the incident is over, the Safety Check page becomes a place for people to donate to relief efforts.

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